‘We feel horrible’: Another Mass. town issues warning as family mourns death of dog killed by coyote

Hopkinton is warning town residents to beware of coyotes after a woman walking her dogs along a popular trail had one of her pups snatched away from her this week, officials announced Friday.

The woman was walking in the area of the Whisper Way Trail, Yellow Trail, and Red Trail on Thursday afternoon when one of her dogs encountered a coyote and never returned.

David Hubbard, who identified the dogwalker as his wife in an interview with Boston 25, said the coyote made off with their beloved 6-year-old Cavapoo named Harry.

“They went to a spot they always loved in Hopkinton, especially because there’s almost nobody ever there,” Hubbard said. “He [Harry] usually stays right by her side but he went off into the woods, and didn’t come back.”

When Harry didn’t return David’s wife searched for an hour and then called animal control.

“The wonderful police dept and animal control officer both came to the scene and searched for the dog with her,” said Hubbard.

Hubbard said a police officer helped his wife in the search for her Harry but they didn’t track him down in time.

“She went help help looking for him, sought help looking for him. They eventually found him and it wasn’t good,” Hubbard said.

Initially, Hubbard said his wife thought Harry may have found a friend to play with because of the familiar howling noise he routinely made upon feeling excited.

“She thought, ‘Oh, he found someone to play with.’ Obviously, that wasn’t the case,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard also noted Harry was a fixture in the lives of his teenage twin boys, routinely sleeping in their rooms growing up.

“He was a part of the family,” Hubbard said. “We got Harry us a puppy. He grew up with them.”

In a statement, police wrote, “We feel horrible this happened to someone’s fur buddy. They are members of the family and are a tremendous loss when we lose them. Remember, these are THEIR (coyotes) natural habitats, so please, use caution and be safe when out in the woods.”

This snatching incident comes after another woman had her beloved 9-year-old chihuahua grabbed by a coyote in the nearby town of Milford.

The Milford Animal Control officer told Boston 25 that there are a lot of coyotes in the woods out in town. Residents in the town also reported an exponential increase in coyote sightings in the last five years.

“We’re seeing people’s door cams are starting to pick up more and more occurrences of the coyotes coming through the area and even sometimes wolves,” one resident said.

In an effort to prevent to deter future encounters, Hopkinton police shared some tips that residents should be mindful of, especially while out on walks:

1. Have your dogs on a leash so as to keep them with you at all times, especially the littles.

2. Carry a walking stick if you can

3. Make a lot of noise (whistling, stomping, singing, etc.) so as not to accidentally surprise wild animals as you’re walking

4. If you do see a coyote that doesn’t run when you encounter it, yell and wave your arms, they do not like loud noises. Also, do not run away as this may trigger them to chase you and/or your dog

*******************Public Safety Announcement********************** Please use caution while walking with your dogs and...

Posted by Hopkinton, MA Police Department on Thursday, August 31, 2023

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