DARIEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police in Darien are issuing a warning after coyotes attacked two dogs, killing one.

They are urging people not to let their dogs and cats run free, especially at night.

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“Coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare, however aggressive behavior toward small dogs is common and more prevalent during the breeding season which typically runs from January to February,” Animal Control Officer Chip Stahl said in a statement posted to the Darien Police Department’s Facebook page.

The state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection says people should not feed coyotes and they should clean up birdseed and other sources of food. It also suggests that parents teach children to recognize coyotes and to yell at it and go inside without running if one comes close.

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“It’s best to shout, make noise, bang on a pot or pan,” DEP spokesman Dennis Shane told WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau. “As they say, make yourself big — don’t look like you’re intimidated.”

Authorities advise residents to call the police if they come across a coyote that appears to be staggering or acting abnormally, as it could be a sign of rabies.

Earlier this month, police in Ossining, New York, killed a suspected rabid coyote that they believed was attacking residents and pets.

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