Hinsdale police are warning owners of small dogs to keep an eye on their pets after two animals were attacked by large birds, described as hawks, within the last month.
The latest attack happened Tuesday, in the backyard of Jane Brooks' home.
"All of a sudden you could just hear this 'whoosh,' said Brooks, recalling how she'd just let her 13-pound Shih Tzu, Zsa Zsa, out of the house when the bird swooped down.
The bird locked onto Zsa Zsa's back, only letting go when Brooks and her daughter started screaming.
"I think if we wouldn't have been out here, the hawk would have really damaged Zsa Zsa," said Brooks.
Zsa Zsa was not seriously injured, but Brooks told police of the incident, who then alerted the entire community after getting word of another hawk attacking a small dog in the village a couple of weeks ago.
That dog was more seriously injured, police said, and required "extensive medical treatment."
Both dogs that were attacked weighed fewer than 20 pounds, police said.
"We're not looking to cause any type of panic or cause for alarm, but just simple awareness that dogs shouldn't be left unattended," said Hinsdale Police Deputy Chief Mark Wodka. "They should be in the presence of the owners, and just being aware that this is not a myth, that this has happened.
Suggestions from the Willowbrook Wildlife Center on Protecting Pets:
- Keep small pets (cats, rabbits, small dogs) indoors. Don’t allow them to run free at any time. They are easy prey.
- Keep an umbrella or coat available to make yourself appear larger if needed to scare away other animals.
- Use a short leash when walking your pet.
- Do not leave domestic pet food outside. All wildlife will soon depend on it.
- Fences do not guarantee your pet's safety, particularly from above.
- Always attend to small pets outdoors.