A family is warning residents in their northeast London neighbourhood after their dog was attacked by a coyote and almost killed.

The Hipkiss family lives on Kilally Road, and that's where their 13-year-old terrier J.Ru was attacked two days ago.

Owner Melanie Hipkiss says "We've had her since she was eight weeks old, so she's a big part of our family."

Melanie says she heard her dog yelp, and before she knew it four coyotes were attacking J.Ru in the family's backyard.

Melanie's son Keiran Hipkiss describes the scene, "My mom started screaming and right after that I don't even remember getting my shoes and I was halfway down the hill after them."

Melanie adds "I guess we were close enough that we were able to scare them into dropping her."

Fortunately J.Ru survived and was stitched up at the Southside Animal Clinic before returning home on Tuesday night.

But Melanie says "She's still afraid obviously to be outside and a lot of pain."

Coyote sightings are becoming increasingly common in London, Kent Lattanzio of the London Animal Care Centre says, "There have been more encounters over the last few years."

The Hipkiss family believes more warnings are necessary so people in the area are aware of the problem.

Melanie says "There is subdivisions all around us, there's a school a kilometre away from us and there's another school at the end of the street."

Animal control says coyotes don't pose a big threat to humans as they are generally afraid of people, but if a coyote is acting particularly aggressive, you should call animal control immediately, and they will send a dispatcher to assess the situation.

For the Hipkiss family, while there's still a long road to recovery, they are just happy J.Ru will be alright.

For more on coyotes and other urban wildlife from the City of London click here.