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ST. CHARLES, Mo. - A warning for pet owners in St. Charles, coyotes are on the prowl.

One family says a coyote attacked their dog in their backyard and animal control says it's gotten a number of calls involving sightings.

Near Blanchette Park in midtown St. Charles Wednesday morning, someone snapped a picture of what looks like a coyote running across a lawn.

And last week, the owners of a shih tzu named Scout say she was attacked in their backyard in the Indian Hills neighborhood. The yard backs up to a wooded area.

Scout has bite marks on her body that the family's vet believes resemble those of a K9 or coyote.

This is mating season, so they're out and about. St. Charles Animal Control has gotten about 25 coyote calls in the last month and the Missouri Department of Conservation put out an informational video addressing the issue because the scavengers can be so prevalent.

"Coyotes adapt very well to the presence of humans so anywhere you have human development, especially if it happens to be close to a wooded area or area with fields or undeveloped area, the likelihood of being around is pretty high actually," said Dan Zarlenga, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Zarlenga says to keep your pets safe, don't leave them unattended, especially at night. Don't leave out dog food that can attract coyotes and if you see one on your property, throw something at it, yell at it, spray it with a hose. Whatever you have to do to scare it off.

There are no documented reports of coyote attacks on humans in Missouri.

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