Fairfield police are warning of coyotes that have been attacking and killing pets in the area.
On Little Brook Road, at least three dogs have been attacked, two of which never made it home, according to police.
Cosmo, a three-year-old Shih Tzu, spent five days in intensive care after he was attacked. He's now home wrapped in bandages and is considered one of the lucky ones.
"I was hysterically crying," said his owner, 13-year-old Emma O'Donnell. "It was really scary, and we didn't know if he was going to be okay or not."
O'Donnell said she was walking her two dogs, Cosmo and Shadow, at 4.30 in the afternoon in her own backyard when two coyotes appeared. Cosmo put himself between his owner and the coyotes.
"I dropped the leash, [Shadow] ran, and [Cosmo] stepped in front of me and they snatched him," said O'Donnell.
Police said coyotes have increasingly become a problem in the area.
Four coyotes were caught on camera eating a deer near Fairfield Animal Control. Officials said in the last four or five years they've seen an uptick in the coyote population and that recently the animals have become far more bold. Authorities fear it could get worse.
"A coyote right now is going after small game, small dogs," said Fairfield Police Lt. James Perez. "But who knows? Maybe one day it can get as bad as going after a small child, and that's what we're really concerned about."
Before heading outside, authorities recommend bringing a flashlight to scan the area, carrying pepper spray, making sure not to leave food outside and breaking up your routine by varying your paths and the times you take your pets out.
"Understand that they are very cunning," said Lt. Perez. "They study the habits of the pet owner and of the pet."
If you do come across a coyote, police said you should make noise and refrain from turning your back to the animal. Instead, back up and walk away.
O'Donnell said she'll be extra cautious when going outside from now on and is relieved Cosmo will be okay, knowing he was making sure she'd be okay too.
"It was either to protect me or to scare [the coyotes] off. I think [Cosmo] thinks he's a little bigger than he is," said O'Donnell.
Last year Fairfield, hired trappers to deal with the coyotes, and officials said they may have to do the same thing again this year.