Babette Wilson of 77 Franklin St. reported seeing coyotes near her property just two weeks ago. She fears her cat Odin also fell victim to a roving coyote.
“I still look for Odin every night,” she said. “But I’m losing hope.”
It’s rare that coyotes attack house pets, but it has happened before, state Fish and Game conservation Officer Christopher McKee said.
Bird feeders attract chipmunks, birds and other small animals. They, in turn, attract coyotes, he said.
The only real way to protect an animal from a coyote attack is a metal fence or keeping them indoors, McKee said.
Deforestation and recent construction also come into play, Derry Animal Control Officer Marlene Bishop said.
“With more people building, there are more coyotes forced out of the wild and into the public,” she said.
There are not necessarily more coyotes, they are just traveling more into residential areas. At this time of year, Bishop said, coyotes are bulking up in preparation for winter and are on the prowl in search of easy meals.
Despite Crawford’s concern for her pets’ well-being, she has received some negative feedback about the attack.
“People have said I did not take proper care of my dogs and I should have been able to stop this,” she said.
But she keeps the dogs within an electric dog fence, to prevent them from escaping the yard. She also keeps a close eye on them when they are outside. A dog should be safe when it is in its own yard, she said.
Crawford did have to get rabies shots because Spike bit her ear after the attack.
“The attack is unfortunate,” state Fish and Game Lt. Robert Bryant said. “However, there are coyotes all over New Hampshire and the attack was expected, considering dogs were chasing after the coyote.”
There are no plans to trap or hunt the coyote, Bryant said.
Crawford plans to put up a metal chain link fence around her back yard, to make sure no more wildlife gets in.