Dramatic video captured the moment a red-tailed hawk attacked a 12-week-old chihuahua named Lola.
In the video, as reported by KHOU-TV, Lola is walking around her front yard in Missouri City, Texas, when the hawk swooped down and attempted to snatch her.
But Lola—who weighs only four pounds—quickly ran away toward bushes closer to home.
Fortunately for the pup, her owner Kathryn Garver was only a few feet away at the time of the attack and quickly realized what was going on, per KHOU.
“I didn’t even see it until it was right on top of her. That’s how fast it happened,” Garver said. “There was nothing I could’ve done to have stopped it because I didn’t see it until it was already—she would’ve already been gone.”
She added: “It felt like he was right there and just, it was so fast. It just happened so fast, and I honestly thought he had gotten her.”
After the attack, Garver noticed the hawk was still waiting in a tree in her yard.
Just last year, Garver’s other chihuahua, 14-year-old Cassie, was killed by a neighbor’s dog.
“She was at their fence barking and the other dog, from the hole that they had dug, reached in, grabbed her and took her, and mauled her to death,” Garver recalled.
Hawks and other birds of prey have been known to target small dogs on occasion.
The Wildlife Center of Texas told KHOU that even though hawk attacks remain relatively rare, owners are not advised to leave their pets outside unattended.
“It’s a possibility that the hawk could’ve grabbed the dog and could’ve done some damage, possibly even killed the dog, but this is a very rare occurrence for hawks,” said Brooke Yahney, a spokesperson with the Wildlife Center of Texas.
There are several ways pet owners can protect their furry friends from birds of prey such as maintaining a tidy yard; getting rid of bird feeders; and having a pest-control system that reduces the number of rodents, which are one of the main prey animals of hawks, according to K9 of Mine, a dog care advice website.
Some pet owners also dress their dogs in brightly colored vests containing spikes, which are believed to help deter predators including hawks.
Lola is not the first dog to be targeted by large birds. In 2019, a chihuahua named Gizmo was taken by a seagull from his family’s garden in the United Kingdom. And in 2018, a chihuahua in Australia was brutally attacked by an eagle.