Hawk snatches dog from Fair Haven driveway

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FAIR HAVEN -

The owner of a French bulldog says he was shocked when a bird, believed to be a red-tailed hawk, snatched up his dog right from his driveway.

Chris Gooch says his dog Phoebe was out in their front yard Tuesday when the bird swooped down from the sky and attacked the dog. Phoebe was able to fend off the attack, but still suffered injuries.

“You can see the wounds,” Gooch says. “It grabbed her right by the legs.”

The hawk’s talons shredded Phoebe’s underbelly and legs, but luckily missed major arteries. Phoebe is expected to recover.

“We were nervous too because she wasn’t doing so hot at the time,” Gooch says.

Fair Haven Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr. Kerri O'Keefe-Haupt says that there have been similar incidents of hawks attacking dogs. But she says that the birds of prey typically do not go after larger dogs like Phoebe, who is 25 pounds. O'Keefe-Haupt says that the colder weather is keeping hawks’ normal food source, such as squirrels and mice, underground.

“That’s what the danger really is. These hawks, if they’re hungry, they don't care. They'll try.  They'll think they can do it,” she says.

Gooch says that he hopes other pet owners learn from his mistake.

“Don't let your dogs outside by themselves. Be careful,” he says.

Veterinarians recommend keeping pets on a leash or in a fenced area. Owners are also advised to keep a close eye on their pets while they are outside.

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