EDMONTON -- A Sherwood Park woman is calling for action after her Chihuahua was killed in a coyote attack.  

Adele Mnoholitny says the attack happened on Friday in their backyard, which is separated from a large field by a fence.  

"I saw this black flash come across and I heard him screaming and took me four or five seconds to get out the door," she recalled.

"I saw this coyote on top of him and I was yelling, 'Get out of here, get out of here, get out of here!'"

The coyote then released her pet, Sammy, and darted back over the fence.

"And I saw four or five of them are over there, just advancing towards the fence like it was a pack of coyotes."

Sammy was taken to the vet with deep puncture wounds, but later died.  

According to one biology professor, coyote attacks aren't well documented, but the animals have appeared to become more brazen. Colleen Cassady St. Clair of the Edmonton Urban Coyote Project referred to recent attacks that have been publicized, including video of a Pomeranian being snatched up by a coyote in Edmonton's Albany neighbourhood.

"I think it's really rare, proportionate to the number of homes, the number of dogs, the number of coyotes, but maybe more common than it used to be," St. Clair told CTV News Edmonton.

St. Clair said fences can deter coyotes, but noted they are animals of opportunity. She recommended installing a cylinder that spins along the top of the fence, or flags to deter scare them away.

Mnoholitny, meanwhile, is calling on Strathcona County and the province to control the coyote population.

"Something has to be done. Something has to be done."

St. Clair said a cull could actually make the problem worse because coyotes reproduce more when the population shrinks.

A spokesperson for Alberta Fish and Wildlife told CTV News Edmonton an officer was dispatched the day of the attack at Mnoholitny's home, and that someone will be in touch with her this week.  

With a report from CTV Edmonton's Sarah Plowman