A small Bichon Frise was taken into the air by a hungry eagle – and miraculously survived.
Zoey is an 8-pound Bichon residing in Bowmanstown, Pennsylvania. Earlier this month, she was being watched by her owner’s brother, Felipe, when things took a horrifying turn.
Felipe was at the house of his sister, Monica Newhard, watching her dog on a Tuesday afternoon. Newhard resides on the banks of the Lehigh River.
He was watching Zoey in the fenced-in backyard, and she was less than 50 feet away. It was just like any other time he’d watched the dog walk around in the yard – except on this day, nature decided to play a nasty game.
Rodriguez suddenly heard a screech and turned around. He believed he was hallucinating when he watched an eagle fly down, snatch up the little dog, and disappear with the dog flying over the trees.
Rodriguez, who was visiting from Chicago, said it was “like something from the Wizard of Oz,” stating that as a city boy, this just wasn’t something he could imagine happening.
If Rodriguez wasn’t shocked enough by what he’d just seen, things were about to get more unbelievable. Because the dog actually survived her encounter!
He was terrified. He drove around the neighborhood looking for Zoey, but couldn’t find her. He thought she could not have survived her ordeal.
When he told his sister and her family, they were devastated. Monica Newhard said she did nothing but cry the entire day. As animal lovers, the family has 4 dogs total, and lets a family of rabbits live under their porch.
Newhard said it wasn’t unusual to see eagles in the area, due to her proximity to the river. She said she sometimes suspected eagles of snatching up some of the wild rabbits, but never thought it could happen to her dogs.
But according to Laurie Goodrich, a biologist at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, birds are actually quite capable of lifting small dogs. She said that it’s rare, but it does happen.
Right now is a particularly tough time. The cold snap has left raptors (birds of prey) hungry – the rivers are freezing up. Because of this, the birds are having to get a little more creative in terms of where they source their next meal.
Newhard was heartbroken at these realizations. Unable to imagine what just became of her dog, she and her husband looked high and low in the woods for what they assumed would be Zoey’s body.
They didn’t find anything. Because unbeknownst to them, their dog was alive and well – an astounding four miles away.
Christina Hartman was driving down a snowy back road when she saw a small furry lump that concerned her. She pulled over to check it out.
She found Zoey, frozen, covered in icicles, and barely able to move.
She immediately picked Zoey up, who was whimpering, and wrapped her up in a blanket. She took the dog home and fed her two bowls of chicken-and-rice soup.
Eventually, Zoey warmed up enough to start displaying some more energy. Hartman then noticed that the dog had some wounds on the back of her neck, and was walking with a limp.
Because the dog wore no collar, Hartman didn’t know how to locate the owners. But she did suspect heavily that this dog was owned. And she was determined to find the owners.
It didn’t take long. She saw a Facebook post that Newhard had made about her missing dog the next day, and instantly made a very excited call to inform Newhard that she had Zoey.
Zoey is now recovering at home. Newhard reports that she had some bruising and missing fur. In addition, Zoey doesn’t want to go outside – but Newhard can’t blame her!
Some people have expressed concerns that Newhard wasn’t taking adequate care of her dog. But this was simply an accident. Not many people could anticipate such a freakish thing happening to their beloved pet.
But let this story serve as an example of the power possessed by birds of prey. Owls are well-known in wooded regions for being able to snatch up full-grown cats. And as demonstrated by Zoey, raptors are capable of going one step further and grabbing full-grown dogs.
So please, if you live in a region populated by any wild predators, keep a close eye on your pets at all times.