Richard Ray

Pet Yorkie Killed by Coyote in Orland Park, Family Says

It’s happening more frequently.

Coyotes are making their way into subdivisions and backyards.

A Northfield family's dog, Boozer, was attacked by a coyote Thursday.

It only lasted a few seconds, but it left the beloved pet with substantial wounds.

For the O’Brien family, their Yorkie, Ziggy was taken and killed by a coyote in Orland Park, they say.

"I let him out the door right there, I went back and got the flashlight and when I came out, he was gone," Stephen O'Brien said.

He chased the coyote, but it was too late. Ziggy’s body was found down the block a few days later.

"We're desperate here. This is not right," he said. "It's a killing field and we have to do what we have to do, this is my family."

The family’s other two dogs, Lilly and Cassie survived.

This tragedy has made the O’Brien’s change how they let their dogs out.

We walk in front of the dogs, our heads are on a swivel," Susan O'Brien said. "You cannot turn away for one second.”

The family’s vet, Dr. John Fleming, says he sees about a dozen dogs both maimed and killed by coyotes every year.

He and his technicians see these animals walking around Orland Park.

"I see the tracks, we're fenced in, but they'll still jump a 4 foot fence," Fleming said.

That’s why wildlife experts agree, keep your pets leashed, make loud noises and try to scare away coyotes if you see them in your neighborhood.

"Dress up, go out, use a flashlight and hopefully you never see anything," the veterinarian said. "Doesn't take but about 10 seconds to lose your dog."

The O'Brien's want to raise awareness to other families of the danger coyotes can pose to their beloved pets.

“If we can warn other families so they don’t have to go through this agony of losing a pet so suddenly like this right from our yard," Susan said. "I would think Ziggy’s death maybe wasn’t in vain.”

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