Coyote attack prompts police to warn residents to be mindful of pets

Moxie, a 9-year-old dog, was euthanized due to injuries from a coyote attack in Warwick. (Photo courtesy of Seth Holbrook)

A coyote attack prompted the Warwick Police Department to warn residents to be mindful of their pets when they go outside.

Police said a coyote attacked a dog on Wednesday in a neighborhood near the Valley Country Club.

“Just a reminder to keep an eye on your pets when they go outside,” they posted on Facebook with a photo of a coyote.

The dog, Moxie, later had to be euthanized due to his injuries, his owner told NBC 10 News.

Justin Moore, who lives near the area where the dog was attacked, said coyotes have become a regular in his backyard.

“Usually, around 10 o’clock, you can hear a pack of coyotes in the backyard,” Moore told NBC 10 Thursday. “They just bark viciously.”

Moore said he has two dogs and often lets them out at night.

“As soon as it gets dark out, I always get worried,” he said.

Police didn’t say what kind of dog was attacked or if it’s OK.

“In general, these incidents are related to people just not thinking a coyote is not going to be around and letting their small animals out,” said Numi Mitchell, of the Narragansett Bay Coyote Study.

Mitchell added that it’s not uncommon for pets to be snatched by coyotes.

“Just be careful with your little animals,” Mitchell told NBC 10 News. “Don’t leave them tied outside or unsupervised.”

In 2005, Warwick set up a “coyote commission” to deal with the problem.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said last year that coyotes could become bold and pose risks to small pets and humans.

RIDEM published guidelines last year to decrease the chases of interacting with coyotes. Officials also recommend not leaving trash or food outside.

“The community needs to think in a neighborly way,” Mitchell said. “Don’t leave food out, that might cause your neighbors pet to get snagged.”

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