CHICAGO (CBS) — A toy poodle was treated like a chew toy by a wild coyote in Old Town last week – and it’s not the first time such a thing has happened in the area.
On Sunday night, the purebred talked for the first time to CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli about what happened.
It happened at 7:30 a.m. this past Monday morning just blocks from a school – and the homeowner fears that the coyote may next go after a small child or a baby.
“He lunged first and started running down the street,” said Linda Bacci.
Bacci is referring to a Coyote that grabbed her dog Ki Ki by the head as she was attempting to leash the 11-month-old puppy for a walk near her Old Town home.
“The coyote had come from across the street and was staring at me,” Bacci said. “(We’re) eyeball to eyeball, and I reached for the dog, and he reached for the dog – and he got her first.”
Then Bacci said she experienced what may be the worst five minutes of her life as she chased the coyote down Burling Street near Willow Street, while he tried to get away with 5-pound Ki Ki.
“I was pursuing him, and he was dropping her and then picking her back up, and I was continuing to yell for help,” Bacci said.
Several neighbors heard Bacci’s screams, and together with her they chased the coyote into a gangway. Ki Ki was in the coyote’s mouth.
“And I really thought it was over,” Bacci said.
Bacci was so scared, she became frozen in fear.
“I said, ‘I can’t move,’” Bacci said.
But a housekeeper who heard Bacci’s screams came to Ki Ki’s aid.
“She stood at the mouth of the gangway, which was very brave of her – and started throwing shoes at him down the gangway,” Bacci said, “and then he ran.”
Ki Ki was then rushed to the veterinarian for emergency surgery.
She suffered an injury to her right front leg that had to be shaved down, but the main injuries are to her head and nasal cavity.
But dozens of stitches and thousands of dollars later, she’s on the mend – and should recover.
Now, Bacci wants to thank the woman who she believes saved her dog by courageously turning her own shoes into projectiles.
“She was an angel,” Bacci said.
In addition to wanting to thank that woman, whose name is Anna, Bacci wants to warn others – because she believes the coyote that attacked Ki Ki is the same limping animal shown on CBS 2 late last month.
The limping coyote was seen right outside a Whole Foods store not far from where Ki Ki was attacked.
“This animal is brazen. It’s probably 12 inches from me. He has no fear of people, and no fear of anything,” Bacci said. “I don’t know, you know, this is actually a miracle that she survived this attack.”
This is also the second instance of a coyote attacking a small dog in a period of barely more than a week. On Sunday, Dec. 29, Lynell Dillon said a coyote attacked her 7-year-old Schnauzer, Missy, as the dog did her business in a patch of grass in the 900 block of North Cambridge Avenue in the Cabrini Rowhouses – about a mile south of where the incident involving Ki Ki happened.
“I said, ‘Oh my God! That’s a wolf!’” Dillon said. “And one of them corrected me and said, ‘It’s a coyote.’”
Dillon’s grandson stepped in.
“He literally just took the chair and was threatening to attack the coyote,” Dillon told CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar.
Dillon’s grandson succeeded in scaring the coyote away.
There were other coyote sightings last Sunday just blocks away from Dillon. On Elm Street near Cleveland Avenue, a man reported a coyote chased after him and his dog.
A coyote was also recently spotted running around the Pottery Barn in the 1000 W. North Ave. shopping center, off North and Sheffield avenues in the Clybourn Corridor area.
The animal then darted into traffic and nearly got hit by a car.
Suzan Occhipinti, who took the video, wrote that the coyote ran right by her husband’s leg as he was loading up the stroller.
There are believed to be 1,500 to 2,000 coyotes in Cook County right now. If you are approached by one, experts say you should not run.
Loud noises sometimes help scare the animals away.