Danger From Above: Hawk Snatches Dog From East Freetown Yard
With a fenced-in yard, Susan Nascimeno thought her dogs were safe from predators. She just didn't take into account that they could come from above.
That's exactly what happened Monday, when a hawk swooped down into her East Freetown yard and tried to carry off her 10-year-old Bichon Frise, Daisy.
"I had no idea there were any hawks in the area," Nascimeno told WBSM News. "Now everyone tells me after the fact, 'oh yeah, we've seen a hawk in our yard, there have been sightings of hawks around,' but I had no idea."
Nascimeno said she was out walking another one of her dogs, and when she came home, Daisy wasn't in the house.
"I have a doggy door so they can go out, and I went out and she was in the corner of the yard, all curled up, and there was blood everywhere," she said. "I knew she at least had a broken paw, she had bite marks all over her, but I had no idea what happened to her because my yard is fenced in."
Nascimeno was told by her veterinarian to take Daisy to Bay State Veterinary Emergency Services in Swansea. It was there that a vet examined Daisy and told Nascimeno it was a hawk attack.
"They said a hawk had grabbed her, that's where the bite mark came from," Nascimeo said. "It must have realized Daisy was too heavy when it got her up, or Daisy fought, and it ripped some skin on one side of her, and she got puncture wounds on the other side of her. And her shoulder is destroyed, it's crushed."
She said there had been problems with hawks in her neighborhood in the past. In fact, the Friends of the Attleboro Animal Shelter recently posted a warning mentioning that "hawks really seem out in force off the East Coast" and that "the pets that are in real danger are the ones who are 12 pounds and under," and that people should not leave their pets outside without supervision.
"Last year or the year before, one had swooped down and taken somebody's chicken, but Daisy's a little bit heavy. She's not a real small dog, she's about 23 pounds," Nascimeno said. "So when he did pick her up, he couldn't carry her. She must have dropped from quite a ways, though, because her shoulder and everything is so bad."
Nascimeno said Daisy was in complete shock yesterday after the attack.
"She was just staring into space," she said. "But they did stabilize her, and last night when I went to see her, she was a little bit more alert and more like she knew us."
She said Daisy is resting comfortably today, and is scheduled for shoulder surgery tomorrow in Rhode Island.
"They wanted to amputate, but I wouldn't let them," she said. "My vet, Dr. Chase in Middleboro, is overseeing everything, they're sending her all the information. One vet said put it in a splint, another said amputate, and this vet in Rhode Island said surgery, so my vet agreed with the surgery."
Nascimeno said she has already amassed about $6,000 in veterinary bills for Daisy. She said a friend is going to help her with a crowdfunding campaign to help raise money to cover the bills.
And one thing is for sure--when Daisy is back home and on her feet again, Nascimeno is going to let her indulge in a little extra kibble if that's what she wants. She thinks if Daisy was just a little lighter, she may have lost her forever to the hungry hawk.
"She's a little chunky, which I won't tease her about that anymore," Nascimeno said. "I'm always telling her, 'you need to lose weight, chubby' and stuff like that, but I'll never say that to her again."