From KPHO in Phoenix, Arizona
PHOENIX — It’s not unusual for a small dog or cat to be taken by a wild animal, such as a coyote, in the Valley; however, one Ahwatukee family’s pet was nearly carried off by an owl.
Lucy, the Cocanour family’s Maltese and Yorkshire terrier mix, was playing in the yard nearly two weeks ago when Becky Cocanour heard a “horrible shrieking.” The family ran to the dog’s aid.
“I realized she had tears on both sides of her — punctures — torn, ripped about an inch and a half,” Dave Cocanour said.
Dave Cocanour, is a wildlife biologist, and he said he quickly realized Lucy’s wounds were the work of a great horned owl.
They rushed the dog to the vet.
“I was scared I was going to have to put her to sleep that night,” Becky Cocanour said. “I’ve had her 10 years. (It) would’ve been horrible to lose her â€¦ to an owl.”
The 11-pound terrier’s weight probably saved her, said veterinarian Kurt Baumler.
“It made a difference; it really did,” Baumler said. “Those (owls) can pick up a full-grown rabbit, and you’re talking six — seven — eight pounds without a problem.”
Becky Cocanour agreed.
“The owl couldn’t pick her up,” she said. “Or, if it did, she was able to get away.”
The Cocanours said they’re happy Lucy is OK.
“I don’t have anything against the owl — it was just trying to eat,” Dave Cocanour said. “I’m just glad it didn’t eat Lucy.”