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ATLANTA -- An eight-pound Yorkie mix may be no match for a coyote, but a loud pet owner is. Betsy Lurey is holding her dog Lily very close after she escaped the jaws of a coyote.

"Timing is everything in life," Lurey said. "I happened to be in the right place at the right time and I was able to move fast." And think fast. Lurey remembered an article she read once about coyotes. It said that loud noises can disorient coyotes and make them drop their prey.

Lurey took Lily out for a walk at around midnight andthe dog took off running across her front yard in northwest Atlanta. The next thing Lurey saw was Lily in the jaws of a coyote. The coyote started to drag Lily into a wooded area next to Lurey's home. "And so I started screaming with a lung volume I never knew I had," Lurey said.

Once she stopped screaming she paused to hear which way the coyote ran, but instead heard something else. "I heard a rustling in the leaves and just one little whimper," she said. It was Lily lying in a pile of leaves in the woods.

Lily had a couple puncture wounds in her back and is now a little leery about going outside without being in Lurey's arms, but otherwise fine.

Lurey thinks it's only a matter of time before someone loses their pet or a child is attacked by a coyote. She said she could call a trapper to set traps in her yard, but the problem is bigger than that.

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She said it's a community problem. "We need to get together, hire an animal tracker and safely and humanely remove coyotes," she said. "I was lucky, and Lily was lucky."

Wildlife expert Timothy Smith of Catchitwild.com said Lurey is probably right about her screaming saving her dog. He also said pet owners should keep their dogs and cats inside during the early morning hours and the late night hours when coyotes are on the prowl.

You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kgrowson

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