Wisconsin DNR issues coyote alert for Racine County

RACINE -- The Wisconsin DNR has issued a coyote warning for Racine County, after a five-pound dog was grabbed by a coyote right in front of its owner in Mount Pleasant. The DNR says pet owners, especially small animal owners, should be on the lookout.

Bill Boect keeps his pug, Magoo close when they're out and about in Mount Pleasant. Pet owners say coyote sightings are common in the area near Highway 20 and Emmertsen Road. "I'm concerned because we're so close to a field behind us. I am especially careful when I go out at night. I turn the lights on and always have her on a leash. Because the houses are moving more and more that way, I think the problem is, we are taking over their habitat," Boect said.

In early November, a woman in her front yard spotted a coyote approaching her Langdon Court home. The woman got between her tiny Maltese and the 40 pound predator, but the dog tried to defend its owner, and got carried away by the coyote.

Now, the DNR is advising pet owners, especially those in Racine County, to keep their pets on a leash, and avoid leaving food out that could lure a coyote. They've issued this official warning because they don't want others in Racine finding out about the coyote problem the way one family had to.

The DNR says coyotes are more territorial during mating season, in February and March.