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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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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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