HOPKINTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Police in Hopkinton are urging pet owners to take caution after a coyote snatched up a dog from its owner.
In a Facebook post, the Hopkinton Police Department said a woman had been walking her dog Thursday afternoon when a coyote was able to snatch the pet.
“An officer assisted with attempting to locate the dog with the owner,” the department stated. “We feel horrible this happened to someone’s fur buddy, they are members of the family and are a tremendous loss when we lose them.”
Speaking with 7NEWS, David Hubbard described how his wife and their 6-year-old dog, Harry, had been walking on the local Whisper Way trail when it happened.
“They had been walking for, probably, upwards of a half-an-hour, and Harry went off – he usually stays right by her, but he went off,” he explained.
Hubbard said his wife searched for about an hour, then called police and animal control, who he said went above and beyond as they helped to find Harry’s body, then provide support to his wife.
“Harry was totally a part of our family – he’s ever-present with us, from taking vacations with us to sleeping with the kids to taking lots of long walks with his mom,” he said.
Police are asking that anyone walking with their dogs or kids use extra caution while on local trails, including the Whisper Way trail, Yellow Trail and Red Trail.
The department emphasized that the areas are a coyote’s natural habitat, and that while out walking, residents should make sure to keep their dogs on a leash and also carry a walking stick, if possible.
Sharing tips on their Facebook page, police suggested making a lot of noise while out walking “so as not to accidentally surprise wild animals as your walking,” and that if you ever encounter a coyote that does not immediately run away, be sure to yell and wave your arms.
“They do not like loud noises,” authorities said. “Also, do not run away as this may trigger them to chase you and/or your dog.”
The advisory came a day after a family in neighboring Milford said their dog was snatched by a coyote from a yard on Pine Island Road.
As the Hubbards mourn the loss of Harry, David reiterated to other pet owners that when they are out walking in wooded areas, they are treading on the coyotes’ territory.
“We’re encroaching on their space, and the clash of animals and people and other animals is inevitable, so don’t take it for granted that your dog is going to stay with you,” he said.
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