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Resident Reports Coyote Snatched Her Dog from Her Yard

Dog becomes fourth to fall victim to coyotes since December, when the city urged owners not to leave pets unattended outdoors.

A Wheaton, Ill., woman said that last week a coyote grabbed one of her small pets from her yard. It is the fourth pet to fall victim to coyotes since November. | Credit: Patch file
A Wheaton, Ill., woman said that last week a coyote grabbed one of her small pets from her yard. It is the fourth pet to fall victim to coyotes since November. | Credit: Patch file

A little more than a month after Wheaton officials warned residents to take precautions after coyotes grabbed two small dogs and fatally injured a third, another resident has reported the loss of a dog to coyotes.


Allison Jacobs, a Wheaton teacher and mother of two, last week wrote to Wheaton Patch to report that her dog had become the fourth coyote fatality since November.


“... Our dog disappeared from our fenced in yard yesterday morning (Jan. 22) without a trace,” she wrote in an email to Wheaton Patch. “There were no human footprints leading from our yard, the gates were closed, and due to the snow there was no way the dog could have gotten under the fence.


“We have coyotes in the neighborhood and believe that a coyote took her from our yard,” she continued. “Paw prints were observed leading away from the yard. This all happened in a matter of minutes.”


She learned from her neighbors this was believed to be the fourth such attack on pet dogs since November.


“Dogs are disappearing at an alarming rate and I am afraid for my surviving dog's life,” she wrote. “I am also afraid to go outside with my other dog because I don't know what is awaiting me or my children.”


Jacobs said she wanted to alert the community that the attacks on small pets continues to be a concern.


Likely the best solution is what the city advised in December, when it issued the release.


Typically elusive, coyotes try to stay out of sight and generally are scavengers or hunt small prey such as rodents. But food becomes scarce in winter, which typically also is when younger coyotes mature and venture out on their own, making competition for food even more intense.


Since coyotes are opportunistic feeders, a small pet left unattended, even for just a minute or so, becomes a quick meal they can capture swiftly and efficiently, to the chagrin of the owner.


Police said in December that fenced-in yards are not enough to protect a small pet and urged residents to not leave small pets alone outdoors, and even advised keeping their small pets on a leash while outdoors.


Read more about the steps authorities advise when dealing with coyotes in the Wheaton Patch story on Dec. 12, 2013: Wheaton Police: Coyote Attacks on Small Dogs Reported.


