RIVERSIDE — A 7-month-old Bichon Poo has died from injuries it sustained on Saturday in what appeared to be a coyote attack, police said.
A resident in the 100 block of Addison Road of Riverside reported to police Thursday that on Saturday, her two dogs were out in the backyard about 3 p.m. Minutes later, the resident heard her 70-pound dog howling in the yard and when she went to investigate, found her 9-pound puppy badly injured with wounds to its abdomen area.
The dog was rushed to the veterinarian’s office but died Tuesday, police said. The veterinarian who treated the injured dog stated the injuries that the puppy received were consistent with a coyote attack. The resident told police she did not see a coyote in the area.
Riverside is no stranger to wild animals, including coyotes. Being located next to the Des Plaines River, there is a wide variety of wild animals, such as raccoons, skunks, deer and opossums. Less seen, but frequently in the area, are coyotes.
Coyotes are mostly nocturnal animals, but, as with any wild animal, they can sometimes be seen during the daytime and are often mistaken as stray dogs. Coyotes are carnivores, depending on the time of year, and primarily eat small mammals, including voles, prairie dogs, cottontails and ground squirrels.
Coyotes do not know the difference between pets and the wild creatures they hunt. Police urge residents to protect their pets by accompanying them outdoors. Use a short leash, as coyotes have been known to attack animals that are on longer leashes.
Healthy coyotes have not been known to attack humans, but everyone should use caution if they find themselves near any wild animal.
“We feel that it’s important to inform the public so our residents can take proper precautions,” said Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel.
Coyotes are about as big as a medium-sized dog. Most adults weigh between 25 to 35 pounds, but can get as large as 45 pounds. They have pointed ears, a thin muzzle and a bushy tail. Usually a grayish-brown with reddish tinges in color, coyotes may vary from silver-gray to black.