Police say a fox attempting to drink beer in the middle of Laurel Road and behaving aggressively toward dogs walking in eastern New Canaan last weekend likely was a sick animal that has since died or moved on from this area.
The animal was sighted five times between Friday and Saturday mornings, (in order) on Valley Road, Cedar Lane, Fable Farm Road, Pastures Lane and Laurel, according to Animal Officer Allyson Halm of the New Canaan Police Department.
In the last reported sighting, the animal was seen eating a torn-open beer can in the middle of the street, according to a police report.
“The reason that raises a red flag is because with rabies, one of the side effects is that you are very thirsty but cannot drink,” Animal Control Officer Maryann Kleinschmitt said.
Police began receiving calls from residents about an overly curious fox approaching people walking their dogs—a Labrador retriever, then two Labs together, a golden retriever and finally a Labradoodle.
At about 5:55 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18, a Pastures Lane homeowner “heard yelping and scuffling and saw a fox tangling with her dog” in a partially enclosed yard, Halm said.
The dog is under mandatory 45-day home confinement, Halm said.
“This is considered a rabid suspect animal, because of its behavior, the consistency of the neighborhoods reporting sightings and the amount of calls we received,” Halm said. “There have been no more calls since Saturday, so we are comfortable that the animal has left town or is deceased.”
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection advises people never to feed foxes, protect livestock and do not allow domestic pets to run free and unobserved.
“Foxes commonly live in close association with human residences and communities where they can find plenty of food, water, and cover,” the DEEP says in a fact sheet. “They frequently inhabit yards, parks, and golf courses, especially areas that adjoin suitable, undeveloped habitat. Foxes can become accustomed to human activity but are seldom aggressive toward people. Problems associated with foxes include depredation on domestic animals, perceptions of danger to humans (healthy foxes pose virtually no danger to humans), and their potential to carry disease organisms. The mere presence of a fox should not be perceived as a problem and foxes need not be feared.”