by DANIELLE KENNEDY AND FRANK MARADIAGA, NBC 10 NEWS

DEM warns the public against coyotes by limiting potential food reserves. (MGN)

WARWICK, R.I. (WJAR) –

A coyote attack prompted the Warwick Police Department to warn residents to pay attention to their pets when they went out.

Police said a coyote attacked a dog Wednesday in a neighborhood near the Valley Country Club.

"Just a reminder to keep an eye on your pets when they go out," they posted on Facebook with a photo of a coyote.

Justin Moore, who lives near the area where the dog was attacked, said the coyotes had become regulars in his yard.

"Usually around 10 o'clock you can hear a group of coyotes in the yard," Moore told NBC Thursday at 10 am "They bark just viciously."

Moore said that he has two dogs and often leaves them out at night.

"As soon as it's dark, I'm still worried," he said.

The police did not specify what type of dog had been attacked or if it was ok.

"In general, these incidents are related to the fact that people just do not think that a coyote is not going to be there and that they are releasing their little animals," said Numi Mitchell, of Narragansett Bay Coyote Study.

Mitchell added that it is not uncommon for pets to be caught by coyotes.

"Be careful with your little animals," Mitchell told NBC News. "Do not leave them tied up or unattended."

In 2005, Warwick set up a "coyote commission" to deal with the problem.

The Department of Environmental Management of Rhode Island said last year that coyotes could become bold and pose risks to small pets and humans.

RIDEM guidelines published last year to decrease prosecution to interact with the coyotes. Officials also recommend not to leave garbage or food on the outside.

"The community needs to think in solidarity," Mitchell said. "Do not leave food outside, it might take your neighbor's pets.