Small Dog Found Dead In Possible Coyote Attack

Updated: 11/22/10 4:20 p.m.

WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) – Jennifer Januga says her little Shih Tzu was only outside for 20 minutes. But she says it was enough time for a coyote to attack and her kill her dog, Willie. CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports now other suburban dog owners are being warned.

Januga had just returned home from a business trip, and her husband was caring for their sick daughter when he let their little dog, Willie, out into the backyard.

“We were looking for the dog and we went into the neighbor’s yard and found him,” Januga said.

Willie had been killed by a coyote. The Shih Tzu had been outside for less than 20 minutes.

“It was devastating to have your dog mutilated by a coyote,” said Januga. “It’s very terrible.”

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Januga and her neighbors say coyotes are no strangers in their section of Wheaton.

“The coyote in this neighborhood runs up and down the block likes it’s a domestic dog,” said Januga.

Tina Ettinger stays close to her dog Coco.

“As a pet owner, you just can’t let them out, even if you have a fenced-in yard,” said Ettinger. “The coyotes are everywhere.”

Wheaton police have a list of recommendations for residents. Among them, don’t leave food out for small animals.

“When you feed small animals, such as chipmunks or squirrels, they are in the coyotes’ food chain, and a coyote will frequent that area to look for those animals,” said Deputy Chief Tom Meloni.

Meloni also suggests blowing a whistle or making other loud noises to scare off coyotes. There have been no reports of coyotes attacking people in Wheaton.

Still, Ettinger won’t let her young children play outside alone.

“I look around before I have them out here,” she said.

Januga, heartbroken over the death of Willie, has a warning for other pet owners.

“If you have a small dog, keep it on a leash for sure,” Januga said. “Walk your dog or be out with your dog at all times.”

Januga said a day after her dog was killed, she spotted a coyote in her backyard.

Wheaton police said they’re getting at least 60 calls and e-mails a month describing coyote sightings, about the same as other years.

The town has what it calls a “coyote policy.” To read it, click here.

Anyone witnessing aggressive behavior on the part of any wild animal is asked to call 911.

  • not sayin jus sayin

    dont go crazy here folks, people are the real intruders…….

    • Bex

      Yep, I agree.

  • Natasha

    Did this dog owner have a proper 8′ fence? Irresponsible pet owners = dead pets. Sorry to sound insensitive, but most times, that is the case. One could argue that suburban pet owners are not expecting coyotes in their yards, but there has been well enough media attention on the subject so that suburban pet owners are aware of the coyotes. (And yes…I know coyotes can jump fences, but they generally do not go to the trouble to scale 8′ fences.) RIP doggie.

  • Katie

    With all the new construction going on, the coyotes, skunks, and other animals have no were to go. I have small dog, I go out side with him every time he goes out no matter what time it is. Wheaton has had this problem for a while. Midia has reported this all the time. Pet owners, GO OUT WITH YOUR ANIMALS. Poor puppy, To the pet owner, our prayers are with you, I know there part of the family. Not your fault. It just takes a blink of an eye.

  • Bex

    All these comments are completely spot on. It is truly unfortunate for this family that they were not aware of the precautions you need to take now. I live in the country and we have coyotes everywhere. I never leave my dog out there unattended. Even though he is a 35# border collie mix, he’s still smaller than a coyote, and it’s better safe then sorry.

  • just saw a coyote in that unusual? - Chicago - Illinois (IL) - Page 4 - City-Data Forum

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  • Rita Barrick

    Coyotes are everywhere, people should know by now not to get into a tizzie about coyotes, keep a close watch on your little dogs……and let coyotes be coytoes……you can’t stop mother nature………and coyotes Don’t attack people…..only little dogs…….

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