Victims of coyote attacks speak out
Neighbors are sounding the alarm, saying their pets were attacked by wild animals.
Some attacks have proven deadly. Other people have managed to rescue their dogs.
Lori Noud and her girls are missing a family member.
"You really could just see, barely, tiny little imprints of feet. I mean you can still see one right there," Lori said, pointing to tracks in the snow.
Their dog, one-and-a half year old, five-pound Reese, was the likely victim of a coyote attack. He disappeared after just a short time in their yard and the family saw coyotes walking by minutes later.
"I've been told that their den is out here near the park area," Lori said of the park near her home. "You know that they're there, but you don't think they're going to scale your fence at four in the morning."
She thought their fence would protect her two dogs. But when the little one, Reese, went out in the backyard for just 30 seconds, he disappeared.
"He didn't come in and so my husband went out immediately and he was just gone," Lori explained.
She called Greenwood Police, who are tracking coyote attacks and sightings. She also reported it to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
"And as I'm sitting at my kitchen table calling, I can see the coyotes walking down this road, right here next to my home," Lori said. "It's scary! My girls play out here! You never know what can happen."
Two of Lori's neighbors also lost dogs to coyotes recently. And it's not just in Greenwood.
Kim Rogers' dog, Sassy, was badly injured, but survived a coyote attack in the Meridian Hills neighborhood last week.
Rogers says after Sassy was outside for just a few minutes, her daughter heard the attack. She was able to bang loudly on the window, and the coyote dropped Sassy from its jaws.
After surgery, Sassy is okay, but the family was badly shaken.
The Department of Natural Resources says this is breeding season, from January through February. That's when coyotes defend their territory, which in urban areas, includes backyards.
Family pets can be seen as intruders.
DNR Furbearer Biologist Shawn Rossler says bird feeders and dog food attract them too. To stay safe, you cannot hunt and shoot coyotes in a neighborhood.
But Rossler says you can protect your pets by staying with them outside.
If a coyote approaches, make noise to scare it away – including screaming, banging pots together or throwing something at the animal. Never corner a coyote, which could make the situation more dangerous and always report aggressive animals to wildlife officials, animal control or local police.
Lori is already scared for her other pets, with one already gone.
"Our dogs will never be going out by themselves again," she said. "It's just getting too bad out there."
The DNR does have a list of licensed wildlife control operators to help get rid of coyotes, plus tips on protecting pets: