GARLAND COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) - The Marlar family loves animals and now one of their own furry friends a little Shih Tzu is gone and they believe a coyote is to blame.

"Two nights ago it actually came up the road here and we seen it again and my was trying to chase it down to see where it was going," says Amy Marlar, a Garland County resident.

They couldn't track the coyote down, but their little dog is nowhere to be found. The Marlars are not the only ones worried about coyotes in Garland County. Animal services receive reports often.

"Over the last year we probably get one every couple of weeks," says Director of Animal Services, Dan Bugg.

Bugg says the drought plays a factor in more coyote sightings.

"That pushes coyotes into an area... where some of the wildlife they would hunt has not been abundant this year, that pushes them into areas where we have a lot of moisture, and water available and that's what draw wildlife in," says Bugg.

Bugg says keep small animals inside during dawn and dusk hours and keep trash stowed. He also says while walking your pet use a shorter leash.

"Have a whistle, referees whistle and blow that loudly and that will run them off," says Bugg.

Marlar says this incident changed the way she monitors her household.

"We definitely don't let our small animals outside unless we're outside with them, or our small children. You know because if they're going to attack a little dog what's going to stop them from attacking a little child," says Marlar.

Bugg agrees that coyotes will attack a very small child, but pose no threat to adults.

Twitter: @dustinbwilson1

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