Police working Christmas morning found themselves putting down a coyote in a Kitchener neighbourhood.

The coyote was spotted on Cambridge Avenue. Residents say it came perilously close to several homes.

Natasha Smigelski lives on the street. Her fiancé, Devin Sisak, saw the animal while he was outside.

“He'd seen the coyote, and then it turned around and started running toward the house,” says Smigelski.

“It was just prancing down the street."

The family watched the coyote run across several lawns before police showed up and cornered the animal.

Police called the Humane Society, but before anyone could show up, the animal started running toward police. Officers say they had no choice but to shoot the animal.

It is believed the coyote was looking for food.

Police are reminding people not to leave out garbage, and to keep an eye on small pets.

“If people do see one in their residential areas, we would urge them to contact the authorities,” says police spokesperson Olaf Heinzel.