Stay with your pets, Portsmouth PD warns after coyote attacks

Two dogs reported killed in recent incidents

By Jim McGaw
Posted 6/21/19

PORTSMOUTH — Two dogs were recently killed in separate coyote attacks in town, and police are asking residents to take extra precautions to keep their pets safe.

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Stay with your pets, Portsmouth PD warns after coyote attacks

Two dogs reported killed in recent incidents

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — Two dogs were recently killed in separate coyote attacks in town, and police are asking residents to take extra precautions to keep their pets safe.

“There have been a couple of pet deaths,” Animal Control Officer Elizabeth Futoma said Friday. 

One involved a small dog, while the other was a “medium-sized or larger dog,” she said. It’s not clear whether a single coyote or a group of them were responsible for the attacks.

The attacks took place in the Prospect Farm Road  area, south to McCorrie Lane and east to the Sakonnet River.

Officer Futoma urged pet owners to be more attentive to their dogs and cats.

“Most incidents have involved unattended pets that have been left outside at night,” she said.

Leaving a dog chained outside or within a fenced area or inside the parameters of an invisible fence is not enough, she said.

“Unfortunately, (a coyote attack) takes only a few minutes. You have to be right with your pets,” she said.

In recent weeks residents have been reporting coyotes sighting “all over” town, according to Officer Futoma. “My guess is that it’s puppy season and the adults are out looking for food,” she said.

Residents are reminded to obey a town ordinance by not feeding wildlife or leaving food outside that could attract coyotes or other animals. No citations for violating that ordinance have been issued lately, Officer Futoma said.

If you see a coyote in your yard, she recommending “hazing them” by banging pots together, shaking a can full of rocks or coins, blasting a boat horn, or making other loud noises. You could even throw things at them, without intending to harm them, she said.

“You want to make them know that your yard is not the place to be,” she said.

The town is working with the R.I. Department of Environmental Management to address this issue. If you have any more questions about coyotes, visit www.dem.ri.gov or the Narragansett Bay Coyote Study’s website.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.