SAN FRANCISCO (Amber Lee/KTVU) A San Francisco woman has a warning for pet owners about coyotes after her beloved dog was snatched and killed by a coyote in the Balboa Terrace neighborhood.
Jodi Kimel told KTVU on Wednesday that it happened in a split second.
"Bella...she was a sweet little girl that everybody in the neighborhood loved," says Kimel.
She says she had just taken Bella and her other dog, Dupree, both Shih Tzu's, outside in front of her home to go to the bathroom around 4:30 a.m. Sunday.
Kimel says the dogs were on leashes and they were headed back inside the house.
Bella was on the steps while the other dog was closer to Kimel.
"I dropped both leashes and I reached to open the door because he was all tangled up in my feet. When I reached over to open the door, I saw out of the corner of my eye ...(she makes a noise) and that was it," says Kimel
She says the "it" was a coyote.
Kimel says her husband gave chase,"He could see it running down the street with Bella in its mouth."
The coyote leaped over a fence and got away.
Kimel says she and her husband found Bella dead on a neighbor's front lawn.
"It's anger ...that i did everything I was supposed to do and it still happened. It's frustration," says Kimel.
She says she started seeing coyotes in her neighborhood a year ago...so she says she's careful whenever she's outside with her dogs.
"Last June, you couldn't turn around and not see a coyote. That wasn't the case when we moved in in '08," says Kimel.
She says there have been meetings with city leaders, Animal Care and Control, and wildlife experts.
But nothing has changed.
"I'm a animal lover. but when they start doing stuff like that...if you can't move them, euthanize them," says Kimel.
"You move them from a decent habitation...or habitat...and some others will come in," says Dan De Vries with Project Coyote, a nonprofit that works with communities to co-exist with wildlife.
De Vries says blowing a whistle or making other loud noises will usually scare off coyotes.
He says Kimel's experience is rare.
"Uncommon, but it does happen." says De Vries.
Signs warning of coyotes are up at Glen Park and other places such as the Presidio where some hiking trails are closed to dogs until further notice.
Animal Care and Control says coyotes are most visible in the summer and fall as they raise pups and then disperse.
As for Bella's grieving owner, she wants others to beware.
"It doesn't matter how vigilant you are ...that there's still a risk,' says Kimel.
Animal Care and Control says officers are patrolling the area...and it is asking pet owners to be vigilant especially from dusk to dawn.