Felipe Rodríguez had to rub his eyes to make sure they weren’t deceiving him. “I’m a city boy. This doesn’t happen in my world,” he told the Associated Press.
As Rodríguez was making his way into the backyard of his sister’s house near the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania recently, he witnessed how cutthroat mother nature can really be.
“It seemed like something from the ‘Wizard of Oz,'” he said.
Zoey is a 7-year-old Bichon Frise. She was about 50 feet from the house when an eagle swooped down and grabbed her out of the backyard. The eagle took off, and the family thought they’d never see the pup again.
While walking around the backyard, Zoey, a seven-year-old Bichon Frise, was snatched out of the backyard by an eagle.
Rodríguez stood in stunned silence. Zoey weighs about eight pounds, and was easy picking for for the raptor who was searching for food.
While eagles plucking dogs from their homes is uncommon, it isn’t unheard of. Laurie Goodrich, a biologist at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, says food is hard for wildlife to come by these days.
“The waterways are freezing up. They’re going to be looking a little more widely and taking advantage of whatever might be out there,” she said to the Associated Press.
Rodriguez said he was alone in the house when he heard a loud screech, and rushed to the French doors leading to the backyard. That’s when he saw the eagle with its talons already in Zoey, taking off.
“We started searching. Searching for a body. We didn’t think she’d be alive,” said Zoey’s owner Monica Newhard.
Zoey’s family started looking for her. They didn’t expect to find her alive, but wanted to give her a proper burial. Without knowing how far the eagle had carried Zoey off, it was unlikely they’d find her at all.
Zoey’s owner, Monica Newhard, said she spent the entire day crying. Little did she know that four miles away, Zoey was wrapped in a warm blanket and being nursed back to health.
A woman named Christina Hartman saw Zoey walking alongside the snow covered road where she was driving.
“I notice this little frozen dog, icicles hanging from all over. It could hardly move,” Hartman told the AP.
She pulled over, picked Zoey up, and took her back to her house. She was completely unaware of Zoey’s miraculous journey, or how badly her family wanted to see her again.
Christina Hartman saw Zoey walking alongside a road four miles from where the eagle snatched her. Hartman took her home and nursed her to health.
The next day, Hartman saw a post that Newhard made on Facebook. It didn’t take long to connect the dots. Once Hartman realized the dog described in the post was the one she’d found, she contacted Newhard.
“I said, ‘It’s a miracle! I have your dog!'” said Hartman.
“It was a miracle. There are more powerful things out there,” Newhard said in an interview with NBC.
After the ordeal, Zoey is no worse for the wear. She has a few bruises and scratches, but nothing that won’t heal in time. They made a post on Facebook announcing the good news that the dog is back in the loving arms of her family.
The family says Zoey is hesitant to go into the backyard. It might take a while before she feels safe again, but they’re just happy to have her back.
— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) January 6, 2018