A Winfield woman says her family is in shock after a coyote snatched and killed their 3˝-pound dog, Coco, while her 11-year-old son watched in horror.
The attack happened about 9 p.m. Tuesday behind the home of Leslee and Timothy Bassett, whose property in the Churchill Woods subdivision backs up to the Illinois Prairie Path.
Leslee Bassett said her son, Danny, had taken the family's three dogs out to do their business when a coyote emerged and carried off Coco, a 4-year-old Yorkshire terrier. The boy chased after the coyote with a baseball bat, but Coco died of her injuries by the time she was found on the path about 30 minutes later.
"It was horrible. The noise, I just can't even tell you," Bassett said Friday. "Everybody was crying and screaming. The neighbors came running out."
It was at least the third report in two weeks of coyotes attacking dogs in central DuPage County -- all at homes along the Prairie Path.
On Sept. 27, a coyote injured a woman's 16-pound bichon frisé on the north side of the path near Wheaton, after scaling or jumping her 5-foot fence. And a week earlier, to the south of the path in the same area, a pack of coyotes mauled a woman's two terriers in her unfenced yard; only one of the dogs survived, but with severe injuries.
Winfield police confirmed Friday that Bassett's dog also was carried off by a coyote and later found dead along the Prairie Path.
Bassett said her family of five was so traumatized, they stayed home from school and work Wednesday after having Coco's remains cremated the night before. They're also worried about more attacks near their home on the 0N400 block of Peter Road.
"I was out this morning, and a gentleman came up to me and said, 'You better watch out, there's a coyote running down the middle of the street,'" she said. "About a half-hour later, I got a ring on my doorbell from someone else saying there's a coyote running around. They're there when the kids go to the bus stop. They're literally running down the middle of the road. It's kind of out of control right now."
Bassett said her family has received an outpouring of support from neighbors and friends who adored Coco.
"It's pretty amazing how a little dog is affecting so many people," she said. "Everybody knew Coco because she was such a little dog, and she was very playful and loving. Everybody wanted to hold Coco."