A Westchester County town is warning residents to be on alert for coyotes after a group of the carnivores charged a family's dogs as the pups trotted out into the backyard last week, killing one of them.
Kristin Porteus told Lohud.com she had just let her three Chihuahua Terrier mixes -- two 1-year-old pups and their mother -- out the back door of their Mount Kisco home Friday morning when two coyotes darted out of the brush.
She told Lohud that as she tried to scare off the coyotes, her husband yelled out that a third coyote was behind her. Porteus turned and saw Roxy, the mother of the two younger dogs, in the coyote's mouth. The coyote dropped Roxy on the ground and ran off, but it had broken her neck.
The two younger pups managed to race back into the house during the commotion and were not hurt.
Porteus told Lohud her backyard is partially surrounded by a fence, and she believes the coyotes had been hiding behind a shed on the part of her property that wasn't fenced in. She says she'd never seen the animals in the neighborhood before.
Porteus said she now fears for the safety of her three young children, who often play on the trampoline outside. And the two pups who escaped the coyotes, she says, have been "shattered" by the loss of their mother.
"The house is so quiet now," she told Lohud. "They just shake. They're very different puppies now."
Mount Kisco police issued an alert in the wake of the attack urging residents to be vigilant and to supervise young children and pets, especially when outdoors in wooded areas. Police said making loud noises and throwing rocks or stones tend to scare coyotes away.
Additional information on coyotes can be found on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s website, http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6971.html