As we’ve built up homes and staked out our territories, pushing back nature to make a comfortable place for ourselves to live, there has been a struggle taking place.
Wild animals aren’t always so wild anymore, and they adapt to the presence of humans. In some species, like bears, this becomes a liability to both animal and human and can lead to dangerous encounters and the dispatching of predators.
Raccoons, coyotes and birds of prey have suffered from the toxins introduced to their systems by eating poisoned rodents, but their proximity also makes it much easier for them to snag a meal featuring our dearly beloved pets.
Coyotes are especially dangerous, as they have been known to routinely kill pet dogs. Many deterrents have been created, including both rolling bars on top of fences to keep them out and spiked vests for small dogs to make them harder to kill and carry off.
That takes care of coyotes, but there are assailants that come from the sky, too. They’re not as easy to ward off if your animals aren’t protected, but they also can’t carry off prey that weighs more than their own body weight, which is generally only a few pounds.
There have been recorded cases of hawks picking up small breed dogs, but many times they drop the pups before dealing the final blow, allowing their owners to retrieve their pets.
They can, however, kill dogs they can’t fly off with and eat them on the spot. This is what happened to poor little Tee, a 10-year-old, 10-pound Pomeranian from South Carolina who was killed in his own backyard in 2013, according to WRDW.
If you have small dogs, you have to stay vigilant. If your dog is of the “teacup” variety, they shouldn’t be outside by themselves or they could be carried off.
That’s what almost happened to Lulu, a 2-pound Yorkshire Terrier puppy in Las Vegas, Nevada, this month.
Cecilia Celis, the pup’s 15-year-old owner, thought Lulu and her other dog were just playing, as they were making quite a ruckus outside. But when Cecilia peeked outside, she was shocked.
“We were inside making tacos, and we hear crying,” she told WSBT. “We just hear them barking and crying, so we are like ‘oh they’re just play fighting’ and a second later, I just look outside.”
“We see a huge bird fly up, and I yell at the bird, ‘get off my dog! Get off my dog!'”
After smacking the giant bird, believed to be a hawk of some sort, with a pillow several times, Cecilia scared it off. The bird managed to tear a hole in Lulu’s neck, but thankfully the dog was rescued in time and the vet was able to patch her up.
Lulu’s prognosis is good, though she’ll probably have a (healthy) fear of birds for a long time. Her owner will be keeping a closer eye on her two dogs, and wants other small-dog owners in the area to be aware that this kind of attack can — and does — happen.
“We just hope that the bird gets captured,” Cecilia said. “Bird comes out of nowhere. It could happen to any of us.”
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