SILVIS, Ill. (KWQC) – A Silvis couple watched Tuesday as one of two coyotes attacked their small dog in a ravine in their backyard.
“It was a very traumatic experience for my wife to see,” says dog owner Wes Baskovic.
Baskovic spotted the coyotes as he was leaving for work early Tuesday morning.
"At that point, I think our worst nightmare is about to happen," he remembers.
The couple’s other dog, and the couple themselves, managed to make enough noise to create a distraction which allowed them to save Chulita, their two-year-old Chihuahua.
"Fortunately we all reacted on time and she's with us today," he says.
“She is very lucky,” said Rock Island Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Narske, who treated Chulita.
“[Chulita] had bite wounds and puncture wounds on her chest where she had been picked up and carried by the coyotes.”
What made the attack especially startling for the Baskovics is that they live in the middle of a neighborhood in north Silvis near 1st Avenue.
Coyote attacks in residential settings in the Quad Cities are rare, Narske said, but they have been occurring more often in recent years.
Narske says coyotes have become more urbanized and are no longer afraid of people.
"They're just hunting, they're looking for food, and they're going to attack," she adds.
“[Coyotes] learn your habits, so change it up. Let your pets out at different times of day, in different areas, and have lots of lighting and noise.”
The DNR also recommends always keeping your pet on a leash when taking them on walks.