Neighbors in Dandridge say they're taking extra precautions, keeping their pets and children inside and away from coyotes.

Neighbors tell WBIR 10News they've seen as many as 15 coyotes stalking around their property looking for a meal.

One woman thinks a coyote killed her dog, the other is still recovering from the attack.

"She grabbed her here as you can see."

Judy Brown remembers vividly the morning a coyote attacked her two Shih Tzus, Lulu and Molly.

"They got attacked. One of them we haven't even found the remains; the other one we had to take to the vet. It's been eat up pretty good."

There's a reward out for her missing dog and she remains hopeful, but she's more worried about her grandson.

"He doesn't get out. He's walking now, he likes the freedom and he needs the exercise."

Bobbie Brill lives in a different subdivision, but is seeing the same problem. She rescues Shih Tzus and has to be extra careful when letting them out, especially at night.

"I'm out there every night. When I hear them going, I bang pans and I clap my hands and screaming just to get them away," explained Brill.

"I got a gun because I'm nervous. If I go to take the dog out and they run to their pin and there's a coyote there - I'm going to shoot it."

Knoxville Veterinarian Dr. Penny Iannacone explains that coyotes are fairly shy, but they are seeing more in the area.

"People are spotting them in areas you wouldn't really expect. I think it's because Knoxville's laid out in a nice little narrow strip there's a lot of little pockets of undeveloped land and also some park land and also some cemeteries places they can den up and hide," said Dr. Iannacone.

She says everyone can take a simple step to keep nuisance critters away from their home - don't put food out for stray animals.

"Sometimes you end up inadvertently attracting animals you really don't want hanging around."