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12 November 2019, 07:52
Emma the Chihuahua had a narrow escape after being grabbed by a 'trained bird of prey'
A woman from Scotland has spoken of her terror after her pet Chihuahua was grabbed by a bird of prey while in their family garden.
Sheila Gillanders, 72, from Aberdeenshire, revealed that, thankfully, her dog Emma, 18 months, was saved thanks to the quick actions of her husband.
The bird, described as 'buzzard-like', grabbed the dog in its talons, but was fought off by Mr Gillanders, 65.
Mrs Gillanders told The Press and Journal: "We heard a bell and it was a bird of prey coming down - it must have escaped from its handler."
"It pinned her against the fence. It only got so far up, but my husband was able to get the bird off her.
"It then just looked at us. It was a really big bird, like a buzzard. It was definitely trained, as it was wearing a bell."
Emma is now recovering and was given medication from the vet.
The couple are now appealing for the bird's handler to come forward.
"She is a bit bruised but otherwise she was not physically injured," Sheila added. "Her stress is sky-high and we are struggling to get her back out in the garden.
"It was very lucky. If it had not been for my husband getting to her so quickly I dread to think what could have happened."
Scottish SPCA Chief Inspector Alison Simpson said: “We are glad that Emma wasn’t hurt too badly in this instance.
“Incidents such as this are extremely rare, but we would ask animal owners to be vigilant when large birds are in the area.”
Earlier this year, a family spoke of their heartvreak after their pet Chihuahua was snatched by a seagull in their garden.