News Flash

Town of Plainville

Posted on: December 11, 2023

Police Caution Community Members Following Coyote Sightings

Plainville Police, Town of Plainville Caution Community Members Following Coyote Sightings

Police Chief James Floyd and Town Administrator Brian Noble are cautioning residents following reported coyote sightings throughout the Town of Plainville.

This month, Plainville Police officers responded to a report of a coyote out in the daylight acting abnormally. It was determined to be a public safety risk and officers humanely euthanized the coyote on-scene.

The Plainville Police Department and the Town of Plainville would like to share the following tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife for safely avoiding interactions with coyotes:

  • Never provide food for coyotes or do anything to attract them. Coyotes rely on natural food and typically remain wild and wary of humans.
  • Prevent coyotes from accessing food sources:
    • Food, including snacks, pet food, birdseed and food-related trash, can attract coyotes and other wildlife. Left outside, these foods encourage wild animals to visit residential areas.
    • Only feed pets indoors and keep dumpster and trash areas clean, and keep trash containers covered.
  • Spend time outdoors. Coyotes generally try to avoid humans, and their natural fear is reinforced when play areas, back yards and trails are actively used by people. The regular presence of people is a deterrent for coyotes.
  • Protect pets from coyotes. Coyotes can view cats and small dogs as potential food, and larger dogs as competition. For the safety of your pets, keep them leashed and under your supervision at all times. Also remember to feed your pets indoors to avoid attracting wildlife.
  • If you encounter a coyote, Project Coyote recommends taking steps to scare it away — these steps are known as hazing:
    • Stand your ground: Make eye contact and advance toward the coyote while actively hazing until it retreats. Allow room for it to retreat.
    • Make sure the coyote is focused on you as a source of danger. Do not haze from a building or car where it can’t clearly see you.
    • Continue your hazing efforts, even if there is more than one coyote present.
    • Use multiple tools, such as loud sounds, light and exaggerated motion.
    • Hazing should be exaggerated, assertive and consistent.
    • Coyotes have routine habits, so make note of when and where you encounter them. Ask your neighbors to assist in scaring them off.
    • If a coyote appears sick or injured, do not attempt to haze it.
    • Hazing should be avoided in the months of March through July, as well as if the coyote is a comfortable distance away, or if you encounter a coyote in an open area where a den may be nearby. You should haze a coyote if it approaches you, or if you see it comfortably walking in a neighborhood or park.

For more information about preventing conflicts with coyotes, click here. Town officials ask community members not to call 911 to report a coyote sighting. If community members observe a coyote that shows no fear of humans or is exhibiting aggressive or rabid-like behavior, please contact the Plainville Police Department's non-emergency dispatch at 508-809-5555.

If anyone is attacked by a coyote, they should immediately call 911.

Community members should note that coyotes taking pets are not considered an immediate threat to human safety, therefore Animal Control Officers and municipal Police Departments are not authorized to remove these wild animals.

For more information or questions, please contact the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife at 508-389‐6300, mass.wildlife@mass.gov or visit its website.

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