A Spanish Lake community is on high alert after several dogs in the neighborhood were killed recently, and some residents say a coyote is responsible.

Residents on Birmingham Court say at least one coyote has been roaming their neighborhood and attacking their pets since last May. They say if this predator isn't trapped soon, it's next victim could be a child.

"I know you're a good girl," pet owner Denise Kune says to her dog.

Dana, a cairn terrier, has been a part of Denise Knue's family for seven years.

"I love you sweetheart."

But a sudden incident in her own back yard Tuesday morning has left Knue nervous to let Dana and her other pet terrier out of her sight.

"I let them out, not even a minute into letting them out, the scream was like a child and not like a dog and when she came in she was still screaming," Knue says.

When the screaming didn't stop, Knue soon realized Dana had been brutally attacked. She rushed Dana to Houtershell Animal Shelter, where they confirmed her worst nightmare.

"They said the size of it was comparable to a coyote where they could see the teeth," Knue said.

Photos show several puncture wounds all over Dana's neck and chest. Knue says her pet makes the fifth dog attacked by a coyote on Birmingham Court in just six months, and neighbors like Paul Bland weren't as fortunate

"It was just horrific," he says of the attack. "I've never seen anything like that in my life"

It's been a month since Bland found his pet beagle of 10 years dead behind his home, and barely recognizable.

"His side of his face was missing, his side, his body, there was a big hole in him," Bland says.

Bland and Knue say if this coyote isn't trapped soon, the next victim could be a person.

"We have small children that play down there and up the street," Bland says. "[A professional trapper] did say that they will attack small children and small animals so that's a big concern"

Trapping the coyote could take up to two weeks and would cost up to $250.

In the meantime, a professional trapper is asking these residents to remove all food from outside and to keep a close eye on their pets at all time

Here’s a list of some professional coyote trappers in the St. Louis region:

  • Mike Skouby (trapper)—314-739-4553
  • A.B. Wildlife—636-327-8789
  • Critter Control—1-800-CRITTER
  • Salvos—636-946-4884
  • All Pro—314-359-7950