Letter: Wheaton Resident 'Disgusted' With City's 'Ineffective' Coyote Policy

A Wheaton resident responds after coyote attacks in and near Wheaton, criticizes city for not sending public notice. To send a letter to the editor, email Charlotte@Patch.com.

Wheaton Patch accepts and publishes letters to the editor emailed to Local Editor Charlotte Eriksen at Charlotte@patch.com, or sent as a message through the Wheaton Patch Facebook page. Please note in subject lines the message is a Letter to the Editor.


The following is a letter Wheaton resident Kathy O'Brien sent to Wheaton Police Chief Mark Field:

Chief Field,
I am very dismayed to see that the Wheaton Police Department has decided to keep its head in the sand concerning the public safety of Wheaton residents after recent coyote attacks. To think that when a traffic accident occurs, an email is sent out... Yet this is what has happened four times within the last three weeks in a two-city area and will keep happening until the coyotes are killed.
One of the incidents had two dogs in a fenced backyard with the adult and the attack still occurred.
Your limited scope of postcard warnings of 750' is a joke unless you firmly believe that the coyotes only travel a 750' diameter and their attacks are centrally located in the specific area you have deemed deserves coverage.
You and the City of Wheaton are putting all of the responsibility on the residents to prevent attacks without even giving us the specifics of the past repeated attacks!
The 'coexist with coyotes' campaign is a stupid waste of energy of the police and city trying to appease certain loud mouth "residents." The actual taxpayers are being given stupid directives that have no bearing unless the coyotes both understand and will maintain what you believe is their proper behavior.
They are not solitary hunters when they are traveling and killing in packs of 4 or more. Keep in mind, I am the one who called 911 on the night of Monday the 18th of January 2010, to say I had 3 coyotes on my driveway. It went without any attention by the city/police until Mr. and Mrs. Graff's dog Buddy was attacked and killed on his property January 27, 2010.
They do not scatter when yelled at, or the schools would not have had inside recesses the many times that there were "too many coyotes" out on the playground/field.
When one is carrying their dog, they are not able to clap nor wave their hands, (as if that would work!).
When one is going out for a walk, one might be able to carry, bags, tissues, keys, cell phone, water, snacks and perhaps one projectile that the rules of engagement stipulate we are to be throwing at the coyotes, yet, it is unlikely that we are possibly carrying enough to keep up our assault as we have been told we must do.
I am disgusted with the policy in that the owners of pets, who not only provide notification to the homeowners of people lurking in their vicinity and are integral to the economy of several business in the Wheaton area, such as vets, pet stores and groomers, are being subjected to excessive threats in well built-up residential areas.
The coyote population is being allowed to become a massive year round threat and it seems until they attack a child or an adult defending their child or pet, the city wants to pretend it is not a problem, or at least not their problem, even though they supposedly are the local governing body.
When homeowners are not allowed to be in their own backyard, fenced or otherwise because coyotes that are not afraid of the human smell are on their back doorstep! Not at the perimeter of the yard, not 750' away but the inch of space adjacent to the dwelling itself should make any reasonable authority realize that the conditions where coyotes fear and stay away from humans is no longer being met.
It is a problem and it will show, whether you alert the public or not, that the city/police chose not to be effective and will be accountable for their inaction.
Kathy OBrien



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Vincent October 27, 2012 at 12:39 AM
In case anyone is interested, this argument has moved over to the new story about Wheaton coyotes. Isn't it interesting that the words "Wheaton" and "coyote" are now paired together. No one talks about the Naperville coyotes, the Lisle coyotes, the Warrenville coyotes, etc. Perhaps it has something to do with a genetic flaw in the Wheatonite brain that make them susceptible to mass hysteria over virtually non-existent problems.
Vincent October 27, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Oh, and by the way, McDonnough, I can't even imagine what type of clever idea you have in posing your questions. If you're suggesting that Starry has a right to put food on the table by any means he can, I'm guessing that he could make a better living doing something more productive than killing supposedly nuisance animals.
unheard October 27, 2012 at 01:20 AM
chrisrus, as for your links, I will save everyone some time. Please click on the last link that chrisrus posted and simply scroll down to the very last sentence which states that fences don't always provide protection, please watch your pets. See, simple as pie! Wheaton will not cull again, since they already tried it and now there are more "issues." It will only exacerbate the problem which numerous citizens tried to tell them before. Due to Peter Roskam, presumably, they didn't listen so they will be extremely careful this time. It really also boils down to a simple basic point which is .... how would you feel if you had to fear being shot simply for trying to eat? Sadly, some posting here don't seem to be able to think with empathy or sympathy though. They seem to love the idea of looking something in the eye and shooting it instead. Well, I believe what goes around comes around. If they don't mind that on their conscience what can you possibly say?
chrisrus October 27, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Don't ignore the rest, read it all. Your taxes paid for http://www.wheaton.il.us/Departments/police/safety/coyotes/default.aspx?id=5338 , so read it. At Stage Three, "coyotes are frequently seen during the day, appearing in yards on an increasing basis, but they flee when approached by people. Pets in yards are attacked", then Wheaton will "consider removal program", and at Stage Four, "Coyotes taking pets from yards, approaching people without fear, acting aggressive, growling and barking when subject to a negative stimuli, following children", they "hire trappers". It says "Of all the full control techniques used to date, trapping has had the greatest observed effect of reinstalling a fear of humans into the local coyote population. Where 2-5 coyotes are trapped in a problem locality, the remaining coyotes will often disperse, although this partially depends on the size of the area and the number of coyote family units in residence and the existing level of wariness in the animals. At locations where leg hold traps have been used successfully, coyote problems typically have not reoccurred for at least two years and usually longer."
unheard October 27, 2012 at 01:54 PM
chrisrus, yet again, you foolishly wrote what you choose to ignore. Coyotes "will flee when approached by people" Your words/post, not mine. Soooo... I will write it again and see if you ignore it again. WATCH YOUR PETS!!!! And traps are very cruel-sympathy time here, though you don't ever respond to that either, You see, OFTEN other animals and even children become victims of them. Solution: once again watch your pets as most dog owners do, considering how much this issue has been discussed lately, it should be blatantly apparent, right? Care to respond to this specifically-probably not since there's no bloodshed involved. Only kindness and TRUE solutions, something you don't seem intelligent enough to understand. See, you can't only post and discuss the parts you choose too. Other people reading these see right through this, in a heartbeat. Your avoidance of kind solutions is extremely apparent and disturbing.


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