A couple in Sudbury's south end has a warning for people: keep an eye on your pets, as there are coyotes roaming nearby.

They say they saw a coyote attack one of their dogs right inside their fenced-in backyard. 

At two am on Tuesday, two Springer Spaniels, Monty and Django, were let outside in the backyard of a house in the Moonglo neighbourhood.

Within minutes, the dogs’ owners heard a commotion and the husband went outside to investigate.

"Right away, he knew something was wrong. He called the dogs back in, and as Monty was coming in, he saw two large animals, which he took to be either a wolf or coyote or the hybrid and he saw one of them attack Monty and Monty went down." said Brooke Yeats, owner of the two dogs.

The owners were eventually able to get Monty back inside after he had been attacked.

"He came over, tail wagging, no signs, and then sure enough, we saw his hind leg was bleeding. And so right away, you go into a bit of a stress mode, but also a dealing mode, so we tried to see as much as we could." said Yeats.

Monty's owners then took him to the Walden Animal Hospital where he was cared for.

"He has some punctures in the back of his legs. There were areas where the canines from the coyotes had cut through the skin. The worst part was the crushing injury, the bite force from those jaws is the painful part." said Carolyn Lariviere, a senior veterinarian at Walden Animal Hospital.

Lariviere says they have received calls all winter long regarding coyote attacks, but now that it's mating season, the call volumes have increased.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is offering some tips on how to keep the coyotes away from your property:

  • Avoid keeping pet food outdoors
  • Leaving garbage out in the open
  • Leave outdoor lights on

“Coyotes will be attracted to pet foods left out, any barbecue smells, and garbage, as well as dog feces will attract them. So, cleaning up after your pets as best as you can, will go a long way." said Kevin Kilgour, of the MNRF.

The ministry also wants people to know that coyotes are bolder at night, so keeping outdoor lights on outside may help keep them away.