Enjoyable fall backyard birdwatching turned into a dognapping on Oct. 9 in Cambridge, Ont., when a woman’s precious pomchi was picked up in a hawk’s beak and likely flown kilometres across counties.
Brenda Rees was in her backyard with Paisley, a Pomeranian-chihuahua cross owned by her partner Laura Jenkins. They were enjoying the nice weather when Rees noticed that a hawk had joined them several metres away. Just as Rees finished sending Jenkins photos of the beautiful sight, the hawk flapped its wings, picked up the small dog in its beak, and flew over the fence.
“Oh, I didn’t know what to do. I just screamed, grabbed my keys and flew out the driveway,” Rees said.
Jenkins was at work at the time and Rees had no intention of telling her that her dog was gone without searching everywhere she could first.
“I don’t know how I didn’t get into a car accident,” Rees said. “I was just crying and looking up in the sky for this bird and Paisley. I wasn’t watching the road at all. All I could think was she’s going to kill me.”
After searching with no luck, Rees then called Jenkins at work, telling her to meet her at the park and that they needed to talk. Jenkins stayed at the park long enough to hear the news, then frantically left Rees standing there and drove around, screaming her dog’s name throughout the neighbourhood and summoning all the neighbours outside to help search for the pomchi.
Katt Burtenshaw works with Ground Search and Rescue KW and says this is not a new phenomenon.
“It’s always a worry with little ones (animals), because it is so easy for eagles and hawks just to swoop in and take them — and most don’t get dropped.”
Jenkins turned to the Facebook community and posted a photo of her missing pomchi. She was soon flooded with photos of dogs from people asking if the dogs were hers. Jenkins wasn’t sure. This lasted throughout the night.
Ground Search and Rescue KW and Lost Paws Inc., an agency that helps find lost pets, teamed together with the couple and concerned neighbours and searched the area and Churchill Park.
Not long after Paisley was taken, a pomchi was found near Waterdown, Ont. A woman named Heidi had posted a photo of the safe-and-sound dog her elderly neighbour had found at the end of the driveway. Jenkins and Rees drove out to Waterdown and, sure enough, it was their girl.
“It is not something we have seen much of. It was just a miracle that Paisley came out of that whole incident without a single mark.” said Lost Paws Inc. spokesperson Kim Nowell.
“That is the first time Lost Paws Inc. has been contacted for an incident like that,” said its founder, Barb Hobden.
“She’s seven. I’ve had her since she was a puppy, Jenkins said. “My eyes were swollen beet red. And when [Paisley] got home, she still wanted to go outside! I asked her, ‘Are you crazy?!’ ”
Paisley’s vet determined she was well, but had a sore groin area, probably from her fall. And the pup was exhausted from her ordeal.