CASTLE PINES, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials have issued a warning for people to be cautious after a recent increase of coyote attacks on pets. CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann spoke to a man whose dog was killed by a coyote right in his yard.

Nearly every night coyotes can be spotted in Bryan Kortum’s yard in Castle Pines.

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“They just creep around,” Kortum said.

That’s part of the reason why he installed a security camera.

“I have two children; I just kind of want to make sure everything is safe after the tragedy that happened,” he said.

The tragedy occurred just about a year ago when Kortum’s family puppy, Daisy, was killed by coyotes.

“It totally took me by surprise,” he said.

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According to animal experts, coyotes are on the prowl this time of year.

“January, February is breeding season for the coyotes, so they’re pairing up and mating. It makes them a little more territorial than usual,” Jennifer Churchill with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said.

That means they’re likely to be even more aggressive, especially towards small pets. So Parks and Wildlife has issued a warning, reminding the public that Colorado is coyote country.

“We need to take some responsibility in scaring them off, making them unwelcome, and protecting our pets,” Churchill said.

Simple steps in staying safe include keeping pets indoors at night, making loud noises if approached by a coyote, and not leaving food outdoors.

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“Be threatening. Make it clear, ‘You’re not welcome near me, you’re not welcome near my pet,’ ” Churchill said.