June 9 2004
Sampson said coyotes can be infected with rabies, but it is extremely
rare. Statewide, there have been only two documented cases of coyotes
with rabies since 1994. And it is almost unheard of for the coyotes to
attack humans in New England.
"I wouldn't worry too much about coyotes as far as human interaction,"
Cats and small dogs, on the other hand, can easily become prey for the
"We have had quite a few cats come up missing in the city," said
Sampson. "I know a few have been eaten by coyotes; there is no doubt
One feline victim was owned by Joe Testa, a resident of Allan Dale
Road. He woke one morning in late May to discover that his family's
calico cat had been killed, most likely by a coyote.
Testa didn't see the coyote, but there have been a handful of coyote
sightings around Norwich Circle, which is where the cat's remains were
found. The cat, said Testa, had obviously been killed and eaten by
The cat, named JJ, had been part of the Testa family for 10 years.
"Our two little kids were crying; they were sad," said Testa, a father
to daughters ages 5 and 7. "When my daughters were babies, the cat was
already in the house."