Caught on Cam: Bird of Prey Nearly Snatches Up Tiny Dog in Philly

Juvenile red-tailed hawk swoops down on a dog playing in a Philadelphia park

This is a story about a woman, her dog and one close call she will never forget.

Natalaya Hines was playing catch with her beloved Yorkie Maltese Sugar Foot, a.k.a. Shugie, in a West Philadelphia park and golf course when what she thought appeared to be a hawk swooped down and nearly snatched the dog.

Hines shared slow-motion iPhone video that shows the Sunday morning incident. She also described the events leading up to, during and after the incident.

Sugar Foot woke up Hines, who recently began working as a fourth-grade teacher, early so she took the dog out back. Hines just happens to live adjacent to the Cobbs Creek Golf Course, making for quite the backyard.

“We walk back here… taking videos of her trying to catch the sock,” Hines said.

As Sugar Foot is running back for her treat you can see a bird of prey looking for a treat of its own, an 8-pound pup.

“Shugie come here… they trying to get you baby,” Hines says a short time later as the sounds of squawking birds can be heard.

Hines saw birds flying above but never thought her year-and-half-old pup could have been an early breakfast.

“Sugar Foot was just too fast, it kept going,” Hines later said.

Despite the scare, Hines says she has no plans to keep her dog from playing out in the “yard.” She’s now just trying to keep Sugar Foot a little closer.

NBC10 reached out to a zoo to find out exactly what type of bird swooped down toward the dog. It turns out that Hines was right. Dr. Michele Goodman, staff veterinarian at Norristown's Elmwood Park Zoo, said she believes the bird is a juvenile red-tailed hawk.

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