SIMSBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Simsbury police are warning residents to keep a close eye on their pets after several dogs were attacked by coyotes in recent weeks.

Simsbury residents say while they are used to the coyote population in town, the attacks are new.

Police are warning residents to use caution while walking in the area of the blue and yellow trails near the open space of the Simsbury Conservation Area.

Police said there were two reported coyote attacks between Town Forest Road and the Ethel Walker School property. Police said the dogs survived the attacks but sustained injuries.

Sadly, two small dogs were attacked and taken by coyotes near Wildwood and Castlewood roads, police said.

Officials with the Department of Energy and Enviormental Protection said they believe the coyotes have a den nearby and are defending their territory.

The Department of Energy and Enviormental Protection (DEEP) advises people not to feed coyotes, keep their pets on a leash and bring them inside at night to prevent future attacks.

“Coyotes have existed forever and we live with them and they’re beautiful and it’s just like everything else we have to figure out how to live together,” said Jen Sheldonn, a Simsbury resident.

Police say the smaller the dog the bigger the target.

“These guys are small so I try to keep an eye out, and look ahead before we walk somewhere because they might be a little tempting for the coyotes it’s good to know that,” said Ken Lovallo.

If you would like to learn more about the coyote population in Connecticut, you can visit the DEEP website.