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Newton Residents Post Signs Warning of Coyotes, Foxes

Police say there have been some recent incidents in West Newton that they are investigating.

Residents have recently posted signs in the West Newton neighborhood warning of coyotes and foxes attacking pets, asking local residents to keep an eye on small cats and dogs. 

One sign was found on the corner of Webster Street and Waltham Street earlier this week. It reads:

"Coyotes and foxes are praying on cats in Newton and surrounding areas. Many cats are missing. City Hall and Animal Control have ignored this very serious problem. Pets matter. They are great companions and a big part of a family. Please keep your cats and small dogs in and keep an eye on children."

According to Newton Police Capt. Howard Mintz, a recent incident where a coyote attacked and killed a small dog in West Newton was "normal behavior" for a coyote.

Mintz said the attack happened on Monday on Randlett Park around 6:45 a.m. when an owner took his dog out. Mintz said it was not clear in the report whether the owner was walking the dog or if he had just let the dog loose.

After the incident occurred, Mintz said the department called a biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to ask about the attack. The biologist informed police that the incident does not indicate the coyote was sick or rabid and that it was typical for it to see the small dog as prey.

"People have to protect their pets, but it's not a reason to take action against the coyote," Mintz said. 

However, Mintz said there was another recent incident where a resident reported being followed home by a coyote. This is not normal behavior for a coyote, he said, and the department will continue to investigate.

As far as the sign posted on local utility poles and trees, Mintz said he has not heard of any attacks involving foxes.

Mary Contrary October 06, 2011 at 10:53 PM
Coyote spotted in Watertown around Highland and into Waltham around Longfellow. I agree with the poster of the sign - neighborhoods should be alerted
Melanie Graham (Editor) October 06, 2011 at 11:03 PM
Thanks for your comment, Mary. When was the coyote spotted?
MARASH GIRL October 07, 2011 at 12:05 PM
Foxes used to trot down Maple Ave a year or so ago. They were harmless and beautiful. We assumed they were coming from Cabot Woods.
A'dale Mom October 10, 2011 at 03:02 AM
A coyote killed my cat in August 2010 in front of my house in Auburndale. I see their tracks all winter, passing by my house. At one time the tracks came up my front porch steps. We have leash laws to protect ourselves, our pets and our property from our domestic canines (our pet dogs). We should be able to to protect ourselves from the incursion of these feral canines/coyotes. I have no problem accepting other wildlife around my home. Racoons,skunks, possums, chipmunks and squirrels have always added to the "charm" of living in Auburndale. I see fewer of them in recent years though. Maybe the coyotes have something to do with that.
Andrea October 11, 2011 at 02:25 PM
I have had a coyote in my backyard three times in the last 4 months (that I can confirm!). I do not live in or near woods. I live one block west of Centre Street, near Newton Corner, with homes on all sides. The coyote was quite large and healthy looking. In addition to dogs and cats in the neighborhood, we have loads of young children. Let's not wait for a tragedy to happen before something is done about this.
dan October 11, 2011 at 05:17 PM
Newtown Residents should be very carful when dealing wiith this coyote issue. See the folloowing: Coyotes kill Toronto singer in Cape Breton http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2009/10/28/ns-coyote-attack-died.html
Mom4us March 14, 2012 at 03:20 AM
I can confirm that as well. We live in the same area, and have seen a healthy coyote on numerous occasions, along with fox and wild turkeys. Who says you need to move out into the country to see wildlife, but this is not the kind you want to have close to your children and pets.

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