A Hammonds Plains woman whose dog was mauled to death by a wild animal is hoping others will learn from the fate of her six-year-old dog Piper.

Gail Rice’s Maltese-poodle was attacked by what they suspect was a bobcat or coyote last week when in her backyard.

Rice always thought her backyard was the perfect canine playground, but she knew something was wrong when Piper didn't come to the door one night last week.

Piper wasn't far from the house when he was attacked.

When Rice found him, he was lying on the ground in rough shape.

“We wrapped him in blankets and he was still, his heart was still beating,” she said.

Rice says her husband rushed Piper to the veterinarian but the small dog didn’t make it.

Butch Galvez with the Department of Natural Resources paid a visit the following day.

He said he suspects the attack was from a coyote or bobcat. 

“I wasn't able to confirm that, but certainly the dog had substantial injuries and died as a result,” he said.

Galvez saw tracks from both wild animals.

He said while he often hears about cats being attacked by coyotes or bobcats, it's rare for a dog like Piper to meet the same fate.

“It only takes once and if you live close to a wooded area, there's always a little bit more at risk,” he said. “So that's why it's important to supervise your pet and keep them in at night.”

Rice hopes their story will help others to be more careful with their small animals. 

“Just to be more cautious and to realize that we're in their territory, that frankly we've moved into their area and they do what they do.”