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Wheaton Police: Coyote Attacks on Small Dogs Reported

In two incidents, a coyote snatched a small dog; in a third, a dog was euthanized after suffering extensive injuries during an attack.

Three recent attacks on small dogs have prompted Wheaton police to alert residents to be alert and to make sure they are protecting their small pets. | Credit: Patch file
Three recent attacks on small dogs have prompted Wheaton police to alert residents to be alert and to make sure they are protecting their small pets. | Credit: Patch file

Wheaton police are advising residents with small pets to be alert and take steps to protect their animals after three report coyotes on small dogs since late November.


In two incidents, the elusive canines outright snatched small dogs and left; in the third attack, the dog survived by had to be euthanized because of its extensive injuries, according to a release city posted on its website Thursday.


Coyotes typically are elusive, remaining out of sight, although their calls can be heard in the evenings in the areas where they live.


But the release states that their food grows more scarce this time of year, which also is when young coyotes mature to the point that head out on their own. Consequently, coyotes are seen more often this time of year as they roam about in the search for food.


Small dogs and cats are both small enough for coyotes to prey upon and large enough to represent a good meal they typically can capture with great efficiency.


The Wheaton Police Department pointed to three recent reports of attacks by coyotes on small dogs:


  • Dec. 10, 2013 — Two coyotes grabbed a dog from outside a home on the 1100 block of South Marcy Avenue.

  • Dec. 8 — A coyote attacked a small dog that was in a fenced yard near North Pierce Avenue and West Liberty Drive. The dog’s injuries were extensive, prompting its euthanization.

  • Nov. 27 — A resident was outside with two dogs in the 1700 block of Sjorgren Court. Police said one of the dogs was on a leash, when a coyote quickly ran in and took the unleashed small dog. A Wheaton police officer saw the coyote leaving the area with the dog.


Police point out that fenced-in yards are no guarantee of your pet’s safety, and urge residents to always keep an eye on small pets outdoors. Police advise keeping the animals on a leash when possible, too.


An encounter with coyotes, the release states, should be met with shouting, clapping hands, running toward it or throwing something in its direction, since acting aggressively will increase the animal’s natural fear of humans.


If you see a coyote acting in a threatening manner, call 911, the release states, and police officers will respond.


Police also advise residents to never feed coyotes, which is prohibited by Section 14-102 of the Wheaton City Code. Also ensure that your are not inadvertently providing them with a source of food, such as pet food that is stored outside or unsecured trash.


The city offers more information about coyotes on the city’s website, where it also has an online report form to report coyote sightings or incidents.


