Bichon Frise Lives To Tell the Tale of Attempted Eagle Snatching

When Felipe Rodriguez was visiting his sister at her Lehigh River, Pennsylvania home, he had no idea that he’d watch her 8-pound Bichon Frise be whisked away by an eagle–and perhaps gone forever.

Seems little Zoey was in her yard when the hungry eagle swooped in, snatched her up and flew off over the treeline. Rodriguez calls himself a ‘city boy’ and said he thought he might have even been hallucinating when he saw it–sort of like when Toto was taken in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ He was completely floored, and didn’t know how to break it to his sister.

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Laurie Goodrich is a biologist at nearby Hawk Mountain Sanctuary who says that the recent cold snap has made food in the area scarce. The Sanctuary is a preserve that records the data of migrating hawks, eagles and falcons. Goodrich says that they have documented the birds looking to small domesticated animals in times like this, but it doesn’t happen often.

Rodriguez said that he heard a loud screeching and when he did, he ran to the French doors that led to the deck and saw poor Zoey in the talons of the eagle. The eagle was clutching Zoey, flapping his wings, and then, according to Rodriguez, gone in a flash.

Rodriguez drove the neighborhood in hopes that the pooch would miraculously have made it, but he was disappointed. He couldn’t find her, and he assumed the she would never be seen again. When he told his sister, Monica Newhard, she said she didn’t do anything but cry all day missing Zoey.

She wasn’t surprised though, as she said it wasn’t that uncommon to see eagles in the area so close to the river as they lived. She even thought that some of the rabbits she knew lived under her shed may have been victims of eagle snatches. She just never dreamed it would be one of her four dogs.

Newhard and her husband looked for Zoey, determined to at least find what was left of her little body. Sadly, they didn’t find her.

That’s because a few miles away, Christina Hart was driving on a backroad when she saw a lump of white fur on the side of the road. She pulled over and saw poor Zoey, frozen with icicles all over. Zoey could barely move, Hartman said, and so she whisked her up, wrapped her up and took her home to feed her some chicken-and-rice soup. Zoey slowly warmed up and started acting more like herself.

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Hartman says that Zoey walked with a bit of a limp, and had what appeared to be small bites on the back of her neck, but she had no collar. Still, she believed that the dog was a family dog and told herself she was going to find its family.

Later, Hartman saw the Facebook post that Newhard put online that morning, and it included a picture of the dog she’d found. She called the number and told them it was a miracle, as she had Zoey!

Helen and I have tried to read every post and I wish we could respond to them all. I am so grateful to everyone.I would…

Posted by Monica Gary Newhard on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Rodriguez cannot believe that Zoey survived, and it isn’t known how far he’d traveled with her, but it’s clear that she is a fighter. Newhard says she is traumatized, still not really acting herself and hesitant to go outside.

But really, can you blame her?


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