A coyote snatched a small dog from inside a Laguna Beach home Monday night, the dog's owners said.
John Fischer, who lives in the 500 block of Oak Street with his wife, said the couple's three Chihuahuas started barking about 7:45 p.m.
Fischer, who was in the kitchen, didn't think much of the noise. The dogs were in the bedroom with his week-old granddaughter, and he assumed they were reacting to a visitor they were expecting.
But as he left the kitchen, Fischer glimpsed something running out of the bedroom and into the yard. It was a coyote, and it was carrying something.
"I could see the white in his mouth," Fischer. "They're very fast. He was gone like a shot."
Fischer had enough time to see the animal had seized Eloise, an 8-year-old Chihuahua.
"The dog was screaming," he said. "It was awful."
Fischer searched for the coyote, hoping he could scared it enough to drop the dog, but he found nothing.
Typically, Fischer explained, he closes up the small cottage around dusk to keep out the coyotes he and his wife see around their property.
In this case, he forgot to shut a pair of double doors that lead from the bedroom to the yard.
Laguna Beach police took a report on the incident but weren't immediately available to answer questions about it.
Last year, an OC Parks officials said increased sightings of aggressive coyotes could be due to California's record drought.
Jeremiah Dobruck writes for Times Community News.