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Ted Schnell (Editor) December 12, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Thank you, Tina. I know this is a hot topic and has been for some years, but I am fairly familiar with coyotes -- I've lived near them in some way, shape or form both in this area and while I lived in Wyoming in the 1980s. // They really are remarkable, smart animals. But they're wild animals that have needs. That they have learned to adapt to urban and suburban life is one more reason the respect them. // Recognizing that, and knowing they're not going anywhere, it makes more sense to likewise adapt. // Just as parents have to keep an eye on their kids, pet owners should be doing the same thing for their charges. // By the way, my wife and I have five, mostly grown kids, as well as two dogs, two cats, and a variety of reptiles my youngest son and older daughter have acquired in recent months. We have to keep an eye on them all.
David Beecher December 12, 2013 at 07:46 PM
http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Coyote-Bites-Drags-Toddler-at-OC-Cemetery-216600781.html I agree coyotes will go after food and as this Mom found out it was her DAUGHTER as she was standing nearby! Dogs are companions, they let you know when non family members come near your home and hundreds of time they have kept a lost child warm and safe when out overnight. Yes, people do need to be outside with their leashed dogs, however all people need to NOT leave food outside either for the coyotes (!) or even their trash uncovered. It is best to bring out garbage in the morning of your pick up day and in garbage cans with secure lids not bags.
Ted Schnell (Editor) December 12, 2013 at 07:54 PM
David, you are absolutely right -- everyone needs to be paying attention to these kinds of details. As I said, when the coyotes stop associating humans with food, they'll be far more likely to look elsewhere.
Vincent December 12, 2013 at 08:49 PM
I must be hallucinating! I keep thinking that I'm seeing a majority of these postings reflecting a responsible stance on pet ownership and a reasonable stance about the coyotes! I expected that from Unheard, as we were both part of the Wheaton Coyote Conflict of 2010. It's good to see that folks are understanding the true nature of the situation with the coyotes in our area. Coyotes are here to stay, as they more adaptable and more tolerant of other creatures than most people I know. Let's keep on keeping on with leashing/watching our pets (and children), securing our trash and the like--best way to keep everyone alive and healthy, except the hungry coyotes, but they'll get by, I'm sure.
Vincent December 12, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Looks like your among the "first responders" on this situation, Unheard! Thanks for the great post!
Vincent December 12, 2013 at 08:58 PM
Thanks for your enlightened outlook, Ted! Thankfully, it seems that we're past the Wheaton Dark Ages where it would get you stoned in the village square or burnt at the stake! It's good to both inform people of the attacks and to purport a reasonable attitude of how to head off further incidents.
Charles O'Malley December 12, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Do you think OBA is a plant? I just hope I don't have to see any posts regarding WHAT ABOUT THE CHILLLLLLDREN???
Chris Borrink December 12, 2013 at 09:49 PM
NBC 5 story today on the attacks in Wheaton - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QiRk6jI-eE
Tom Mouhelis December 12, 2013 at 11:50 PM
Watch your pets period, mine are 65 and 75 pounds and I go out with them in my fenced in yard, be responsible or be dumb!
unheard December 13, 2013 at 08:28 AM
Thank you for your common sense approach, Ted!!
unheard December 13, 2013 at 08:34 AM
Hi Vincent! I agree-this is a nice change from 2010-so far, at least. Do you still have your coyotecabanna ditty? If so, would you be kind enough to re-post it? That one should be considered a Patch "classic." It is sooooo amusing!!!!
Raylan Arcwelder December 14, 2013 at 01:34 AM
Insensitive posters here really should talk to the owners whose pets were killed. As reported, neither watching their pets nor having them leashed prevented the attacks. "be (sic) responsible or be dumb!" That is what my sister should have told the crying man who came to her door on Marcey Avenue after his Jack Russell was killed, to tell her to mind her Pugs? Is that fellow part of the Wheaton Dark Ages, Vincent, the poster who PURPORTS people are stoned in its village square (please note the correct use of the verb, "purports")?
Vincent December 14, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Raylan, as I and many others have mentioned in posts on previous articles, we are not unsympathetic to the pain of the owners of the attacked pets. At the same time, it appears that our society has reached a point where people feel that they should be exempt from natural tragedy and disappointment, that they should live their entire lives in a painless vacuum or else something is wrong that requires dramatic, often violent redressing. And that is the mentality that I rail against, particularly about coyotes, because it's the same mentality that is at the core of these shooting incidents and many, many other violent problems in our society. To put it plainly, a coyote killing someone's pet--as tragic and traumatic as that might be--doesn't give someone the right to seek bloody retribution on coyotes. So if the man who lost his Jack Russell wants to now go on a coyote "witch-hunt," then, yeah, he's a part of that Wheaton Dark Ages. Hopefully, he's a person who is letting reason temper grief and who rationally concedes that the coyote is an animal only trying to keep from starving to death. We are not exempted from loss, merely because we're the dominant species, and we shouldn't use that distinction as an excuse to visit mindless retribution on other creatures.
Vincent December 14, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Unheard, I'll have to dredge my memory to remember Coyot-cobana! I'm sure it's rattling around in my memory somewhere--just a matter of finding it! Stay tuned, I have a feeling that these posts aren't over yet!
