Coyote Attacks Local Dog

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A Stateline family's backyard has turned into a danger zone after the family dog was killed by a coyote.

Cheryl Saladino is afraid to go outside of her house at night. After letting her four dogs play outside, a coyote attacked and killed her 3-year-old Chihuahua. Now, she says she worries for her family.

“That really bothers me. I mean they take down deer, they can surely take down a human being,” Saladino said.

Cheryl says she’s never seen a coyote in the 25 years she’s lived in New Milford. Since the attack, her husband tracked down at least 5 dens in nearby Atwood Park. Saladino says she hopes the Rockford Park District could help by capturing the coyotes. “They just need to control it so it doesn’t happen again. I’m not going to live, I will not live my life like this,” she said.

Park manager Becky Lambert says there’s only so much they can do.

“We’re not trained animal hunters, we’re not trained animal re-locators, it’s not something we would do in house,” said Lambert.

She says even if they track down the coyotes, it’s up to the Department of Natural Resources to trap them. She says they can only step in, if the Dens are on park property.

“We want our neighbors to feel like they’re safe next to our park. We are, like I said, in the process of trying to determine the location of that den,” said Lambert.

Even if that’s on park grounds, Lambert says it’s up to the Department of Natural Resources to trap the animals.

23 News Reporter Shannon Smith spoke with a conservation officer at the Department of Natural Resources who told us that residents with a coyote problem can get a nuisance animal removal permit.

With the permit, you have a few options, including trapping a coyote and relocating it or the DNR encourages you to hire a licensed hunter. The conservation officer tells me they only trap coyotes if they pose an immediate threat.

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