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Dog's Death Could Be Second Fatal Coyote Attack Since December

PALATINE, IL — A suburban family is mourning the loss of their dog after they say a coyote got into their fenced yard and attacked the family pet on Sunday. It could be the second dog killed by a coyote in Palatine since December.

Jayda Greiwe told WGN she found footprints in the snow and believes a coyote must have scaled the home's 6-foot fence to get at Chili, a dog the family adopted about a year ago.

"It got him right in the throat… I was in complete shock," she told WGN. Chili was rushed to the vet but had to be euthanized. Police said coyotes can in fact climb fences up to 6 feet high and are known to dig under fences to get into yards.

 The family said it's the second dog they've lost to a coyote attack, and that they put up the fence after the first incident.

If it was a coyote that attacked Chili, it's not the first fatal attack in recent weeks.

On Dec. 17, police said a dachshund was carried off by a coyote during a pre-dawn walk with its owner.

The owner he was walking the dog around 5:45 a.m. when a coyote ran up and bit the dog on its neck, pulling it from its collar and running off with it. Police said the owner also spotted a second coyote chasing the one that ran off with the dog.

Officers searched the area but were unable to find the dog. Police said the owner found the pet dead in a common area near town homes on Parkside Drive several hours later.

"It should be noted that S. Parkside Dr. is in close proximity to a forested park that coyotes possibly inhabit," police said.

Coyote attacks are rare, but the animals are frequently spotted in the area, including 15 reported sightings since October. Police offered these tips for keeping pets safe:

  • Avoid leaving any food items or garbage outside; this includes food for squirrels and other wildlife. Do not feed coyotes.
  • Fallen fruit in yards should be picked up. It can attract coyotes.
  • Do not leave pets unattended outside. Leaving pets unattended or tied up in an area without fencing leaves a pet defenseless to escape a potential predator.
  • Coyotes have been known to jump fences as high as 6 feet and dig under a fence to obtain a food source.
  • Always walk your dog on a leash and never send a dog chasing after a coyote.
  • Reports of coyotes attacking humans are extremely rare. If you encounter a coyote, or a coyote attacks your pet make loud noises and wave your arms to scare the coyote off. At night, vigorous flashing of a flashlight at the coyote may scare it off. Do not turn your back or run.
  • Walking your dog during daylight hours is a best practice. Coyotes can be out at all times of day, but are most active between dusk and dawn. During cold weather/winter months, food is scarce for coyotes.
  • Coyotes have certain protections in the State of Illinois. For more information about coyotes in our area, you can contact the Palatine Police Department Animal Warden at (847) 359-9000.