For weeks, residents reported a mangy coyote loping along the southeast part of town. Today, his suffering came to an end.
Middletown Animal Control Officer Gail Petras said staff had to put down the animal today. "He had labored breathing, his tongue was hanging out and it like like he was really suffering. Any wild animal like that you should not be able to walk up to but he was very sickly, very emaciated."
It was unclear how the pup became so ill or if he had mange, a skin disease caused by parasites, Petras said, whether he was separated too young from his mother or if something happened to her. "So we had to put him out of his misery."
"We did feel bad because we've followed it a lot over the past few weeks, but it looked like it was suffering today," she said.
When Middletown Patch first wrote this story, as multiple reports and even photographs came in of this gray wild baby canine wandering around the Timber Ridge Road area with construction nearby, folks wondered if it was a coyote-dog hybrid, referred to as a "coyotdog."
Petras says that it's rare to find such an animal. "People see them and they look like a dog and get wrapped up in the idea. I'm pretty certain it was a coyote and I don't think it was rabid."
Unfortunately in Connecticut, she says, there are no options for these "rabies vector species," which coyotes, foxes, skunks, raccoons, groundhogs and bats are considered. Even the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection can't rehabilitate them.
"The more building we do obviously the more wildlife gets displaced," Petras says, moving them out of their natural habitat.
And despite what you may think, coyotes — and even bobcats, fishers and foxes — are very common in Middletown. Petras says animal control has had calls about them in every part of Middletown.
People are worried that coyotes eat their cats, Petras says, which is why she recommends people keep their cats indoors. "There are lots of wild animals that cats can tangle with," not to mention felines she's had to pick up after being hit by cars.
Anyone who sees an animal that's in trouble, on the loose or endangered may call Middletown Animal Control at (860) 347-6941.