An alert has been issued by officials in Connecticut following multiple attempted coyote attacks on dogs and their owners.
Concerns are being raised in New Haven County after there were multiple attacks reported in the Platt Park/Traditions area of the town on Tuesday, July 20, with one successfully getting after a dog that had to be treated by a veterinarian, according to Southbury Animal Control.
Officials noted that the Town of Southbury has seen an uptick in confirmed rabid wildlife over the past two years, and the dog that was attacked had to receive a rabies vaccination booster.
The dog has been placed on 45-day strict confinement and will be monitored for any symptoms of rabies. If the pet had not had its rabies vaccinations, it may have been placed on a six-month quarantine, or subject to mandated euthanasia.
“This serves as a reminder of the importance of vaccinations for pets,” they stated. "Animal Control asks owners to make certain that all pets, indoor and outdoor, are up to date with their rabies vaccinations.
“Animal Control would like to remind pet owners to supervise their pets and to be cautious of leaving them unattended while outdoors, especially during the evening.”
Symptoms of rabies include unprovoked aggression, difficulty walking, and excess salivation.
“Southbury Animal Control has strict rabies protocol to follow when wildlife encounters take place,” they stated. “Because of this, Southbury Animal Control would like to urge all pet owners to report wildlife encounters immediately.”
According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, coyotes were not originally found in Connecticut, but have extended their range eastward during the last 100 years from the western plains and the midwestern United States, through Canada, and into the northeastern and mid-Atlantic states.
“Coyotes were first reported in Connecticut in the mid-1950s. For the next 10 years, most coyote reports were from northwestern Connecticut. Coyotes eventually expanded their range throughout the entire state and are now a part of Connecticut’s ecosystem. The coyote is one wildlife species that has adapted to human-disturbed environments and can thrive in close proximity to populated areas.”
Connecticut DEEP noted that “as coyotes have become more common, public concerns about coyotes attacking pets and people, especially children, have increased. Although some coyotes may exhibit bold behavior near people, the risk of a coyote attacking a person is extremely low. This risk can increase if coyotes are intentionally fed and then learn to associate people with food.”
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