Dog returns to her family after being carried away by an eagle

bald eagle flying Photo by Andy Morffew

There are certain advantages to having a large dog. For starters, it won’t get carried off by an eagle.

We’ve all heard tales of household pets getting snatched up by birds of prey, and they aren’t all urban legends. Just ask Monica Newhard. Her four-kilogram bichon frise, Zoey, was plucked up by an eagle earlier this month, though perhaps the even more surprising part of the story is that she was found alive — six kilometres away.

Zoey was being looked after by Newhard’s brother, Felipe Rodriguez, at her home by the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania when it happened.

“He said, you know, for a moment or two, it was a beautiful sight. For those two seconds, it was like, ‘Wow, that’s beautiful,'” Newhard told CBC’s As It Happens. “But then he realized all of sudden, oh my god, it has Zoey.”

“It seemed like something from The Wizard of Oz,” Rodriguez told the Associated Press. “I’m a city boy. This doesn’t happen in my world.”

Rodriguez spent the next hour driving around frantically in search of the dog, but when he could see no sign of her, he called his sister to tell her the bad news.

Newhard was deeply upset, but though she realized it was unlikely that the dog had survived, she nevertheless decided to continue the search. “I called my husband and my son and we devised a plan of searching — not for a live puppy, but for the remains.”

Later that afternoon, Christina Hartman was driving through the snow when she saw something up ahead of her on the back road.

Newhard family with their dog, Zoey, and her rescuer, Christina Hartman
Zoey back home with Monica Newhard, Newhard’s granddaughter Helen, and Christina Hartman, who found and returned the dog.

“I notice this little frozen dog, icicles hanging from all over. It could hardly move,” Hartman told the Associated Press.

She quickly realized the dog must belong to a nearby family, and soon came across a Facebook post by Newhard asking if anyone had seen the dog. “My heart is broken for both Zoey and [my granddaughter] Helen,” the post read.

Hartman called Newhard right away and told her, “It’s a miracle! I have your dog!”

Zoey escaped the incident without any major injuries, though she was bruised and had lost some fur. As for the story of what happened up there in the air between bichon frise and eagle, only Zoey knows that. “My guess is the eagle probably didn’t realize it had bitten off more than it could chew,” Newhard said.

Of course, both Zoey and Newhard have come out of the ordeal a bit more cautious. “[Zoey] doesn’t want to go outside and I kind of don’t blame her,” Newhard says. As for Newhard, her Facebook post has been updated to say that someone donated an outdoor pen for Zoey and her other dogs. “This will keep them forever safe,” she wrote.

Featured Video