It is the time of year that coyotes are out and about looking for other coyotes to mate with and animal control officials want pet owners to know that it's also a time when coyotes enjoy snacking on dogs and cats.
In a news release, the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control is warning residents about the dangers of letting dogs and cats run free in their yards during a mating and birthing season that runs until the end of May.
The department says that cats should be kept indoors, especially at night and in heavily wooded neighborhoods. If owners, let their dogs out in the backyard, they should keep a close eye on them. And they should also change the times that the dogs are let outside in the yard because coyotes are wily enough to learn their schedules and know when to wait for them.
When walking dogs, make sure they are on a short leash. And pet owners should carry a bell or horn or something else because loud noises can keep coyotes from getting too close. Also, residents who have bird houses should rake up the bird feed from the ground because it can attracts coyotes.