Ocala man says dog attacked by coyote in neighborhood

Dog owner calls for officials to set traps for coyotes

OCALA, Fla. - An Ocala man is calling for state wildlife officials to set traps in his neighborhood, after he says his dog was snatched by a coyote on Tuesday night.

"He was part of my family," said Jack Miller.

Miller's Shih Tzu/Chihuahua mix, Jax, was taken in front of Miller's home in the Hidden Lake subdivision in southwest Ocala.

Miller said the coyote was one of a pack of at least eight, that immediately surrounded him and his two dogs as soon as they stepped outside for a walk.

"It happened so quickly. I didn't have time to pick up my dogs, and run to the door or anything," he said.

Miller said state law enforcement officials told him nothing could be done.

Joy Hill, a spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said coyotes are in every county in the state, and currently, the agency does not have a policy when it comes to coyotes.

Hill said that it is up to residents to take matters into their own hands- like hiring private trappers and shooting the coyotes, if the law permits. Hill said coyotes hunt after dusk, and residents should avoid leaving small pets and children unattended during this time.

Neighbors tell Local 6 they are worried about the coyotes.

"What about little kids running around here, or the street? You know, if them things are hungry, they're going to attack them," said Val Hancox.

"To know that these things are the size of a German Sheppard maybe possibly bigger and would come and attack a little dog, what would they do to a little child?," said Deborah Samargya, who lives in the subdivision.

FWC officials said if a coyote attacks a person they'll euthanize it.

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