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Six Ways to Keep You and Your Pet Safe from Roaming Coyotes

 Posted on February 27, 2020 in Dog Bite Injuries

Naperville personal injury lawyerLast month, in a rare event, a coyote attacked a six-year-old boy in Lincoln Park. This is the first reported coyote attack in the Chicago area for at least a decade. Shortly thereafter, a 32-year-old man reported a similar animal attack that some believe may have also been an attack by a coyote. With coyote mating season beginning in February, there is an increased likelihood of coyotes making appearances across the greater Chicagoland area. These interactions between coyotes, people, and their pets can quickly become dangerous due to a more urgent need for food during the season.

Staying Safe Around Coyotes

While coyotes attacking humans is rare, with about 2,000 coyotes in the Chicago area, you are bound to witness coyote sightings. According to the Urban Coyote Research Project, the number of coyote attacks on pets per year had nearly quadrupled since the prior decade. Trends suggest that these attacks on pets, especially small dogs and cats, are only going to increase over time. Here are some ways to stop coyotes from attacking you or your pets: 

  1. Do Not Instigate — In general, coyotes usually mind their own business, especially if they are not hungry, injured, or sick. Just seeing a coyote does not mean you need to take action. In fact, unless they clearly appear to pose a threat to you or your pet, the best thing to do is ignore them. Do not try to rile them up or otherwise instigate defensive behavior. 

  2. Never, Under Any Circumstance, Feed Coyotes — As is true when feeding any animal, providing coyotes with food outside of their natural habitat can cause them to continue looking for food from that source. This will embolden the coyotes, making them more likely to approach humans and pets in the future.

  3. If You or Your Pet Feel Threatened by a Coyote, Scare Them Off — First and most importantly, stay calm. If your pet is small enough, pick them up to protect them from any surprise attacks. Make loud noises, yell if you have to, make yourself appear bigger, shine your flashlight, and never run toward or away from the coyote. Once you have scared the coyote away, leave the premises. They may have viewed your actions as an encroachment on their territory or an aggressive act that they feel deserves retaliation. 

  4. Keep Trash Maintained — Do not leave food scraps or other garbage readily available outside, and if you have to leave trash outside, be sure it is securely covered and concealed. Garbage that coyotes can easily reach will attract them, and they will keep coming back for more.

  5. Always Keep Your Dogs on a Leash or Within a Strongly Secured Fence — Keep your pets close to you whenever possible, and keep an eye on them in all cases. Make sure they do not engage with coyotes and beware of coyotes brazen enough to approach your pets and possibly attack them.

  6. If You See One, Say Something — Notify local Animal Control and the police if you see coyotes, especially if you think they appear particularly aggressive. Signs of aggression might include:

      • Stalking little children

      • Preying on small pets, even when those pets are in safe spaces

      • Growling or barking

      • Fearlessly acting out (not running when you try to scare them away)

Overall, it is important to warn other people about these aggressive coyotes so that everyone is more cautious when outside or when taking their pets outside.   

Contact an Illinois Animal Bite Lawyer

If you or your pet have been attacked by a coyote and you believe someone is responsible—be it another person for instigating the attack or local animal control for failing to respond appropriately—you should seek help from an experienced attorney. At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we have dealt with numerous animal attack cases, including dog and coyote attacks. For help gaining your deserved compensation, contact our Naperville personal injury attorneys at 630-552-6860 for a free consultation. 





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