INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A family is warning others of coyotes after it says one fatally attacked their chihuahua near an Elementary School in Perry Township.
"He meant a lot to the family, but he was especially my friend," Toni Constant said of her dog, Baby.
She's left holding onto only a photo after a walk at the park near Clinton Young Elementary School took a tragic turn Tuesday.
The family said they saw what they initially thought was a dog.
"And just as we got onto the barrier we heard our little chihuahua yelping," Danyelle Constant said.
"And I run back around the corner and a coyote had him in his mouth," Eric Constant said.
Baby didn't make it, leaving the Constant's asking for more warnings for others.
"If we would have known we never would have brought our pet here," Toni Constant said.
Friday, the playground at the school was closed and marked with caution tape. A sign read "Caution coyote in the area, playground and surrounding area closed until further notice! Thank you."
A spokesperson for Perry Township Schools said the district heard of two dogs attacked. It put signs up Thursday, has officers on the look out and is requesting traps from animal control.
"They're starting to become a bigger problem, especially the past few years they're learning to adapt to the urban environment," Conservation Officer Markie Throgmorton said.
Conservation officers said coyotes are prevalent, and this time of year is when their population is the highest.
There are steps you can take to keep everyone safe.
"Don't back them into a corner, feed your dogs and cats inside, watch your children," Throgmorton said.
Officers recommend keeping trash in closed containers in a garage, never leaving pets unattended and not interacting with wildlife.
For more tips from DNR click here.
"Just be aware, keep your animals and kids close to you," Toni Constant said.
For the Constant's, nothing can bring their beloved pet back, but they hope their warning helps save others.