Coyotes attack man and his 2 small dogs in Ocala

OCALA, Fla. - An Ocala man and his two small dogs were attacked by coyotes while walking in his suburban subdivision.

The Star-Banner reports that Jack Miller was near his front door with his poodle, Tinkerbell, and his Maltese/Chihuahua mix, Jax, when at least five coyotes surrounded them.

Miller said Tinkerbell jumped between him and the coyotes "like a pitbull," while Jax cowered.

He punched one of the coyotes but said he couldn't fend off the animals. One grabbed Jax and bolted off. Tinkerbell was unhurt.

Joy Hill, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said coyotes are generally associated with western regions of the United States but are increasingly becoming a problem in Florida as well, as the species' population grows and development encroaches on their habitat.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.