By Tom Auchterlonie
Kristin Porteus had never seen a coyote until three came into her yard and killed one of her dogs.
She let her dogs outside on what she thought was just another morning when she saw two coyotes appear from behind a shed in her Mount Kisco back yard.
She responded by yelling at them. “Just making any kind of noise I could," she added.
The two coyotes took off, Porteus said, but her husband warned her there was another coyote behind her.
It had her dog Roxy in its mouth.
Her husband yelled, the coyote dropped Roxy and fled, but it was too late. Roxy's two puppies, mixes of Chihuahua and Terrier, managed to get back inside.
Since that time, she has been "pretty petrified," Porteus said.
Roxy was a 3-year-old rescue dog.
Since Roxy's death Aug. 2, Mount Kisco police have sent out an online alert through Nixle to warn people. News of the attack spread; it received coverage from local and regional media.
The attack comes months after New Castle had its own share of reported coyote attacks. Public discussions with coyote experts, held in May and June in downtown Chappaqua, included advice to do a technique called hazing, where people attack coyotes by making loud noise and moving towards them.
Meanwhile, Porteus now thinks there had been earlier signs of coyotes on her street, Langeland Drive, which straddles Mount Kisco and New Castle.
Examples she gave included disappearing cats, including her own, and a report she made to police about hearing an animal make a loud suffering noise on a recent night.
“Many cats have gone missing over the years," she said.
Porteus also described the coyotes she encountered as being comparable to a German Shepherd.
“They were very big."
Porteus is changing her routine to try and prevent another attack. She recalled bringing a pan outside so she can bang on it, and waiting for someone else to also be present. Porteus also plans to have a 6-foot fence erected, most of which would be on top of a stone wall system, to keep coyotes out.
“I'm constantly looking around now," she said.