Norfolk County

Small dog attacked by coyote in Dedham

DEDHAM, Mass. — A small Dedham dog is shaken up after a scary encounter with a coyote over the weekend.

Shaggy was out in his front yard just before 5:00 p.m., “doing his business,” while his owner was standing on the front porch, according to Dedham Police.

The attack happened in an instant. According to wildlife officials, a coyote darted from the nearby tree line and grabbed Shaggy by the neck, dragging him several feet.

His owner began shouting and ran towards the coyote, causing the animal to drop Shaggy and flee. Police say the pup sustained extremely minor injuries and is doing well.

“Had Shaggy’s owner not been present while Shaggy was outside, this would likely have ended tragically,” Dedham Police wrote in a social media post. “The photo depicts the distance between Shaggy and his owner. It wasn’t much.”

Wildlife authorities say as the extreme heat begins to break and we head more into the fall season, coyotes will begin a pattern of movement, which will bring them closer to more densely populated areas in search of food.

Natural behavior dictates that coyotes see small pets as potential prey and larger ones as competition, according to officials. Animal control says the best way to avoid conflicts with coyotes is to keep small pets indoors during this time period. Police also stressed the importance of remaining vigilant.

“We always encourage pet owners to supervise their pets, of which Shaggy’s family does a wonderful job,” Dedham Police said. “This incident illustrates that the way to keep our pets even more safe, is to be right next to them – so that if the coyote sees the pet, then he also sees the human. Usually, the presence of the human will deter the coyote.”

For more information about living with coyotes, click here. Your local Animal Control Officer is also a great resource.

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