Riverside police have reported that a small dog likely was killed by a coyote on the afternoon of Dec. 29 in the backyard of a home in the 100 block of Addison Road. The dog’s owner reported the attack to police on Jan. 3.
According to police, the 7-month-old, 9-pound Bichon Poo was in the backyard with the family’s other dog, which weighed 70 pounds. When the larger dog started howling at about 3 p.m., the owner went outside to investigate and found the puppy with severe abdominal injuries.
The owner immediately took the puppy to the veterinarian, but the dog died Jan. 1. According to police, the veterinarian determined that the injuries were consistent with a coyote attack.
Coyotes have been a periodic concern in Riverside. They have been known to wander in the village’s wooded areas, particularly along the river bank. In 2008, their presence prompted the village to hire a contractor to set traps in Big Ball Park, near where a coyote had wandered into the backyard of a home on North Delaplaine Road.
After three weeks, the traps were removed without a coyote being snared. The traps did snag a few foxes, however. Also during that time period, a Brookfield resident reported that a coyote ran up and snatched a small dog in its jaws, killing the dog, while he looked on just a few feet away.
In 2009, Riverside police were called to the vicinity of St. Mary School after receiving a report that a coyote had wandered into the parking lot and was seen scratching at the rear door of the school.
Police found the coyote at the scene and drew their pistols, but the coyote managed to run away and was never seen again.
While coyotes don’t normally attack humans, they have been known to attack small dogs, which are around the size of the rabbits, squirrels and other small mammals they hunt.
Coyotes, said Police Chief Thomas Weitzel, often look like medium-sized dogs and weigh between 25 and 35 pounds, though some are larger. They have pointy ears, bushy tails and tend to be grayish brown in color.