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Illinois senior citizen fights off coyote attack and rescues neighbor's dog

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An 84-year-old woman is a hero to a local Bensenville dog this week, when she saved Roxie from the attack of a pack of coyotes in her neighbor's backyard reports

Dolores "Dolly" Jefferson had been drinking coffee in the morning when she heard panicky barking from the 11-year-old Egyptian Fairhound next door. When Jefferson went out into the backyard to investigate, she saw five coyotes surrounding Roxie while the 26-pound dog tried to escape. One coyote had already bitten the dog on her nose and was chasing her. Jefferson stated:

“He was huge. He was as big as any big German shepherd I’ve ever seen. He turned around, looked at me, and Roxie got farther away from him.”

The dog's owner was busy with other chores and was not aware of the coyote attack, so Jefferson screamed at the coyotes and ran towards them; that is when they all retreated and left.

Last year, a woman in Mustang, Okla. saved her dachshund from a coyote attack. The woman didn't have time to go into her house to retrieve her rifle, so instead picked up a shovel and hit the coyote twice until it ran off.

Although coyotes are nocturnal and attacks on domestic animals are rare, they sometimes become accustomed to people when handouts and food have been left out or unsecured trash is available.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there have only been two instances of humans being killed by coyote attacks in the United States and Canada. In Southern California, during the 1980s, a child was attacked and killed, and in 2009, a woman from Nova Scotia was attacked and killed.

"A coyote who has bitten a person will have to be specifically targeted and removed from the population. Most health departments will mandate testing for rabies, which requires that the offending coyote be killed. Under no circumstances does an attack by an individual coyote warrant killing at large, in an effort to reduce the population or simply ring up the bill on coyotes as an act of retribution."

The recent advances in rabies control for wild animals, with the use of oral bait to immunize them, curbing the spread of rabies in coyotes very effective.

Coyotes are nocturnal animals, however they may be seen when they move from one territory to another searching for small mammals like mice for food.

Roxie is expected to make a full recovery.

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