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California chihuahua survives coyote attack

The pup escaped with puncture wounds and a broken rib.

LOS ANGELES — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is graphic in nature and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

A chihuahua named Chico is alive and well after a terrifying attack by a coyote. The entire incident was captured on home surveillance video.

At 11 a.m. in the backyard of a Los Angeles home, an adult coyote caught Chico in its teeth. Owners Kerri and Larry Ruiz were horrified.

"We thought that they were just nocturnal. No, they're not," Larry said.

Hysterical with fear, Kerri had run into her bedroom screaming. Larry and their son had taken off across the yard in pursuit of the coyote, but by then, it had jumped a brick wall and into a neighbor's yard.

That's when Kerri remembered she had a handheld air horn. Larry started putting them around the house years ago.

"One at every single door," he said. "We know this is coyote country."

Petrified by the sound, the coyote decided to drop Chico and run. Luckily, the pup only suffered some puncture wounds and a broken rib. After a visit to the vet and an annoying plastic cone, he healed up just fine a few weeks later.

The Ruizes say there's a lesson for all pet owners, and it's simple: never, ever let animals go outside unattended.

They don't blame the coyotes. They know they're just wild animals looking for food. But pet owners need to be smart.

And just in case, have something nice and loud handy. It could save a life, and it could be your own pet's.

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