Coyote kills west suburban family's dog

January 28, 2010 8:39:12 PM PST
A west suburban family whose dog was attacked by a coyote is warning the community.The dog was attacked in Wheaton on Wednesday and had to be put to sleep. The family is concerned more pets and possibly people may be in danger.

Wheaton police are searching the area for a coyote den. And authorities want to remind residents how they can protect their pets and family from a coyote attack.

"He was the cutest dog. He had so many friends around. He brought so much joy to the family," said Brian Graff, owner of Buddy the dog.

Graff says Buddy was like his brother and mealtime was a family affair. The 11-year-old West Highland terrier was in the backyard of the family home in Wheaton when he was attacked Wednesday morning.

Graff's mother had let the dog out to go to the bathroom. She was then alerted by the barking of another dog so she went looking for Buddy.

"She saw a coyote around the pond and he was dragging what she found to be Buddy and he was red and bloody and the coyote killed our dog," said Graff.

The dog sustained multiple injuries and was taken to a veterinarian clinic but had to be put to sleep.

Graff's friend put together a sympathy card for the family. He says Buddy survived another attack when the dog was three years old.

According to Graff, the coyotes are bold and they come right up to the windows of his home. He says after this attack more coyotes came back to his backyard. He sees their footprints on the ground.

"Two coyotes came back looking for Buddy, the rest of him. They walked around our house and went right up to the side door, right up to the front door," said Graff.

Laura Fassnacht, Graff's next door neighbor, is concerned about the safety of her infant daughter.

"It is dangerous. They have a wild animal walking up and down our streets. It is just frightening. And we have to live with them every day," said Fassnacht.

Police are asking people to feed pets indoors or promptly remove food when pets complete their meals outside. Extra pet food should be stored indoors. Brush and dense weeds should be cleared from around property, reducing protective cover for coyotes.