The Fairfield family dog ​​was euthanized after animal control officers mistook him for a young coyote, say police – Hartford Courant

A Fairfield family dog ​​was believed to be a small coyote and euthanized this week, prompting an apology from the police chief and an internal investigation into the department’s animal control procedures.

Police were called to animal control around 9pm on Wednesday night to assist an animal in “serious need” near Lawrence Road, Police Chief Christopher Lyddy said in a statement on Friday.

“The animal, found overnight in adverse weather conditions, has been identified as a young coyote by several people, including two Fairfield Animal Control officers,” Lyddy said.

Those officials contacted the state under wildlife procedures, but were told there were no available rehabilitation facilities that could care for the animal, Lyddy said. The animal was in great distress after “prolonged exposure to the elements,” so officials took it to a local animal shelter to be euthanized in accordance with standard department procedures, he added.

“Upon subsequent inspection, it was determined that the animal was a small dog and not a young coyote,” Lyddy said. “The department met personally with the family and offered their sincere and deepest condolences and apologies for the loss of the family.”

The police department oversees the local animal control department, so officers are reviewing department procedures to try to prevent such mistakes in the future, Lyddy said.

Fairfield detectives are also investigating what happened and a part-time animal control officer has been placed on administrative leave, Lyddy added.

“This is a tragic and heartbreaking situation, and as a dog lover, my heart goes out to this family,” said First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick. “I know emotions run high but I ask our community to please allow police time to investigate the full circumstances of what happened.”

Zach Murdock can be reached at [email protected].

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