Our Animals

This section is dedicated to all things concerning our New Canaan animals—pets, wildlife, environmental and health matters touching the animals of our town, activity out of the New Canaan Police Department Animal Control Unit, and more.

Recent Articles

‘We Felt That It Was Not Humane’: Housing Authority Rescinds ‘Declawing’ Requirement for Residents’ Cats

Responding to concerns from animal welfare advocates, officials from the New Canaan Housing Authority say they’re moving away from a requirement that residents of affordable rental units at Millport Avenue have their cats “declawed.”

Banned in many countries, declawing typically involves amputating the last bone of each toe on a cat—the equivalent of cutting off each finger at the last knuckle on a person, according to the Humane Society of the United States. (more…) Continue Reading →

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‘The Male Was Not Responding’: Bit by Dog at Spencer’s Run, Woman Gets Angry with Nonchalant Owner

Police this month fielded a complaint from a Norwalk woman who said she’d been bit at Spencer’s Run by a dog whose owner—a New Canaan man—failed to show sufficient concern. It happened on the evening of April 7 (a Friday) at the Waveny dog park, according to a police report obtained by NewCanaanite.com through a Freedom of Information request. According to a report from the head of the Animal Control section, Officer Allyson Halm, at about 5:30 p.m. the woman had been throwing a ball to her dog “when a white shepherd or husky-type dog came over to them and the two dogs began to fight.”

The woman started yelling and tried to break up the scrap, and told Halm that “the other dog’s owner was far away and didn’t seem to know what was going on,” the report said. Soon, the man—a Spring Water Lane resident—made his way over to secure his dog, and the woman instructed him to leave the park, as his dog had bitten her, the report said. Yet, according to the woman, “the male was not responding,” the report said. Continue Reading →

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Coyote Info Signs To Go Up in Waveny, Irwin and Bristow

Officials are putting up signs in three public parks to advise those who visit them that coyotes are active in the area. Planned for Waveny, Irwin and Bristow—a bird sanctuary attached to Mead Park—the signs include tips on what to do if approached by a coyote and how to protect pets. Officer Allyson Halm, head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section, said the signs are designed to continue educating locals on how to coexist safely and responsibly with coyotes. “It’s just like the police doing a distracted driver campaign—it’s a forever thing and the conversation just has to keep going,” Halm said. Though coyotes have been denning in recent weeks as pups are born, locals have reported 15 sightings in New Canaan to Animal Control in the past month, Halm said. Continue Reading →

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Coyote, Labradoodle Fight on Ponus Ridge Early Thursday

A coyote fought Thursday morning with a 40-pound Labradoodle on Ponus Ridge—a tussle broken up by a ready caregiver who banged together pots and pans to chase off the wildlife, police said. It happened around 8:30 a.m. and the 3-year-old male Labradoodle appeared to have suffered no injuries, according to Officer Allyson Halm, head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section. Because there was direct contact between the beasts, rabies protocol calls for a booster shot as soon as possible and a 45-day home observation period, Halm said. She forms part of an expert panel that will speak on coyotes—focusing on the animals’ behavior and how to coexist peacefully with them—to be held in the art gallery at New Canaan Library on Saturday, April 8. Halm underscored that in this case, the residents are accustomed to seeing coyotes so “they have their hazing techniques down.”

The Labradoodle owners’ property on upper Ponus Ridge abuts Aquarion land near the reservoir, and the coyote may well have been protecting its territory in attacking the dog, according to Halm. Continue Reading →

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$136 Fine for Woman with Off-Leash Dog at Waveny

Police issued a ticket to a 52-year-old New Canaan woman on a recent morning for having an off-leash dog at Waveny. The Labradoodle owner had been seen with her dog off-leash on the park’s trails in the past and received verbal warnings by the Animal Control section of the New Canaan Police Department, officials said. In this instance, at about 10 a.m. on Feb. 27, she parked near the Carriage Barn Arts Center and allowed her leash-less dog to hop out of the car and walk down along an access road toward a trailhead, according to Animal Control. The fine is $136 total—that’s $90 for the infraction and $46 for a state processing fee—for have a dog off-leash in a park. Continue Reading →

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