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Vincent January 31, 2014 at 01:01 PM
OBA, yes, life is precious--I completely agree--and yes, we should do all we can to preserve it. Nobody is arguing that and well they shouldn't. I just happen to feel that going on a coyote killing spree is a waste of life, too. I explained my feelings on the subject above and why go into it again? I'm not inclined to belabor the point further by explaining that, "all good things must come to an end."
Vincent January 31, 2014 at 01:03 PM
Cyote--balance with common sense--great combination! Where does one get it, though?! And how much does it go for?!
c yote January 31, 2014 at 03:17 PM
It should be free not taught in schools it should come from home!!! I am not a tree hugger or anti people my concerns are that we don't take blame for our mistakes we expect others to do it for us why why should the bill be paid by someone other those with the problem? I am pretty sure yotes have been a problem before there was government and people took care of it well have few backyards to cut through lol
unheard January 31, 2014 at 04:45 PM
L R Vincent was actually very clear about his research. It came from the state of California, if you'll recall.
unheard January 31, 2014 at 04:58 PM
O. B. A. clearly you were not at the city meetings around four years ago when this was discussed at great length. Please check the archives if you don't want to believe us. Here's what happened- our tax money went to a trapper who referred to himself as a "ghost in the night." This made many hunters nervous. He was still hired and we paid for him to cull coyotes and they reproduced more in turn since this is simply what happens. (Had we not culled then, it's likely we wouldn't even be discussing this now.) The city FINALLY understands this so, no, there will be no more culling. If you really love your pets as you say you do this should be a relief to you. I grew up letting my dogs loose in my yard but, that was then, this is now. I prefer that my dogs are safe so though I miss the old days at times, I understand the logic.
unheard January 31, 2014 at 05:02 PM
Vincent, I think you get to the heart of the matter and with much more humor than I do. I also appreciate your thorough research and your naming specific sites. (The trustworthy kind at that, not the ones you often see here.)
Vincent January 31, 2014 at 08:24 PM
c yote, yeah, I'm getting you. Used to be that people also did wrong and tried to hide it; now they want to do wrong and be told they're right. Weird world we live in. Well, I have to be off--got some baying at the moon to do. (Better hurry before that snow gets in!)
Vincent January 31, 2014 at 08:25 PM
Thanks, Unheard! Great perspective from your post, too!
Vincent January 31, 2014 at 08:27 PM
Taking a page from Matsuo Basho's book, let's have a little haiku... An old town, A coyote leaping, Grrrr!
c yote January 31, 2014 at 08:55 PM
Vincent will listen for you and howl back don't need the moon to sing
L R January 31, 2014 at 11:00 PM
Take note on how Jackson, MI plans on solving its coyote problems. Vincent maybe you and your pack should go visit Jackson, MI and howl as loud as you want. http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2013/12/seventh_annual_deer_harvest_at.html
Epluribusanus January 31, 2014 at 11:09 PM
RD has no character!
Lisa February 01, 2014 at 08:50 AM
L R - The link you posted got cut off, so I'll try it here for you: http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2013/12/seventh_annual_deer_harvest_at.html For those who don't want to take the time to read the article, it is about city and park officials in Jackson, MI, receiving permission from the MI Department of Natural Resources to kill an unlimited number of coyotes until Feb. 10 by sharpshooters with proper permits and certification in an effort to cull them "because they have become a public nuisance and are less afraid of human contact, particularly in the Cascades Golf Course areas." A private animal control company has also been hired to hunt the coyotes. There are some interesting comments from readers posted with the article.
Lisa February 01, 2014 at 08:55 AM
The link got cut off in my post too, so here is the rest of it "nual_deer_harvest_at.html" (add that to the part of the link that posted). Or, you can click on the partial link in LR's post or mine and then put "coyote cull" in the search field on that page.
RD February 01, 2014 at 09:30 AM
I would like to apologize for my rants and especially to Vincent and cyote. Our pup killed by one is still very fresh and I became overly passionate. We have let him out by himself for 12 years and for this to happen was quite emotionally charged. I do not know what the answer might be but probably the best word is vigilant. Even if you let your pup out in a fenced in yard, be with him. Sorry again everyone.
c yote February 01, 2014 at 11:21 AM
Rd I too have animals and know the emotion I would protect them best I can just don't want people going off half cocked on killing spree think that could be dangerous for innocent animals and people also very nice of you you didn't hide your true feelings behind
Vincent February 01, 2014 at 02:06 PM
Thank you, RD, and I apologize as well, as I've obviously misjudged you. It takes a great deal of character to apologize and to share so candidly your loss with us. Your post brought back some rather painful memories about when we lost a pup a few years back--nothing to do with coyotes, but still... Such pain speaks of such love, I suppose. Still hard to think about our treasured pets who are no longer with us.
RD February 01, 2014 at 02:31 PM
I just never ever expected Ozzy to go in this manner. And I was helpless being in Denver at the time and hearing my wife's cries on the phone as she had to go through the trauma. Just sad all the way around. Onward and upward. New pup coming in March. :) Thanks cyote and Vincent.
Vincent February 01, 2014 at 03:19 PM
