• Now is the time for action
    November 21,2012
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    I just read the letter to the editor (Nov. 16) from Mr. Dunning in Springfield.

    The excerpt from his letter about coyotes stealing and killing his animals has compelled me to write. I had a darling little 3-year-old, 9 pound, Pomeranian-Maltese mix named Fifi. On the night of Oct. 27, I had just returned home from the Halloween parade. Feeling a little chilled, I decided to make myself a hot cup of coffee. I also decided it was Fifi’s potty time.

    Fifi went off the back porch to her usual spot. She always needed a few minutes to do her business, leashed she would not. I could clearly see her from the kitchen window, our yard lit by a motion sensor. In the 2-3 minutes it took to start the coffeemaker, I thought I saw a flash of some sort. I stepped out onto the porch and not seeing her, I began calling.

    There was no response, yet I could hear the jingling of her tags. Within minutes my husband and I started searching behind our garage and the adjacent yards, calling her with flashlights in hand. I jumped in our vehicle and started toward Stratton Road, driving very slowly trying to check yards on both sides of the street. I turned onto Ronaldo Court across from the Slattery homestead, and there was a coyote running on the side of the road carrying my dog.

    I switched on the high beam and pulled over. The coyote ran behind a house. I jumped out and followed. There he stood behind the house, snarling at me as I stood from a distance ordering him to drop her. He did eventually, but watched me from the trees as I grabbed her and ran for the truck.

    Needless to say, the dog had passed. As brokenhearted and upset as we were, we could at least bury her. Not the case according to my friend who lives on Allen Street. The same happened to her neighbor’s little dachshund only a week before — no body recovered.

    Back in early September, I found and photographed the fur of our blue-eyed part Persian cat skinned by a fisher or fisher cat, as they’re also called. Call it second-hand information or “hearsay,” but I’ve been told a farmer in Brandon recently shot a coyote on his own land for stealing and killing his chickens repeatedly. It was also said an animal rights group contacted the farmer, claiming his actions inhumane. I have several neighbors with dogs small and large (cats, too) who frequently let their pets out to run around in their yards, and not all yards are fenced.

    There are those who may disagree, but I’ve always believed exercise, fresh air and sunshine are as vital to an animal as to a human being. I’ve never once kept a pet confined inside. However, I don’t believe we as Rutland City residents should have to worry about coyotes running through our neighborhoods, harming or killing our beloved pets. Is a child next?

    Who is our acting or current animal control officer since Craig Petrie retired? I worked on Halloween night, but I thought about and worried for the parents walking the streets after dark with their little trick-or-treaters in tow.

    Most of us know the firearms law here in the city but something needs to be done, ASAP.

    Fifi was a rescue dog from an abusive home. We were fortunate to have her for just over a year. She became healthy and very happy. Fifi even once pleasantly interrupted a mayor’s meeting at City Hall. She was loved and adored by my family, as well as our extended families. Thank you, Fifi, for bringing us so much joy! Thank you, also, to Mr. and Mrs. Gary Lambert, owners of the Pooch Parlor, for all your kindness.

    SUE SCHANER

    Rutland City
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