DEERFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Kathy Crann thought her fenced-in Deerfield backyard was the perfect and safest place for her three dogs to run around.
Maggie and Clover, both Pitbull-type dogs, and Louie, a 1-year-old French Bulldog, were always together inside and out of their home.
"They are the sweetest things, they are like three peas in a pod, literally climb on each other and sleep with each other," Crann said.
The three dogs went outside on their own through their doggy door on Wednesday while Crann left to pick up her son from school. When she returned, her backyard looked like a war zone - there was blood everywhere.
Crann found Maggie dead in the snow. Louie and Clover had also been mauled.
"Clover had puncture wounds on her head, her nose. Her cheek is a little ripped, the inside of cheek is bitten through," Crann said.
Crann thought at first that her dogs had attacked each other, but her vet said the bite wounds were similar to a coyote attack.
"What they were thinking, based on Louie's looks, is that it tried to grab him by the ear and pulled him and one or both of the girls got it," she said.
Crann said she has spotted coyotes in the neighborhood on a regular basis lately. Experts say this time of year is breeding season for coyotes.
"All dogs are at risk for a coyote attack particularly this time of year because they become very, very defensive of their territory," said Chris Anchor, a wildlife biologist for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.
Anchor also said coyotes are capable of going over or under fences.
While there have been plenty of dog attacks by coyotes, experts say there has never been a report of a human being attacked by a coyote in Illinois. The key is not to feed the animals.
1 dog killed, 2 injured in Deerfield coyote attack
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