They sound like a made up animal, but coywolves are real and they are all over the area lately.

Coywolves are described as a hybrid of coyotes, grey wolves and eastern wolves and they have been spotted all over Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Apparently these eastern coyotes with lots of wolf traits are becoming more common throughout Southern New England and people are being warned to watch their pets.

Of course coyotes are already something to watch out for with small dogs and cats, but these eastern coyote hybrids (dubbed coywolves) are bigger than your average coyotes and can therefore be a threat to larger pets as well.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has even told NBC 10 that dogs are large as German shepards are being killed by these animals.

So what can you do to keep your pets safe?

Try not to take them for walks after dark if possible or stick to lighted areas if necessary to walk at night.

Avoid off-leash walks in high-risk areas, typically wooded areas.

Secure your trash and recycling, never put bones in your compost and keep all pet food indoors to avoid attracting coyotes in the first place.

And of course NEVER, ever intentionally feed a coyote.