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Meet Chicago’s Four-Legged Employees

Like many cities, Chicago has its fair share of four-legged employees.  There are of course Police/Fire dogs as well as assistance and therapy pups, but today I wanted to introduce everyone to some four-legged workers that most people never see, let alone know exist!  Recently, my friend was lucky enough to snap a photo of one of these night-shift workers on the job.

dog blog

This is no off-leash pet.  Any guesses who this is and what she is up to?

Believe it or not, and I definitely didn’t believe it at first, Chicago has over sixty coyotes living in the city!  These coyotes are no nuisance, they are tagged and tracked as they go about their business of keeping the urban population of rodents, geese and other small animals in check.  The coyotes are quite averse to human contact which is why many Chicago residents have no idea they even exist.

pet adventure

Coyotes: proudly serving Chicago (officially) since 2000 (Source: Wikipedia)

There is a great article/video about the coyotes here and more information about the Coyote Project can be found here.  These city ghosts, as the coyotes are known, can be found even in the most dense urban area of Chicago, so I hope to see one in person one day.  And if I am lucky enough to see a coyote it will give me the opportunity to ask if there are any job openings.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Eko definitely has the instincts for the gig!

As far as I know, Chicago’s Coyote Project is the only one of its kind.  Does anyone know of any similar programs?  I would love to read about how other places handle conservation issues in unique ways.

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26 Comments

We have many coyotes in San Diego and I often see them on my morning (5:30am) or evening walks (8:30pm). Lola considers them a problem and she barks and growls whenever she smells them and a Ridgeback friend of hers ran after a coyote pack and was bitten, but not severely injured. A smaller dog wouldn’t have been so lucky. Most coyotes hide during daylight hours, but some have gotten used to people and are less shy. We definitely need them to balance out the rodent population, but it’s best if they remain wary of people.

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