Horrible... I can only imagine how that felt. Thanks, RD.
Vincent February 01, 2014 at 03:57 PM
c yote, I agree that the coyote shooting idea sound dangerous for innocent animals and people alike. It was that type of thing that has reduced the wolf population to virtually nothing in this country, and to me, the wolf is the embodiment of the American spirit, a perfect balance of interdependence and fierce independence.
c yote February 01, 2014 at 04:50 PM
Also the wolf is mom nature way of balance as available game decreases so does size of the pack as proven on isle royal mn
Allison Jacobs February 06, 2014 at 10:44 PM
Shame on those of you that think that any of this is a big joke. I have sat here for days and read all of these awful comments about the article that was written about my dog. If you think this is a joke, I would be more than happy to send you the picture of my poor dog's leg that was found by a fellow Wheaton resident. This has been a very traumatic for my family and my young children.
Lisa February 06, 2014 at 11:45 PM
Allison - I'm so sorry for the loss of a beloved member of your family, since that's what a pet is. I hope you all find some comfort as time goes by. We had to put our 17-yr-old cat to sleep last week because of his failing health, and my young children are still grieving, but each day is a little easier.
Alan February 07, 2014 at 11:29 AM
Allison, The article indicated that “... Our dog disappeared from our fenced in yard yesterday morning (Jan. 22) without a trace,” NOW..., you have pictures showing left overs of your dog?!?!..., and you want to shove them down someone's throat?!?! That's creepy, if not bordering on ghoulish. I suggest you seek some counseling...
L R February 07, 2014 at 05:26 PM
No Alan, I think you need some counseling regarding your posts about the residents of Wheaton providing a well fed meal to coyotes. That's creepy that you equate a pet as a well fed meal for a coyote and think that is the problem. It is apparent that you have never lost a pet or maybe you don't even own one! In either case unless you have experienced the loss of a pet you really have no business making stupid comments. Losing a pet from natural causes is one thing and at least you know what happens to it, but having your pet chewed apart is a totally different matter. Again, check out the link about Jackson, MI on their plan to solve its coyote problem, maybe Wheaton should do the same thing so families can enjoy having pets without the fear of being snatched.
L R February 07, 2014 at 05:37 PM
Allison, I agree as a current pet owner and one that has lost a pet due to natural causes, the comments from some of these posts are disgusting. I agree that joking about such a sensitive topic and people feeling coyotes have rights and should be saved is beyond belief.
Vincent February 07, 2014 at 08:55 PM
Allison Jacobs, I truly feel for your family's loss and feel that it's very tragic. Make no mistake that losing a pet is a life-altering experience. It's horrible to have to face the emptiness that was once occupied by a wonderful, giving creature. Nothing funny in that. At the same time, I can't help but to indulge in a bit of levity regarding the attitude that because of losing a pet, it is now advisable to go out and kill a bunch of other wonderful, though different, creatures in retribution. If I didn't do that, then I would soon go completely mad over this situation and the state of the world in general. Nonetheless, I hope you and your family find peace.
Vincent February 07, 2014 at 09:14 PM
LR--for some reason you feel that people who are against culling coyotes haven't experienced and don't understand the trauma of losing a pet, as if one thing hinges on the other. I have lost a number of pets in various ways, including one who was killed by a wild animal, and yet I have no desire to see coyotes or any other creature hunted down in retribution. It's quite obvious to me that everyone here understands what it is to have the loving devotion of a pet, and it is obvious that anyone who does is going to eventually suffer the loss of that wonderful creature. I would say to you that you have severely misjudged many folks here--as I rather misjudged RD--it's an easy enough mistake to make. You seem to feel that there will be some satisfaction in culling these coyotes. I rather doubt that's the case and I would be disturbed to imagine anyone feeling that way, and sincerely hope no one does. You seem to think that culling will help the problem and it won't, as is well documented by various sources that you can readily find. I don't know what they do in MI, but if their solution to problems is to try to kill their way out of the situation, maybe they ought to think a bit harder about it. Or maybe they just like killing things and they leap at any excuse to do so. I just don't think that culling is any sort of a solution to this problem, and I'd expect better from folks in this educated area.
Paul Davis April 07, 2014 at 10:56 AM
Culling is senseless. Promoting wearing coyote fur and having a coyote season, that works. But this "I'll hire someone to cull" mentality is just silly, you either have constant pressure on them or you don't. A season and promoting fur wearing again would accomplish this. So would a bounty for coyote ears. But hiring someone to do what needs to be done is a foolish waste of money.
Vincent April 07, 2014 at 08:26 PM
And, evidently, discussing this further is a waste of time, Paul Davis. You're two months late to the game, but still... Coyote fur? Really? I'm supposing this is what some Wheatonites aspire to to delude themselves into believing they are part of the 2% who could afford to wear mink or such, and even so choose not to? You could probably cobble together a coon-skin cap and pretend to be Daniel Boone as you stalk those coyotes, too. Another idea is that we leave the coyotes alone and get on to the bigger business of our town.

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