Big Dog Saves Little Dog From Hungry Owl

Sadie (left) ran to the aid of her 7-pound friend when the little dog was attacked by an owl. Shown here with the family's rottie, Eli.
Sadie (left) ran to the aid of her 7-pound friend when the little dog was attacked by an owl. Shown here with the family's rottie, Eli.

ILLINOIS — When a 70-pound boxer named Sadie saw a great horned owl drop out of the sky and sink its talons into her 7-pound Shih-Tzu/miniature poodle mix friend, Ramadi, she leapt into action to try to save the tiny pooch from the owl’s clutches.

The dogs’ owners heard barking in the back yard and they went to check on what was going on. It was dark but they could see that Sadie was on top of something. Then Ramadi came running inside, dragging that something, with Sadie chasing after it. When they got near enough, their owners could see the odd parade up close:

There was little Ramadi, and attached to her was an owl. And attached to the owl was Sadie, who was trying to help get the owl off her friend. They pried Sadie off the owl, and someone pinned the owl to the floor with a foot while someone else ran to get some thick gloves.

It took some work to detach the owl from the dog, but miraculously the dog was not injured. Her owners think it was her thick coat that kept her safe. That and he friend Sadie, who probably prevented the owl from really digging in. Then they shut the owl outside.

But it was not the last they would see of the raptor.

“The owl stood outside the sliding glass door looking at the smaller dog as if he wasn’t leaving without it,” said Pingree Grove (Ill.)Police Sgt. Rich Blair. That could be pretty creepy for the little dog.

The officers were able to capture the bird in a fishing net and turn it over to a rehab center. Sadly, it turned out that bird had significant injuries consistent with trauma from a car accident. Rehab veterinarians said the bird was extremely thin and its eye was terribly infected. They euthanized the owl because they said there was no hope for rehabilitation.

The owl’s injuries could have explained why it went after a dog.

“Most of the time they want nothing to do with humans or dogs,” said Sandy Fejt, education site manager at Willowbrook Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center. “With its sight impaired it was probably very hungry and looking for easy prey.” Poor owl.

Ramadi was not the only canine victim of owl attacks in the town recently. The attack on Ramadi was the third time in three days that an owl had gone after a dog; one dog died. It was likely the same owl.

The dogs of Pingree Grove can probably breathe a little easier now. But it would have been a happier ending if the owl had lived and would be back to its normal, canine-free cuisine after healing.

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12 years ago

My 50lb mix saved my 10lb maltipoo from a racoon attack. In my eyes he is a hero, of it wasn’t for him I think I would’ve lost my little pouffi dog! He is the greatest dog!!!

12 years ago

I live in Florida and  my little dalmatian puppy would go outside with the pits in the middle of the night. One night I noticed on the light just outside the slider. There was this owl perched. I didn’t think anything of it, it would eventually fly away  while I stood outside waiting for the dogs to come back in. It was there everynight. We figured it saw Harley and thought that  it was some kind of a rodent that was easy prey. It would startle me since when I opened the door it was withing 12 inches of my head. I started carrying a broom and before long we moved out of that house and Harley is now 91 pounds of romping stomping spots and energy. It would take an army of owls to lift him off the ground now. you have to use extreme caution when you let your animals out at night. There is danger all around.


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