South Denver suburb pet owners warn of coyote attacks

CASTLE PINES, Colo. -- There have been more reports of coyotes attacking domestic animals in the Denver metro area.

Many of the attacks have gained traction on social media. Coyotes are known to prey on pets, creating deadly situations for dogs and cats.

The attacks are nothing new in Colorado. Pets, gone in an instant, are carried away in the mouths of coyotes.

Susan Schmidtlein’s 11-pound poodle, Yogi Bear, was one of the latest victims. The attack in Castle Pines left her three children without their pet.

"Every single morning he would wait at each of their doors," Schmidtlein said.

A coyote reportedly took the dog from the family’s backyard in October while Schmidtlein's husband was doing yardwork.

"My husband turned around and heard a yelp and immediately turned back around and Yogi Bear wasn’t there anymore," Schmidtlein said.

"He could hear some soft whimpering. … For our family, there was such an incredible hole that we had to fill it as fast as we could."

While Schmidtlein said no dog can fully replace Yogi Bear, the family is filling that hole of sadness with a new larger dog.

But even larger dogs surrounded by tall fences won’t stop coyotes -- even in places such as Denver, according to experts.

Many people with dogs assume coyotes don’t live in urban areas. That assumption can be a dangerous one, according to the Humane Society.

RELATED: Humane Society tips

"We considered ourselves to be very responsible pet owners, but then something like this happens and you realize maybe you’re not as responsible as you thought you were," Schmidtlein said.

When possible, pet owners should keep pets on leashes. Making loud noises can help annoy the wild animal away, according to the Humane Society.