Glencoe officials warn dog walkers in wake of coyote attack at golf course
Coyotes like this one, photographed in the Skokie Lagoons earlier this year, is said to have recently attacked two small Glencoe dogs.|File photo
Updated: February 26, 2013 10:14PM
Glencoe’s animal control officer has asked dog owners to stop walking their pets off-leash in golf courses.
Katie Sweeney’s plea comes in the wake of the Feb. 17 incident in which a dog was chased by coyotes into a frozen pond on the Skokie Country Club, and was later rescued by firefighters.
She’s posting warnings on utility poles in coyote-prone areas, and talking to dog-walkers.
Her key worry: “If people continue this behavior, coyotes will become less and less fearful.”
That behavior continues. Saturday, another Glencoe resident’s off-leash dog fell into a frozen pond on the same golf course, though not as a result of a coyote chase. A passersby crawled out on the ice to rescue the golden retriever.
“It was just one of those things you do,” Cammie Hoban said.
While Hoban was pulling the dog up, her own golden retriever leaped in. She had to pull her out, too.
“Everybody runs and skis in there,” Winnetka’s Hoban said, adding that she headed to the course after coyotes made the nearby woods inhospitable to her and Trudie.
Hoban said she’s a member of the country club, which seems to welcome such use in winter. She was skiing while her dog was running, and the golf course tailors a cross-country trail for people like her.
Management of the course, which is closed through March 26, could not be reached Monday.
Now, Hoban is considering avoiding the golf course, too.
She should, Glencoe Public Safety Deputy Chief Al Kebby said Monday. Off-leash dog-walking is illegal in Cook County, even on private property, if unfenced, he said.
Glencoe is bounded by relatively coyote-rich sectors – the lakefront and the Skokie Lagoons on the east and west, and forest preserves on the north.
There are no dog parks in town to safely and legally let a dog off leash.
Almost every other nearby town has at least one, and most allow non-resident usage for the price of a collar-tag permit.
Also available is the big Beck Lake Dog-Friendly Area, in the Cook County Forest Preserves to the southwest.
Coyotes are breeding now, and they’re everywhere, Sweeney said. Leashes are a must – “short ones, and no retractables.”
If you see a coyote, wave your arms and make lots of noise.
In recent years, Glencoe coyote victims have included a beagle and a poodle, Sweeney said, “and plenty of cats.”