Residents in Westchester have been advised to be on alert after a coyote attacked a dog in the area.
In Mount Vernon, the police department issued an advisory cautioning that a small dog was recently attacked near North Columbus Avenue and California Road by what was reported to be a coyote.
It is the latest sighting in the area, and the first reported attack.
“Please remember that we share our environment with wild animals, so while it is rare that they appear in Mount Vernon, they do appear from time to time,” a police spokesperson said.
Police in Westchester shared tips from the Department of Environmental Conservation to avoid becoming the victim of a potential coyote attack:
- Do not feed coyotes and discourage others from doing so.
- Unintentional food sources attract coyotes and other wildlife and increase risks to people and pets.
- Do not feed pets outside.
- Make any garbage inaccessible to coyotes and other animals.
- Fence or enclose compost piles so they are not accessible to coyotes.
- Eliminate the availability of birdseed. Concentrations of birds and rodents that come to feeders can attract coyotes. If you see a coyote near your bird feeder, clean up waste seed and spillage to remove the attractant.
- Do not allow coyotes to approach people or pets.
- Teach children to appreciate coyotes from a distance.
- If you see a coyote, be aggressive in your behavior - stand tall and hold your arms out to look large. If a coyote lingers for too long, then make loud noises, wave your arms, and throw sticks and stones.
- Do not allow pets to run free. Supervise all outdoor pets to keep them safe from coyotes and other wildlife, especially at sunset and at night. Small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable to coyotes.
- Fenced yards may deter coyotes. The fence should be tight to the ground, preferably extending six inches below ground level and taller than four feet.
- Remove brush and tall grass from around your home to reduce protective cover for coyotes. Coyotes are typically secretive and like areas where they can hide.
- Contact your local police department and DEC regional office for assistance if you notice that coyotes are exhibiting "bold" behaviors and have little or no fear of people. Seeing a coyote occasionally throughout the year is not evidence of bold behavior.
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