Chihuahua nearly carried off by hawk

Jan. 21, 2011 at 3:19 PM

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla., Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A Florida man said his 2-pound chihuahua puppy is recovering from injuries sustained when a hawk tried to grab her from the second-floor deck of his home.

John Ciocho of Fort Walton Beach said he was inside while the 2-month-old puppy, Bug, was playing Wednesday with the family's Yorkie, Ernie, and he rushed outside when he heard the small dog scream, the Destin (Fla.) Log reported Friday.

Ciocho said he ran outside to see Bug in the talons of a hawk about to take off. The bird dropped the canine and left when it was startled by the human.

"Another half a second and they would have been gone," Ciocho said.

Ciocho said he took Bug to Bayside Animal Clinic with bleeding wounds in her shoulder and neck. The canine underwent surgery to stitch the wounds and insert a drain tube.

Stan Kirkland, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said hawk attacks on small dogs are not uncommon.

"Unfortunately it can and does happen," he said. "They're large raptors and they eat little animals. And a little Chihuahua or a little small dog looks like food to them."

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