Pet dog killed in owl attack, family says

A family is devastated after an owl killed their pet dog, a Yorkie named Freedom, Channel 2 Action News reported.

“There were puncture wounds all over his back and his chest and it was an owl attack,” Serrita Holt said.

The McDonough-based family told the news station they’ve seen all manner of wildlife but never expected to lose their 5-year-old furry family member this way.

A Yorkie named Freedom was killed by an owl. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

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While Adam Betuel with the Atlanta Audubon Society said owls rarely attack small dogs, that’s what the Holt family said they saw on Dec. 23.

"Freedom came running from the driveway area toward my son and the door and it was blood all over him, Serrita Holt told Channel 2.

Despite surgery and medical attention, Freedom died the next day. Everyone was sad, especially the Holts’ third-grade daughter.

“They become part of your family, so it’s so devastating, especially with young children,” Josh Holt said.

A similar attack was reported last week in Cobb County, where a 71-year-old woman was knocked down when an owl swooped for her dog. Fortunately, the woman’s dog survived.

Betuel said young owls that are fighting to survive their first year may be more prone to attack, but a small dog would pose a serious threat to an average 2- to 4-pound owl.

“They’re hungry, they’ve had this cold snap, they’re a young bird and they might make the mistake of going after a pet,” Betuel said.

The Holt family now wants to warn their neighbors to stay vigilant and keep their pets close to them on a leash.

They’ve since added a new Yorkie to their family, named “Liberty.”

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