Wheaton Watcher December 15, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Vincent, join me on the other coyote story comment string. The Get a Life Gang needs to refresh its crusade on the patience of the good readers of Wheaton Patch.
John December 16, 2013 at 01:32 PM
Well, while I wouldn't be rude to the person who lost their dog, you have to be smart and watch them CLOSELY. Coyotes will grab them in 2.5 seconds, most of these dogs are smaller than rabbits, and easy pickens for the coyote. Keep all food sources/garbage away. I live out west more now, and it's SO easy to keep the varmints out of town with a little clean up. One lazy neighbor will ruin it for everyone.
compass1616 December 21, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Of course you have to be sensible with your pet in any situation, but I will shoot to kill any coyote that comes on my property. My dogs are leashed and if one of these wild animals comes close I will consider it a threat and relieve it of its hunger. It's time for the powers that be to allow those of us trained to do so to thin the heard.
chrisrus December 22, 2013 at 03:07 AM
Experts recommend taking action to remove problem coyotes at stages 4 and 5 of Baker and Timm's hierarchy of coyote incidents: 1. An increase in observing coyotes on streets and in yards at night 2. An increase in coyotes approaching adults and/or taking pets at night 3. Early morning and late afternoon daylight observance of coyotes on streets and in parks and yards 4. Daylight observance of coyotes chasing or taking pets 5. Coyotes attacking and taking pets on leash or in close proximity to owners; coyotes chasing joggers, bicyclists and other adults 6. Coyotes seen in and around children’s play areas, school grounds and parks in midday 7. Coyotes acting aggressively toward adults during midday
chrisrus December 22, 2013 at 03:09 AM
According to the Wheaton Coyote policy, "if there is a nuisance coyote on your property that you would like removed, the following individuals are licensed through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to provide residential trapping/removal services for coyotes: Brad Lundsteen, Suburban Wildlife Control: 630-443-4500 Gary Zirves, Illinois Wildlife Control: 815-337-2719"
chrisrus December 22, 2013 at 03:11 AM
Please note however that Please note that trapping and removing a coyote is illegal in Illinois without the proper permits. A property owner or tenant must obtain a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit to trap and remove most species of wildlife. For more information, see http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/solutions_self.cfm
unheard December 22, 2013 at 09:45 AM
As also noted above, it's a good time to add that removing or trapping coyotes, even with hiring and paying for a licensed trapper, will only increase the coyote population in the future. That is why reliable trappers will NOT do so.
Vincent December 22, 2013 at 10:29 AM
Hey, Unheard! Looks like we're barking up the same old tree! Maybe we should take a new tack: go ahead Wheatonites, start shooting coyotes (that'll thin the herd of gun-slingers in Wheaton, which is far more disturbing than coyotes) and hiring trappers to "thin the herd," so we can have more coyotes! What a bunch of hysterical babies live in this city!
Vincent December 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM
A Christmas carol for Wheaton: T'was three nights before Christmas, and all through the town, Wheaton folks were dreaming of putting coyotes down. On their hands, they wanted to wear bright Christmas blood, before they professed to all God's creatures love. What a nice sentiment for this season of cheer; a beautiful thought to last all through the year!
unheard December 22, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Hi Vincent! I think you may have a point. They don't seem to understand that we are actually helping them. They say they don't want coyotes in their neighborhood and when we try to tell them that trapping/ killing them will only bring more, they become angry. At this point, I am suspecting that some ARE trappers who are loosing money. What do you think?
unheard December 22, 2013 at 11:02 AM
Hi Vincent-awww, yip,yip hooray, another awesome (and, scarily true) ditty from you-thanks!!! When I have more time in the new year, I still plan to search for your coyotecabanna song though. (Now, a famous Patch "classic.")
unheard December 22, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Vincent, for those who may not know, "yip yip" translates to thank you in coyote speak.
compass1616 December 22, 2013 at 10:50 PM
chrisrus.......we are certainly at and beyond stages 4 and 5....and to the others....explain how removing/destroying makes more....that is not sarcasm....please explain the theory to me.
chrisrus December 23, 2013 at 01:37 AM
The theory is this: http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/images/photos/coyote-killing-infographic.jpg As you can see, this is an infographic from the Humane Society, which is against trapping. Please read beyond the big bold print. It only works in cases of the removal of Alpha pack members, not with solitary animals, non-alphas, juveniles, entire packs. So the phenomenon is not going to occur in all cases. And it takes "a year or two" before the effect is felt. Also, experts have pointed out that the study this was based on was about around sheep ranches not urban coyote problems; not coyotes per se. Those that have been fed or set up shop too near playgrounds or who get to used to people, etc; this is no reason not to at least remove those animals.
unheard December 23, 2013 at 09:06 AM
compass1616, I wondered this too. Basically, if a creatures survival is threatened it will only procreate more, to ensure it's survival. It makes perfect sense though hunters and trappers will certainly disagree and, in turn, claim it's shoddy research, there's uncertainty, etc. To be honest, had the city listened to the vast, vast majority of the Wheaton citizens years ago and NOT hired (and paid for) the unscrupulous trapper, we wouldn't be where we are today. The coyotes would then not feel threatened so, in turn, no need to "over procreate."
Vincent December 25, 2013 at 02:32 PM
I want to say that, despite all our differences, I wish each and every one of you a "Happy Holiday!" Oh, and that goes for all the humans, too!

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