Animal Control

The Police Department oversees the animal control operations within the Village of Arlington Heights. The Animal Control Unit’s functions include, but are not necessarily limited to: 

  • Enforcing local and state animal control and welfare laws 
  • Investigating animal cruelty and neglect
  • Responding to stray domestic animal complaints
  • Overseeing records of lost and found animals
  • Responding to domestic animal complaints
  • Performing animal bite investigations
  • Providing referrals and recommendations when appropriate

Animal Control Officers undergo extensive training to handle incidents involving both domestic and wildlife animals. The Animal Control Unit is available to assist residents and businesses. In-progress animal issues such as: dogs running loose, animal bites, injured wildlife, etc. should be reported through 911. For other non-emergency concerns or questions, please contact the Animal Control Unit by calling 847.368.5300.



  • The coyote looks similar to a medium sized German Shepard from a distance.
  • They weigh between 20-40lbs, stand 15-20in tall and are 4-5ft long including the 14in tail.
  • Their upper body color is generally dull yellow to gray with white or cream colored fur on the throat and belly. They have erect pointed ears and dark tipped tails.
  • Review information about coyotes in Arlington Heights.


  • Coyotes are primarily nocturnal but it is not unusual to see one during the day.
  • They have become desensitized to the existence of humans and allow themselves to be seen.
  • Coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare and are usually caused by interaction initiated by the person, such as feeding them or investigating their dens.
  • They eat mice, squirrels, rabbits, birds and other small animals. Coyotes help balance the fox, raccoon and opossum population. They take advantage of human-associated foods like garbage, pet foods and birdseed. Unattended pets are also an easy food source.


  • Coyotes mate in February and March with pups born in April or May. They are territorial creatures and may view other animals, including dogs, as a threat.
  • They often utilize abandoned fox, skunk, and woodchuck burrows for dens. Areas under decks and around sheds are also used by coyotes.

Living with Coyotes

  • Never approach, touch, or intentionally feed a coyote.
  • Eliminate all outside food sources, especially pet food. Secure garbage cans.
  • Clear out wood and brush piles creating habitats for rats and mice which may attract coyotes.
  • Never allow pets to roam free while coyotes are in the area.
  • Never try to run away from a coyote; make loud noises and/or throw rocks or sticks at the coyote to frighten them away.
  • Residents can hire a private trapper licensed by the State of IL. for animal removal.

Helpful Resources

The Village of Arlington Heights does NOT provide removal services for coyotes.

Report a Coyote Sighting | Coyote Monitoring & Evaluation Program
Click here to report a Coyote Sighting

Urban Coyote Monitoring and Evaluation Program

The Village understands the growing concerns of coyotes cohabiting in the urban environment. Coyotes have adapted very well to living in urban environments and casual sightings continue to be common. Police Department Animal Control Officers investigate each report and, while most typically involve a healthy coyote posing no danger, some sightings have uncovered diseased or injured animals.  In such cases, intervention may be required to reduce the potential risk of a dangerous encounter.   

To expedite a proactive response to this concern, the Village has reached out to an urban coyote specialist (Scientific Wildlife Management) with a strong record of positive results in other metro-area communities. The specialist will assist in tracking and evaluating sightings from the community. This partnership will not only monitor the coyote population in Arlington Heights, but also help quickly detect sick or aggressive coyotes so an effective intervention strategy can be implemented. 

To help the specialist better understand our coyote population and patterns, we are asking the community for assistance. Residents who observe a coyote in their neighborhood may report the sighting by filling out a brief questionnaire. Residents who have questions regarding the online reporting process can contact the Police Department at 847-368-5300. 

Click here to report a Coyote Sighting
As coyotes are wild animals, residents should never actively seek out or search for them. 

Whether it’s squirrels, raccoons or skunks, there are several good suggestions to help keep wildlife out of your home or to lend a helping hand:

Striped Skunk

Common throughout the state.  Rural areas with rolling hills or bluffs and a mixture of farmland, timber and pastureland tend to support the highest numbers.  Also abundant in some suburban areas, especially those near railroads or rights-of-way for high-tension power lines because these features often provide travel-ways and denning sites. 

Search engines can provide you with track patterns.

Striped skunks use a wide variety of habitats, but prefer forest borders, brushy areas, and open, grassy fields broken by wooded ravines and rock formations.  A permanent source of water adds to the attractiveness of a site.  

Skunks can dig their own dens, but prefer to use those excavated by woodchucks, badgers or other animals.  Den sites also include stumps, caves, rock piles, old buildings, junk piles, sheds, wood piles, and dry drainage tiles or storm sewers.  

Skunks are most active at night.  They live in an area 1 to 1.5 miles in diameter, but use only a small part of this on any given night.

Skunks are slow-moving and docile.  Their senses of sight, smell and hearing are poor compared to most predators.  Their strong-smelling musk is their best defense.  Before discharging it, they usually face their intruder, arch their backs, raise their tails and stamp the ground with their front feet.

Insects are their preferred food and make up most of their diet in the spring and summer.  Other common foods include mice, young rabbits, birds and their eggs, corn, fruit and berries.  

Breeding begins in February and lasts through March.  A single litter of 4 to 10 young is born from early May to early June.

Skunks are susceptible to diseases like rabies, canine distemper and leptospirosis.  Until recently, their numbers went through boom and bust cycles linked to rabies outbreaks.  The last epidemic occurred in the early 1980s.  Their numbers have remained low but stable since that time.

Little habitat management occurs specifically for striped skunks.  However, they benefit from practices aimed at improving conditions for other wildlife like government programs that pay farmers to plant grasses and other permanent cover in crop fields that have problems with soil erosion or are located along waterways.