FAIRFIELD – The following is a statement from Chief Christopher Lyddy and the Fairfield Police Department regarding an animal control incident involving an animal believed to be a coyote.
“On Wednesday, Nov. 11 at approximately 9 p.m., the Fairfield Police Department was called to assist Fairfield Animal Control in an investigation regarding an animal in severe distress in the area of Lawrence Road.
“The animal, which was found at night during adverse weather conditions, was identified as a young coyote by multiple individuals, including two Fairfield Animal Control Officers (ACO). Following wildlife procedures, the responding Fairfield Animal Control Officers contacted state resources, who advised the ACOs that there were no rehabilitation facilities equipped to render aid to the animal.
“The animal, which was believed to be a coyote, appeared to be in a state of severe distress, suffering from prolonged exposure to the elements. The animal was subsequently brought to our local animal shelter to be humanely euthanized following the department’s procedural standards.
“Upon subsequent review, it was determined that the animal was a small dog, not a young coyote. The department has met in person with the family and offered its sincere and deepest condolences and apologies for the family’s loss.
“The department, which oversees Fairfield Animal Control, is currently reviewing its internal procedures to work to prevent such an incident from occurring in the future. The incident remains under active investigation by the Fairfield Police Detective Bureau. A part-time Animal Control Officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.”
First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick added, “This is a tragic and heartbreaking situation, and as a dog lover, my heart goes out to this family. I know emotions are high, but I am asking our community to please allow time for the police to investigate the full circumstances of what transpired.”