PEARLAND, Texas She was just a puppy to end all, said Tara Ross. She d play with you. She d run around.

Her name was Sienna, and Tara Ross is talking about her in the past tense, because when her father let the tiny Shih Tzu out to use the bathroom before going bed it was killed by a coyote.

I understand they re wild animals, but it apparently wasn t afraid of me, because I wasn t more than 40 feet from it, said Glenn Rhodes.

Ross said she called Pearland Animal Control to report the attack.

They told me if a homeowner decides to take their dog off their leash, it s their responsibility, said Ross.

That is one thing, but the mother of three is concerned for the safety of her children, who often play in the yard.

I understand you can put your pet on a leash, but what about small children, she asked.

The city of Pearland said it would typically work with a property owner and investigate the situation, but that Ross doesn t live within city limits, a point she disputes.

We pay city taxes, and we re trying to build a house for my parents, and we re going through issues with city permits, said Ross.

There have been multiple sightings by other neighbors.

A coyote just walked straight through the yard. It was broad daylight. He was very unconcerned, and he saw me there and didn t care, said Rebecca Bobincheck, who lives nearby.

The increase in coyote sightings is likely due to loss of habitat, in other words, human encroachment. Residents point to a large tract of nearby land recently stripped of its trees.

We had a huge influx of bunnies when they tore down that area, said Bobincheck. A huge amount of bunnies, and I think the coyotes just followed their food source.

She worries the next target won t be a dog.

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