Friday 26 May 2017

'It sank talons into my dog's head' - Garda probe after TD's pet attacked by hawk

TD John Brady (inset) says his dog Bonnie (centre) is recovering after an alleged attack by a Harris hawk (right)
TD John Brady (inset) says his dog Bonnie (centre) is recovering after an alleged attack by a Harris hawk (right)

Ken Foy

A TD was left horrified after his pet dog was attacked by a bird of prey in a park.

Gardai in Bray, Co Wicklow are investigating the incident in which John Brady’s 17-year-old Shih Tzu/terrier was swooped on in the grounds of Killruddery House on New Year’s Eve.

Deputy John Brady
Deputy John Brady

The female dog called Bonnie is making a good recovery from head injuries received in the attack by a Harris’s hawk at around 3pm on Saturday.

The alleged attack unfolded when local TD Mr Brady was walking in the popular gardens with his wife and three children including a four-year-old.

“We heard a little bell and then saw this beautiful bird land in the tree, so I went to take a photograph of the hawk,” Mr Brady said.

“Then the bird swooped down over the kids’ heads and attacked our dog sinking its talons into her head.

“The poor dog is 17 years of age and was hugely distressed by this. We tried to get the bird off Bonnie but were unable to and this situation went on for around five minutes.

“Eventually, two lads appeared, one of them had a leather glove and the bird flew onto his arm.

TD John Brady's 17-year-old dog was attacked by a bird of prey
TD John Brady's 17-year-old dog was attacked by a bird of prey

“It was a really horrible situation, the three children were hysterical and petrified and Bonnie was in great distress,” Mr Brady said.

Mr Brady is now calling for tighter control on owners of birds of prey.

“This individual had no control over that bird,” he said. “I have friends in the falconry community and they say this man’s actions are disgraceful.

“I am sure the gardai will be investigating whether the bird was licensed and I have no doubt that this beautiful bird is in the wrong hands,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bonnie is recovering well after her wounds were cleaned.

Gardai are investigating the incident but no arrests have yet been made.

Herald

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