In the City of Wheaton, officials are warning residents to be on the alert after coyotes snatched two small dogs and fatally injured a third.
On Jan. 22, another pooch disappeared from a fenced-in yard, according to Wheaton teacher Allison Jacobs.
“Dogs are disappearing at an alarming rate and I am afraid for my surviving dog's life,” she wrote to Patch.
Plainfield-area residents have also been spotting coyotes all around town.
"In Springbank they regularly hang out, many times I've seen one just walking down the middle of the road," reader Lysa Heaton posted on Plainfield Patch's Facebook page. "I know we are an unfinished subdivision but I still don't expect to see enormous coyotes walking down the street in broad daylight! We had one in our back yard looking to get our Springer last summer and the only thing that saved him I think was our huge lab barking like a lunatic! I ran out banging a pan and screaming and it did run away.....but truly it didn't seem that scared of me!"
Another reader reported spotting coyotes in his backyard off McKanna Road, south of Caton Farm Road.
"Coyotes do not understand the rules of Plainfield. If you put prey in your backyard and they are hungry they might attack," another resident wrote.
According to Plainfield police, the best way to deal with coyotes is to give them their space.
"If it doesn't appear to be injured or ill, give it a wide berth," Cmdr. Ken Ruggles told Patch last year. "They will go about their business."
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources offers the following advice for dealing with suburban coyotes:
"Despite common misconceptions about coyotes, they are not likely to cause problems. However, individuals do sometimes kill or injure domestic pets, young livestock, or poultry. These incidents can typically be prevented by removing resources that attract coyotes and by using exclusion techniques. Make sure livestock and poultry have access to secure shelter and properly fenced areas.
"Some coyotes become accustomed to human activity and may approach close to buildings, people, or pets. Cats and small dogs should be observed closely and placed in fenced areas (yards, kennels) when coyotes are known to be present."
Coyotes aren't the only wildlife putting a scare into pet owners. Earlier this month, Wallin Woods residents Sandi and Keith McGill reported that a hawk nearly snatched up their six-pound Yorkie.