Police in Burlington, Massachusetts, are reminding residents to be vigilant after a coyote possibly attacked a dog on Thursday night.
Authorities said a Winn Street resident reported that a wild animal, potentially a coyote, came into her backyard at about 8 p.m. and grabbed her 9 pound Maltese, pulling it into the woods.
Responding officers searched the perimeter of the woods but were unable to locate the dog.
"This was a very unfortunate situation where a resident lost her beloved pet," Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent said.
The owner, who did not want to be identified, told NBC10 Boston that the 14-year-old dog "Sampson" had been on the lawn while she sat on the back deck when the incident occurred. Sampson was also sick she said.
Authorities said coyotes, foxes, bobcats and fisher cats are present in Burlington's wooded areas and will go after unattended cats and small dogs.
To prevent those attacks, police recommend the following tips:
- Keep pets on leashes at all times if outdoors
- Do not approach, feed, pet, or try to interact with wildlife
- Don’t hesitate to scare or threaten wild animals with loud noises or bright lights
- Cut back brushy edges, as these areas provide cover for wild animals and their prey
- Secure your garbage as coyotes raid open trash materials and compost piles.
- Keep bird feeder areas clean and use feeders designed to keep seed off the ground, as the seed attracts many small mammals coyotes prey upon