Extra Protections Urged for Outdoor Pets

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Homeowners with pets of any kind that live in outdoor enclosures — horses, donkeys, goats, chickens, geese, et al — are encouraged by Animal Control Officer Mark Harper to add extra protection by installing an electric fence.

Recently in Weston, Officer Harper reports, a pet alpaca was attacked and eaten by a large black bear, despite a physical fence system that should have been sufficient.

Mr. Harper is concerned that this particular bear will do it again. He is also concerned that seemingly sturdy enclosures may be vulnerable to other bears. He recommends backing up a physical enclosure with an electric fence around the perimeter, one high enough — at least 48 inches tall — and carrying enough current to forestall an attack.

“Bears are incredibly strong, even the little ones,” said Officer Harper. “And they will walk around a fence to find a weakness. They will jump over a fence that isn’t tall enough, and they may even break through an electric fence that isn’t powerful enough.”

Mr. Harper offers to advise residents who contact Animal Control about specifications for physical and electric fence systems.

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