Click here to read more Quest articles. print | Print this page
In The News
She Fights Off Coyote to Rescue Her Pooch

by Josh Noel, Chicago Tribune Staff Reporter
(excerpt reprinted courtesy of the Chicago Tribune)

Cecilia (Cissy) Lacks, Managing Editor of Quest, was on the front page of the Chicago Tribune when the paper covered the story of her miniature poodle being attacked by a coyote in the afternoon, on a mall parking lot in a Chicago suburb. Cecilia, Dr. Catalona, and his wife Jan are all loving pet owners. This piece is a portion of the article from the Tribune.

Cissy Lacks was heading toward an afternoon of shopping in a Lincolnwood mall parking lot when she saw what she thought was...a ragged dog slinking between the cars.

Suddenly the animal–a wild-eyed, snarling coyote–lunged for her 4-year-old miniature poodle, Annie.

Without thinking, so did Lacks.

Lacks found herself in a tug of war with the coyote over her dog. She had hold of Annie’s front end while the coyote clamped its jaws around the dog’s hindquarters.

The contest lasted 15 brutally long seconds, but the coyote gave up after Lacks chucked a bag of clothes at it.

“The first day [after the incident], Annie was very, very sad, but now she’s in great spirits,” said Lacks, of St. Louis, who was in town visiting family. “But I still get a little edgy thinking about what could have happened.”

The parking lot showdown was among the most brazen in a series of recent coyote attacks in the Chicago suburbs, and, experts say, a rare case of a coyote taking on a person, albeit over a dog.

[Coyotes have recently killed pets in different suburbs of Chicago.] Thanks to Lacks, Annie fared much better, left only with a small gash on her left hind leg, several teeth marks, and a large plastic cone around her neck to keep her from irritating the wound.

When the attack began…Lacks said she was only able to lift the front of her 20-pound dog because the coyote already had a grip on the back half. Lacks did exactly what coyote experts advise: yell, kick with her boot and throw the bag in her hand.

The coyote retreated, but with insouciance that still haunts Lacks.

 “ It sauntered away as if nothing happened,” she said. “It just seemed to lose interest. I can’t say I was heroic and fought it off. It’s even scarier because of that.”

Close this window