Becca Hill and her family are frightened and missing their small beloved pet, a Chihuahua named Gizmo. They pray the little dog is still alive after a harrowing experience that took place in mere seconds in their own backyard.
The British family is pleading with social media to please search for their missing dog who was snatched away by a seagull one day as her partner was outdoors with Gizmo. It was a Sunday afternoon, and the partner was hanging clothes to air-dry by the side of the home.
National news outlets also picked up on the horrific story, and officials continue to comb the area for any sighting of little Gizmo.
Becca had heard stories about large birds carrying off small pets, but she never believed something like this could occur in her neighborhood and let alone, to a sweet, innocent, small dog.
Most of us are familiar with seagulls as scavengers and hungry birds that will grab a french fry or fried onion ring right out of human hands, but swooping down on a Chihuahua sounds unfathomable.
Peter Rock is a seagull expert from the University of Bristol where he is employed as an ornithologist. Rock told the media that seagulls can go after small animals and are able to lift a small dog and fly away. He says that seagulls have harmed pigeons, so it is possible that the large ocean birds could go after little Gizmo and treat the tiny dog as a source of food.
Rock cautioned homeowners in the area of Paignton, Devon, to be careful and not leave small pets unattended.
Gizmo is four-years-old and said to weigh 4.4lb (2kg). His coat is of a brown color.
Becca says her partner witnessed the heartbreaking incident and tried with all their might to grab the dog’s legs to stop him from being taken away. However, the seagull was very quick as it swooped down and snatched Gizmo “by the scruff of his neck.”
It was impossible to pull Gizmo back as the gull flew off with the dog in just seconds.
For the family, it has been a difficult time hoping and praying that the adorable Chihuahua is found alive and well. Becca looks for Gizmo daily and won’t give up until he is found.
Rock says that a seagull would attack a duck, for instance, by ripping the animal limb by limb. It’s not something anyone wants to imagine, but a similar incident occurred in the county recently. According to news reports, a dog was pecked to death by a group of seagulls.
Tony Whitehead from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said that what happened to little Gizmo is a rare occurrence, but pet owners should be vigilant and take the proper precautions.