PARADISE VALLEY, AZ - A Valley neighborhood is on alert after a pack of coyotes attacked a small dog.
The dog was able to get free with a little help from her owner. Now they want to get the word out to protect other pets.
The Bieganski's took in Sophie more than two years ago as a stray. She adjusted quickly to their home in Paradise Valley and is quite close with the couple. So Chris knew he had to jump in when she got into a life-threatening situation.
"I saw she was ready to run and yelled at her to wait and she ran over and then I saw something running across the back," Chris recalls.
He said a small coyote lured Sophie out of their yard and straight into a pack of five or six coyotes waiting in the dark.
Chris said he ran after the dog but lost sight of her for a moment and that's when "she started screaming and squealing."
Sophie had been snatched up by one of the larger coyotes who then took off with her down the street but Chris ran and kept after them.
"She was squirming a lot so the coyote dropped her and then my husband went to grab her," said Chris' wife Julie.
Chris was able to bring Sophie inside and tell Julie what had happened. She said the dog wailed when she tried to pick her up so they let her be.
Then Chris tried to clean Sophie up before he realized how badly she'd been hurt.
He said, "I thought she might've just had bite wounds but the blood that was coming out was darker than normal blood so I knew there was a problem."
The coyote had punctured her lung and abdomen. Bite marks were visible on the tiny dog's body.
With some medication, Sophie is expected to make a full recovery. But the Bieganski's hope other dog owners keep a closer eye on their pets.
"Coyotes are smarter than people really think," warned Julie.
The couple also mentioned that neighbors' dogs have been attacked or killed by coyotes.
They're hoping some type of round-up program will be started near their home to protect the community's pets.