KYLE, Texas -- There is a warning to pet owners in Central Texas -- a growing number of animals are disappearing, and coyotes may be to blame.
Kyle Animal Control officers want to catch what's killing small pets. They believe a coyote is to blame, but Animal Control Officer Brianna Brecker says it's possible the predator is a bobcat or bird of prey.
"We've had four dogs killed; two were left in a backyard, two were taken away," Brecker said.
The two dogs attacked lived at the same home. That makes three attacks in one month.
Kyle Animal Control is working with Hays County game warden to determine what animals are involved. They're using dog food as bait, but Brecker says coyotes prefer live animals.
"This is the time of year when most wildlife are more active," said Brecker. Animal Control also installed a camera so they can watch activity near the trap.
Cindy Houston says she never leaves her little Lou Lou outside alone after dark. She says her walks in the park are a good reminder to be keep an eye out.
"Along the creek I've seen carcasses, couldn't make out if it's a cat or dog, but it's not a wild animal," Houston said.
As for these recent pet attacks in the Amberwood, Steeplechase and the Trails neighborhoods of Kyle, they all happened in fenced yards. All of the pets killed weighed under 20 pounds.
In one instance, a homeowner actually saw a coyote.
Animal Control officers don't believe there is any risk to people at this time, but residents should keep an eye on small pets and children. Homeowners are also urged to check for gaps in their fences.