WINDERMERE, Fla. – A local community is on alert for wild coyotes that are wandering in Windermere and are suspected of attacking dogs and cats.
Police brought in an expert to try and help calm fears.
Local 6 spoke to Steve Posey, who lost his tiny toy poodle Charro to coyotes eight weeks ago. He said they made their way onto his yard late at night and Charro got out and started barking.
"She ran up to the first one and the second one came up and grabbed her and took off. I was amazed," said Posey.
Posey was one of dozens in Windermere who packed a meeting, to hear from a coyote expert from the Humane Society of the United States that talked about the best way to protect your pets and yourself from coyotes that have been seen in the area.
Andrea Prehn saw a coyote in her neighborhood and has a pet cat she worries about, but said she found the meeting informative.
"It just paced back and forth, back and forth and then it got dark enough so we couldn't see it anymore," said Prehn. "I definitely won't leave any cat food out anytime after this."
The expert mentioned it's important to secure garbage lids, remove thick brush near homes, and clean up under bird feeders to keep coyotes away.
The expert also gave tips on how to scare coyotes away, including wearing something that makes noise, like a whistle, when taking your pet outside.
But not everyone was convinced by the advice.
"I don't know if it'll change my behavior at all," said Lori Trainer who carries a gun with her when she's out walking her dog.
Posey said he'll try out what the expert recommends.
"We'll see how it works out, that's all I can say," said Posey. "I really don't want to have to go through what I went through with my other dog ever again."