Residents Advised to Take Safety Precautions
to Avoid Encounters with Coyotes
Poughkeepsie, NY … The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) continues to advise residents to be aware of continued reports of coyotes exhibiting bold/aggressive behavior in the Towns of Poughkeepsie and Hyde Park, notably in areas just north of the Mid-Hudson Bridge to the Hyde Park Drive-In Theater, as well as the City of Poughkeepsie. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) has determined that these behaviors are consistent with coyotes being fed intentionally or unintentionally, creating an increase in coyote encounters. Residents should not leave out food (including for pets) or otherwise attempt to feed coyotes or other animals outdoors.
Additionally, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) coyote conflict guidance advises that January through March is the breeding season for coyotes in New York State. Pup-rearing season extends beyond that into the summer. Coyotes are more territorial during this period and there are increased risks for conflicts.
DBCH reminds residents to avoid contact with wild animals. Do not approach!
The NYS DEC recommends the following precautions:
- DO NOT approach or have contact with wild animals, as they may be rabid.
- Do not feed coyotes.
- Make garbage inaccessible.
- Remove outside food sources including pet food and bird seed. Pet food and garbage attract coyotes and other wildlife, including rodents, and increase risks to people and pets.
- Be alert of your surroundings and take precautions such as carrying a flashlight or a walking stick to deter coyotes.
- Be mindful of children and pets while outdoors. Do not let pets run free.
- Do not allow coyotes to approach people or pets. If you see a coyote, be aggressive in your behavior: stand tall and hold your arms up or out to look as large as possible. If a coyote lingers for too long, make loud noises, wave your arms and throw sticks and stones.
Report coyotes exhibiting bold behaviors (approaching people for food, attacking leashed pets with owners, chasing joggers or bikers, etc.) or repeatedly seen during the daytime in a human-populated area or near residences to the NYS DEC Bureau of Wildlife at 845-256-3098. Please note that seeing a coyote occasionally is not evidence of bold behavior.
Residents should contact their local police department in the case of an emergency.
If there is any physical contact between a coyote and a person or pet, report the incident to DBCH as soon as possible at:
- (845) 486-3404 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- (845) 431-6465 on nights/weekends/holidays
For more information on coyote encounters and prevention methods visit the NYSDEC website. DBCH provides additional information on potential rabies exposure at dutchessny.gov/rabies.