CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – It was a quiet Sunday morning for Jill and Michael Dresner until they heard a loud screeching noise outside of their Chappaqua home.
Their 20-pound mini golden doodle Ruby had been sunning herself on the Dresner's back porch on that morning of May 5, but when the couple rushed out to investigate the noise, Ruby was gone. Soon after, the Dresners searched the woods behind their home and saw a coyote running away. Ruby never returned home.
“We have an electronic fence and she never went more than 50 feet away from the house,” Michael Dresner said Tuesday. “But the electric fence doesn’t keep anything out, it only kept her in.”
They will never be certain what happened to Ruby, but the Dresners are dedicating their time to help other residents become more aware of coyotes and other possible predators of small dogs and they’re hoping to do something that no one has tried before. Two recent incidents caused New Castle Police to send out an alert to residents Monday, but the Dresners said asking for constant alerts from local officials would be impractical.
“Trying to send out emails like that or using another service wouldn’t work fast enough,” Michael said. “My thought was we could just use Twitter or Facebook and people could follow it regularly like they do anyway and they could get alerts to their phones just like they do for everything else that is going on their lives.”
The Dresners and dozens of other Chappaqua residents also took to the Facebook group Chappaqua Moms recently to discuss ideas, and Michael Dresner said using Facebook and Twitter consistently could be the best way to get the word out on coyote or other dangerous predator sightings. The Dresners also recommended residents use The Daily Voice Twitter and Facebook pages any time they ever see a coyote in the area to alert residents to keep their pets and small children inside.
“We’ve looked into this now and asked local experts and what we’ve been told is these are more common than people think for the towns in our area,” Michael said. “It’s not enough protection to have a fence outside. Someone should be outside if your dog is outside because coyotes can hunt at any time of the day and they’ll go right up to the house if no one is watching.”
The Dresners are not alone in having run-ins with coyotes. Sightings have been reported throughout Westchester County. Rye Brook hired a licensed trapper in December 2012 to catch a coyote that was involved in reported attacks, a possibly sick coyote was spotted in Yorktown in September 2012 and several Tarrytown residents were startled when they spotted coyotes in May 2012.
Please alert The Daily Voice through Facebook or Twitter if you see a coyote or hear a report of a sighting.