A sheep that escaped some time before dawn Thursday from its Weed Street home is at large in north Stamford, according to the head of the New Canaan Police Department’s animal control unit.
Last spotted late Thursday morning on the Philip Johnson Glass House property, the sheep apparently busted out of its crate in a garage on Weed Street and was discovered sleeping on the doorstep at 308 Ponus Ridge shortly after 7:30 a.m.
According to New Canaan Animal Control Officer Mary Ann Kleinschmitt, the sheep’s owner arrived but was unable to secure the animal, which ran off.
“You don’t really secure sheep like you do a dog. You have to do, what we call ‘jump’ them,” Kleinschmitt said.
Photos of the animal are not immediately available. Asked for a description, Kleinschmitt said, “It was a white, your typical shearing white sheep. It just looked like a white sheep, about 55, 60 pounds.”
“It looks like it was pretty dirty when I saw it,” she added. “I mean, it’s been out all night.”
The sheep appeared to head back off of Davenport and into the area of Quarry Road in Stamford, near a reservoir (see map at right), Kleinschmitt said. Stamford police and Aquarion are being notified that the at-large sheep ran into their properties, she said.
The area is known for having coyotes, and Kleinschmitt said she hopes the sheep is found soon for that reason.
“My hope is he will come back to area of the Glass House because that area [near the reservoir) has so many coyotes in it that if he doesn’t get back to the houses, the coyotes will take him out tonight,” she said.
Sheep that had been corralled at the farm on the corner of Smith Ridge and Puddin Hill Roads in New Canaan—now the Grace Farms Church property—sometimes used to get out, but it was easy enough to “scoot them back down into their corral,” Kleinschmitt said.
This is a different situation. The sheep’s Weed Street owner had just purchased the animal yesterday and it was in the garage in a crate, which it kicked out, so that when the owner opened the garage door, it ran off.
“This is their behavior,” Kleinschmitt said. “They’re very hyper. If it was his animal that he had owned for a few years, it would be more situated, more happy to see people. It would not be so spooked.”
Though the Weed Street property where the sheep had newly landed is not strictly speaking a farm, Kleinschmitt said, a resident with enough property can keep farm animals such as sheep. Other farm animals do live on New Canaan property, she said—there’s a cow on Oenoke Ridge, ponies on Smith Ridge and of course there’s a miniature donkey on North Wilton Road.
“We do have these animals around. Don’t forget, this was originally farm country,” Kleinschmitt said. “New Canaan was farmland.”