Pet owners do everything they can to keep their animals safe. But one of the most unexpected dangers comes from above.
While it’s rare, “birds of prey” like hawks and owls have been known to target small animals like puppies. If you aren’t vigilant the results can be fatal.
One tiny puppy was nearly the victim of one of these attacks… but miraculously survived.
On January 12, 2019, construction workers in Austin heard an unexpected noise: the scream of a puppy.
They looked up and saw the dog was in the clutches of a hawk in flight. Suddenly, the hawk released the puppy from its talons and it fell to the ground.
Luckily, the construction workers were around to help, and brought the dog, a one-pound Chihuahua puppy, to Austin Animal Shelter.
While the puppy was in pain, he survived—against all odds. The shelter dubbed him “Miracle Puppy” based on the sheer improbability of his survival.
“He really did beat the odds,” Jennifer Olohan, spokeswoman for the Austin Animal Center, told Austin360. “It was a true miracle. Not only that the hawk dropped him instead of taking off, but luckily people were around to rescue him, or else his fate would have been very different.”
The puppy was apparently a stray, and he recovered with a foster family. He only had mild injuries on his head and chest.
They also gave the puppy a very fitting name: “Tony Hawk,” after the skateboarder.
Tony Hawk recovered from his injuries, and when he was well enough the shelter started to look for a forever home.
They had plenty of options: the story of the puppy’s survival went viral, and they got over a hundred adoption inquiries.
But one of them really stood out: a woman named Georgia Bramhall, who had just lost her own pet Chihuahua a few months earlier. As she was grieving, a friend sent her Tony’s story.
“When I saw that article, I texted my friend, ‘Oh, my God, that’s weird,’” Georgia told Austin360. “I wasn’t really looking for a dog, but this sort of seemed like a full-circle situation, a meant-to-be kind of deal.”
After sending an impassioned letter saying she couldn’t get the dog off her mind, the shelter knew she was the right “forever home” for this dog.
It’s amazing how these two found each other at just the right time—truly, it was another miracle.
While everything worked out well for this puppy, it’s a cautionary tale: not every dog ends up as lucky as Tony Hawk did.
Austin Animal Center says that the story is a reminder to stay vigilant if you have small animals in an area with birds of prey.
“Let Miracle Puppy’s story be a reminder to protect your small pets from wildlife!” they wrote. “Hawks, owls and coyotes will prey on small animals, even in your fenced backyard. If you have small pets, keep eyes on them at all times while outside.”
We’re so happy “Tony Hawk” survived and ended up with a happy new home! But the story also has an important message—remember to keep your small animals safe!
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