Police Chief Michael Kent and the Burlington Police Department would like to remind residents of several important safety tips after a wild animal attacked a resident's dog Thursday.

At approximately 8 p.m. on July 12, a resident on Winn Street reported a wild animal, potentially a coyote, came into her backyard, grabbed her 9-pound Maltese and pulled it into the woods.

Burlington Police searched  the perimeter of the woods, but were unable to locate the dog.

"This was a very unfortunate situation where a resident lost her beloved pet," Kent said. "We encourage community members to review these safety tips on how to best share the land with wildlife."

Coyotes, along with foxes, bobcats and fisher cats are present in Burlington's wooded areas and will go after unattended cats and small dogs. To prevent attacks and the loss of a pet, Burlington Police recommend that residents follow safety tips from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife:


Leash pets at all times if outdoors. Small cats and dogs are seen as prey and larger dogs, competition. Do not approach, feed, pet, or try to interact with wildlife. Don’t hesitate to scare or threaten wild animals with loud noises or bright lights. At home: Cut back brushy edges, as these areas provide cover for wild animals and their prey.

Secure your garbage. Coyotes raid open trash materials and compost piles. Secure your garbage in tough plastic containers with tight-fitting lids and keep them in secure buildings when possible. Take out trash when the morning pick up is scheduled, not the previous night. Keep compost in secure, vented containers, and keep barbecue grills clean to reduce attractive odors.
Keep bird feeder areas clean. Use feeders designed to keep seed off the ground, as the seed attracts many small mammals coyotes prey upon. Remove feeders if coyotes or other wild animals are regularly seen around your yard.