CHICAGO
01/26/2013 03:27 pm ET Updated Jan 27, 2013

Coyotes Break Door Trying To Attack Illinois Dogs: Owner Saves His Pups (VIDEO)

View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.

A suburban Chicago man is breathing a sigh of relief after he barely thwarted a group of coyotes who broke a glass door of his home while chasing after his three dogs.

According to NBC Chicago, a pack of coyotes in Riverside, Ill., attempted to follow Roger Nelson's dogs -- a golden retriever, a beagle and a German shepherd puppy -- as they fled back into his home, just off South Herbert Road, around 4 a.m. Friday.

Nelson told ABC Chicago that four coyotes jumped over his three-and-a-half foot fence to access the back yard and charged toward the dogs. Nelson was able to shut the door to his home in just barely enough time to stop the coyotes, who proceeded to continue to get at the dogs and shattered the door's glass while doing so. Nelson only spooked them away after he fired a BB gun at the coyotes. He then called the police.

"They were snarling," Nelson explained to CBS Chicago. "You could see all their teeth. The hair was, I mean, just standing up on their back as they were clawing at the door."

Riverside Police Sgt. Bill Gutschick told My Suburban Life that the attack marked the first time in his 25 years on the job that he's learned of coyotes attempting to break into a home to get at a dog.

Coyote sightings have been on the rise in the Chicago area as of late -- and they have increasingly been taking an interest in family pets. Last fall, in Antioch, Ill., a coyote nearly snatched up a 12-year-old Chihuahua. In separate incidents, a Winfield, Ill,. boy watched his pet Yorkie as he was carried off by coyotes, while a Wheaton, Ill. dog was also found dead from a coyote attack.

Coyotes have been spotted within city limits in Chicago as well. Last November, a pair of skinny coyotes was seen roaming near Wrigley Field in the city's Lakeview neighborhood.

Want to keep your pets safe from urban coyotes? Always accompany leashed pets when they are outside -- and turn on your lights to keep an eye out for wildlife and make sure attractants -- such as unsecured garbage or compost -- are removed.

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