DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) - A Dublin family is mourning the loss of their ten-year-old toy poodle.
Sunday night, Dave Davidson let "Bella" out for the last walk of the night in the family's backyard when the coyotes pounced from the darkness.
"We come out and stand here to let the dogs go out into the yard," said Davidson. "We heard the rustle and bustle of the twigs breaking. And we heard our dog cry out."
The family tried to scare aware the coyotes, but they were too late. The family's other dog, Gigi, escaped unharmed.
Dublin Police responded to the home to help search the woods for Bella.
"A police officer actually found her," said Davidson. But it was too late. Bella was dead.
Coyotes sightings are common in Central Ohio. Dublin residents tell NBC4 they see them running through neighborhoods day and night.
The Davidson family lives in the Donegal Cliffs subdivision just off Dublin Road. A wooded area gives the coyotes quick and easy access to the Scioto River.
"So many sightings, so many near misses of people's pets being attacked or almost attacked," said Davidson.
Little can be done to rid the area of the coyotes. The Ohio Department of Natural Resource's Wildlife Division monitors coyote activity across the state. They are hardy in numbers in the western portions of Ohio. Attempts to reduce their numbers often fail because coyotes breed in response to a drop in population.
The City of Dublin maintains a section on their website to educate homeowners how to handle an encounter with a coyote. Click here to find it.
The family is warning other pet owners to remain on guard so they don't experience the same heartache.
They plan to keep Gigi close.
"We are just going to have to stand out there with her," Davidson said. "Maybe go in the front yard."