There has been an increase in coyote sightings in the region and East Hartford’s Police Department has provided some tips for keeping you and your pets safe in case you encounter a coyote.

The Animal Control Office links the recent increase in sightings to the coyote’s breeding season which takes place between January and March in Connecticut.  While coyotes are rarely a threat to humans, they can attack cats and small dogs who are left unattended.

The Animal Control Office offered some tips to help keep you and your pets safe:

  1. Do Not Feed the Coyotes

I figured this would go without saying but evidently people need to be reminded not to feed these carnivorous little wolves.  They also note that feeding stray cats, mice, and squirrels can attract coyotes to the area who are looking for a quick meal.

  1. Keep Animals Inside or Supervised

Don’t let your cats or small dogs wander around outside without someone accompanying them.  If you happen to be with your pet when you encounter a coyote do not run.  The Animal Control office advises you to back away slowly with your pet held close in order to avoid triggering the animal’s aggression.

  1. Scare Them Away

If coyotes start hanging out on your property The Animal Control Office suggests scaring them away.  Some of the methods they recommend are shouting, banging pots and pans, and my favorite, shaking a metal can filled with gravel or pennies.  I wouldn’t even know where to find the nearest empty metal can and why do they only suggest pennies?  Dimes are too small and nickels are too thick?  While I’m busy sorting through my loose change the coyote will probably be inside my house already.

The Animal Control Office also gave some tips on spotting rabid animals.  They say, if you see a mammal that struggles to walk, is lethargic, or appears drunk you should call the police right away.  But if you see me on a Sunday morning please don’t call the cops I’m not a rabid animal, just a little hungover.

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