Tampa, Florida -- Several people living in the Westchase community say they've spotted coyotes in their community and one family is reeling tonight after a coyote killed their family pet.

JoAnn Kowalski's family is trying to spread the word throughout the Charleston Corners neighborhood. She says."We've been telling everybody to watch their little pets." Kowalski's family is thankful to still have "Kippie" but just last week a coyote killed her daughter's Pug Shitzu mix. She says her daughter didn't have the dog on the leash because normally it stays close by. "She just went in the house real quick and came back out - called her and she didn't come....and we looked everywhere."

Kowalski says two pool workers found their dog in the woods. A coyote had attacked and killed her. She adds, "You know it's terrible what they did to that poor dog."

Chris Wirt owns A All Animal Control and says he's received a lot of calls about coyotes. He says, "Everywhere from New Port Richey, Hudson all the way through Westchase and Citrus Park even South Tampa even on Davis Island."

He says you should keep your dogs on a short leash and away from the edge of wooded areas. He says coyotes are normally in a pack but they're always looking for an opportunity when it comes to hunting. They search out small animals. He says when you're out walking your dog always carry a flashlight and a stick. He adds, "They are not afraid to attack day or night if they're hungry." A privacy fence may not be enough either Wirt says coyotes can jump six to eight feet.