Two dogs were attacked by coyotes early Tuesday morning, but the owner was able to scare the animals away before any major harm befell the dogs, police said.
According to police, a man was walking his three dogs, off leash, along the old Novick Orchards, near Flanders Street, when two coyotes came out of the woods and grabbed two of the dogs.
“The dogs suffered minor injuries,” Police Spokesman Sgt. Jeff Dobratz said. “The owner was able to separate the dogs from the coyotes.”
The man and the other dog were not injured, Dobratz said.
Southington’s animal control officer went to the scene, but was unable to find the coyotes. Though there have been reported instances of coyotes attacking smaller dogs around town from time to time, this is the first time that it has occurred in this area, Dobratz said.
Police officials recommended keeping dogs on a leash when they are being taken for a walk. Small, off leash dogs are a target of opportunity for coyotes.
“When you’re out in the woods, you have to remember you’re out in the woods,” Dobratz said.
According to a State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) fact sheet, coyotes were not originally found in the state. They migrated east in over the last 100 years. Coyotes are most active at night, but can be found out during the day, especially during the summer months.
The DEEP also recommends keeping your dogs on a leash when they are taken out.
If residents have an encounter with a coyote they can call the Southington Police Department or the DEEP Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011.