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    Sunday, May 28, 2023

    Coyote kills another dog in New London

    Poochie, a 2-year-old bichon frise, was killed by a coyote on Harbor Lane in New London on Saturday, May 6, 2017, according to its owners. (Submitted photo)

    New London — A coyote claimed a second canine victim on Saturday, when it attacked and killed Poochie, the pet of a Harbor Lane family.

    Dog owner Jacqueline Taitague said her 2-year-old bichon frise, who was slightly larger than a cat, was in the front yard at their home at 18 Harbor Lane when she failed to return inside when called.

    Taitague and her 14-year-old daughter went out to search for the dog, calling her name and shaking a bag of treats.

    “I knew something was wrong because she normally comes right away,” Taitague said.

    Taitague was in the backyard when her daughter yelled from the front yard.

    Two homes away they spotted Poochie, still in the jaws of the coyote. She said family members yelled and chased the coyote with a broom until it ran away. It dropped the dog.

    “I was hysterically screaming,” Taitague said.

    Poochie was seriously hurt with “blood everywhere,” she said and died a short time later. The dog was a loved member of the family, she said.

    Taitague said she is worried about her kids and other young children in the neighborhood and frustrated by the lack of action by police.

    New London Police Capt. Brian Wright said the city has fielded and responded to dozens of calls about coyotes over the past several weeks and tried to educate the public on how to avoid confrontations between coyotes and pets.

    “We acknowledge they are out there and will prey on small animals. We have to ensure dogs are attended to and leashed and that you can’t leave them unattended even in your own back yard,” Wright said. “I sympathize. No one wants to see their pet harmed."

    A coyote that is aggressive toward people, however, is different than a coyote that is doing what comes natural — preying on smaller animals, he said.

    Wright said police will assess their options at each and every incident but don’t have any plans to shoot or hunt for the coyote unless it exhibits unusual behavior.

    That is of little comfort for Taitague, who said the incident has left her shaken and frustrated.

    “I’m terrified now to leave my kids out here,” she said. “You’re going to wait until it attacks a person before you do something? That’s not OK.”

    Her stance was echoed by some of the people that showed up to a community forum last month who called for the city to take action to get rid of the animal because it has the run of the neighborhoods in the city’s south end.

    A wildlife biologist from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has said there are anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 coyotes living in the state and many have adapted to living in urban areas such as New London.

    Poochie’s death is the second confirmed killing of a dog by a coyote in New London this year. A Glenwood Avenue family reported that their Chihiahua, Bella, was killed in a similar fashion by a coyote in April.

    The city has issued warning to citizens to help keep their home “coyote safe” by removing attractants such as garbage, pet food and even bird feeders. Food sources will attract coyotes and keep them coming back.

    g.smith@theday.com

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