West Haven residents concerned over fisher cats

(Guilford Police Animal Shelter photo)

West Haven residents expressed concern Thursday after fisher cats were spotted in a residential neighborhood.

Residents said they never expected the animals to show up in the area.

Timothy Gates, of New Haven, said he has evidence of a fisher cat in his neighbor's yard on Peck Avenue.

"It's kind of new right now. You hear them out in Clinton, never in the city, ever," said Gates.

He said there's more than just one of them.

"We noticed it on the back porch over there, but you can hear them at night fighting, so there's more than one around here," said Gates.

Fisher cats are members of the weasel family and are know to be vicious.

Residents are worried that the fisher cats might go after their small pets.

Despite this concern, Denise Ford, of West Haven Animal Control said there's little they can do.

"Animal Control does not go out for any healthy wildlife, whether it's fisher cats, raccoons, possums. If they are healthy and doing what they're supposed to do, we leave them where they are, because that's what they do," said Ford.

She warned neighbors should be careful and not let their pets outside alone.

"If it's a nuisance animal you have the right to contact a licensed pest control agency, through the state of Connecticut," said Ford.

The city's animal control division is not licensed to trap healthy wildlife.

There was recently a warning in Guilford about the animals.

The Guilford Police Animal Shelter

"It's important to remember that while a fisher cat's diet is made up of small wildlife and plants, they will not pass up a cat or small dog," said police.

An animal shelter in Guilford issued a warning about fisher cats spotted in town.

The Guilford Police Animal Shelter said it received a lot of calls about fishers in the area.

"These little guys can certainly cause a lot of trouble (sometimes just by scaring people with their screams), but they are also part of living out here in the country," the shelter said in a Facebook post.

The animal shelter said fisher cats became scarce in the 19th century due to a loss of habitat and over-hunting. However, they've since made a comeback.

Fisher cats have become a common sight in the area over the last few years.

For more on fisher cats, check out this fact sheet from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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