By: Chloe Leshner

cleshner@abc6.com

@ChloeLeshner

WESTERLY, R.I. (WLNE) -- A family vacation in Westerly took a tragic turn after their small dog was killed by a coyote. The family is distraught over the loss but also frustrated they weren't told about what they're calling a big problem in the area.

The dog's owner says he tried fighting off the animal but ultimately couldn't save their dog Razz. Now he's sharing his story to warn other families.

"It's just a nightmare," says John Burke of New York City.

The Burke family is mourning the loss of their dog Razz, who was killed by a wild animal, while they were vacationing in Westerly.

"This changed my family forever. I'm heartbroken for my wife and my two girls and the one on the way. The 2 and 3 year old say every single day, Razz you are my best buddy," he says.

They were using the outdoor shower when Burke says what he thought was a large dog came into the back yard and began fighting their two dogs.

"My first thought was it was going to go over there and they were going to all fight and my dogs were going to get tore up before I got this thing away. I didn't think it was running away to eat my dog," says Burke.

Burke is scratched up from chasing after it and even trying to fight it off. Despite every attempt, Razz was gone.

They hired a tracker dog to help find her remains.

"She was doing this to protect her family. I wanted any little piece of her so we could bring home and respect and get her cremated," he says.

Not far from where they found Razz's remains they say they found a grease trap and bones left behind from a steak someone must have left out.

Burke is now left wishing he knew the danger was here.

"I could never have imagined coming to Rhode Island and not being warned of a huge danger. And it's not coyotes are in your neighborhood watch your dog. It's a very aggressive predatory coyote dog mix, coy–dog, that's relentless once it gets near you," he says.

Westerly police say its not necessarily a problem and there aren't any more coyote attacks than in years past. It's also illegal to leave food out for the wild animals.
(C) WLNE/ABC 6 2018