NORTH BARRINGTON – Max is one lucky pooch.
The 8-year-old Yorkie survived a coyote attack Wednesday morning outside his North Barrington home, saved by his owner, who was able to pry the pup from the animal’s grasp.
“I had only heard of coyote attacks on TV, not at my back door,” said Tami Williams, the dog’s owner. “It’s crazy that this would ever even happen, but thankfully he is OK.”
Williams was following her normal routine Wednesday morning when she let Max outside through a backdoor leading to a stone patio of the home. The backyard includes two acres of land that backs up to a large pond.
Within seconds, two coyotes ran up to Max, with one grabbing him by the muzzle, Williams said, adding that she “happened to be standing right there, started clapping, kicked it and grabbed him out of the coyote's mouth.”
“There was a lot of blood,” Williams said. “I wrapped him up and took him to animal emergency with puncture wounds to his mouth, which is being treated with antibiotics and painkillers.”
Max is expected to make a full recovery, which comes as happy news to those who know him at the Car Bath in Cary, where he can be found welcoming customers throughout the day.
“It’s crazy how popular he has become,” said Williams, owner of the business. “He is cowering a lot right now, like he’s afraid of being attacked again. Hopefully he’ll be back to normal soon.”
The attack is one of many reported throughout the Chicago area this past year, which has included coyote sightings near Wrigley Field. Coyotes also have attacked canines in Wheaton, Warrenville and North Aurora, among other locations.
“[Coyotes] are here and not going away anytime soon,” said Sara Denham, Wildlife Resource Center manager for the McHenry County Conservation District. “Residents need to be aware of that because you are putting your animals at risk by letting them roam free.”
Keeping an eye on pets, especially smaller dogs, is highly recommended because they make easy targets for coyotes, Williams added.
Tips to avoid coyotes include:
• Don’t feed any wild animals such as raccoons or deer, which encourages coyotes, as well.
• Feed pets indoors. If pets are fed outside, clean up any leftover food daily.
• Keep cats indoors.
• Keep your dog on a leash.
• Don’t leave cat or dog food outside.
• Secure garbage in areas where coyotes can’t access it; keep yards clean of refuse and brush.
• Property owners should limit the availability of unintentional food sources, such as bird food, pet food, ripe fruit, and trash.
• Do not let pets out at night unless accompanied by a person.
• If a coyote approaches you, do not run. Yell, stand up straight and wave your arms (the goal is to make yourself appear larger), or throw something at the coyote to scare it away.
Source: Department of Natural Resources and the University of Illinois Extension.