A Benedict Hill Road dog is under a 45-day observation after puncture wounds were found on his throat—presumably following a confrontation with a coyote out back of his home.
Last Monday at about 1:30 p.m., police received a report that the 22-pound Dachshund mix had bolted, barking, into the woods out back of his home, according to a report on file with the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section.
The small dog’s owner then heard a yelp and went running out after the animal, the report said. The dog already was running back out of the woods, and later in the day, his owner came upon bloodstains on the animal’s bed, the report said.
A veterinarian then found the four puncture wounds on the animal’s throat, prompting officials to put the dog under observation to be safe, since the origins of the bite marks are not absolutely certain, according to Officer Allyson Halm, head of Animal Control.
“People need to be careful with dogs,” Halm said.
“We have alarm systems in our homes, we lock our doors to prevent thieves from coming in, but there is always going to be human error where a thief gets in. It’s the same thing with coyotes—we know they’re out there and what they’re capable of, and if they get wise to a smaller animal, what can happen. In this case, the dog charged the coyote, so it’s a good chance the coyote was minding its own business and defending itself.”
Halm said it’s important that humans make their presence known to wildlife on their own properties. For example, before letting a dog out into a yard in the morning or evening, turn on outside lights, step outside and make some noise—the hazing technique will give a wild creature time to leave, she said.
“Should you see a coyote, make yourself large and loud,” Halm said.
Coyotes—like foxes, fishers and bobcats—are considered dusk to dawn creatures, “however they will be active during the day if a food source is available,” Halm said.
Residents are encouraged to report coyote sightings to Animal Control. Here’s an updated map of sightings this calendar year. A coyote last summer took a Michigan Road dog, officials said.