Police are warning residents about recent coyote attacks on small dogs in west suburban Wheaton.
The most recent attack happened Dec. 10 when two coyotes took a dog from outside a home in the 1100 block of South Marcey Avenue, according to Wheaton police.
Two days earlier, a coyote attacked a small dog in a fenced yard near North Pierce Avenue and West Liberty Drive. A statement from police said the dog suffered "extensive injuries" and had to be put down.
On Nov. 27, a resident of the 1700 block of Sjorgen Court was outside with two dogs, one of which was on a leash, when a coyote approached and took the unleashed dog, police said. An officer saw the coyote leaving the area carrying the dog.
Coyotes are sighted more frequently during winter months when food becomes scarce and young coyotes leave their families, police said.
Residents are advised that fences do not guarantee pets' safety, and to keep dogs on a leash whenever possible. When confronted by a coyote, you should shout, clap, run toward it or throw something in its direction.
Residents who see a coyote acting in a "threatening manner" should call 911.