Coyote struck, dragged and stuck in grille is fighting for its life with help of Barrington facility

A coyote that was struck by a vehicle, dragged across pavement and trapped for more than two hours in the car's grille may survive its injuries after being freed by Lake County officials Sunday morning.

The coyote's rear right foot was mangled after it was dragged across the pavement, but those taking care of him remain hopeful he'll pull through.

"He is missing parts of his toes, but shockingly he has no broken legs," said Dawn Keller Monday afternoon. "He is on pain meds, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics and vitamin shots. And we're using other products to try to stave off infection and keep him comfortable."

Keller, the founder and director of Barrington-based Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation, said Lake County officials told her the coyote was struck by the car around 5 a.m.

Keller said the driver of the car knew an animal was hit but the driver decided not to stop and investigate, and upon returning home did not take a look at the front of the car to see if it had been damaged by hitting the animal.

Had the driver looked, the coyote would have been seen pinned into the car's grille but still holding on to life.

Instead, it was a neighbor who noticed the suffering coyote and alerted authorities, who arrived at around 7:30 a.m., Keller said.

Lake County Animal Care and Control officials removed the coyote and brought the animal to Keller's organization. Animal control officials on Monday were not able to confirm the details of the crash, including where it is believed to have happened and how long the coyote was dragged.

Keller urged people who believe they have struck an animal with their vehicle to pull over and check.

"We would always hope that someone would stop, but this has happened before," Keller said.

In 2015, a coyote nicknamed Vern survived a similar crash where he was struck and then trapped in the grille of a car, the driver of which continued on. Vern suffered three broken legs and multiple bone fractures in that crash but recovered and was returned to the wild after around five months of rehabilitation.

Keller is hoping the story for the coyote struck and dragged on Sunday also has a happy ending.

"He is alert, and we're just continuing to treat him medically and hoping for the best," Keller said.

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