Pets Being Targeted As Wild Animals Look For Food Before Winter

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Coyotes in Fairfield are becoming more aggressive, police warn.

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As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, the wild animals have attacked twice in the past week along Little Brook Road, looking for food to bring back to their dens before winter.

“A lot of these coyotes are just walking up, waiting for their prey,” said Fairfield police Lt. James Perez. “They scoop up the dog like a piece of sushi, and they just run.”

Emma O’Donnell, 14, said she had a “scary” standoff with coyotes last week, and they showed no signs of being intimidated.

“They didn’t growl, but they didn’t go,” she said. “They just stayed there.”

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O’Donnell’s shih tzu, Cosmo, ended up in one coyote’s mouth, but it was saved when the teen yanked hard on the leash, pulling the dog to safety. Cosmo’s veterinarian said he is expected to make a full recovery.

Other area dogs, however, have not been so lucky. One neighbor lost two Yorkshire terriers within a year.

Police warn pet owners to be vigilant at night as coyotes get increasingly accustomed to being near people. Experts say loud noises often drive off coyotes. They also recommend that dog walkers carry a flashlight at night to shine in the animal’s eyes.

“We are definitely seeing pack behavior in coyotes,” said Gina Gambino, a Fairfield animal control officer. “That is pretty new. … They’re adapting. They’re getting smarter. They’re learning to deal with people.”

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