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Near-death drop winds up saving dog's life

There were no cats, but it appeared to be raining dogs in British Columbia on May 2, when a 6-year-old poodle fell from the sky. The high-flying pup had been caught by a large bird of prey with an inflated sense of strength — the 18-pound dog was able to struggle free, landing on the grounds of Shorncliffe Nursing Home in Sechelt, B.C. reports the National Post.

The dog, named May for the month in which she was turned in to the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA), had suffered deep wounds from the bird’s talons and broken ribs from the fall. However, the canine’s capture and subsequent escape very well might be the best thing that could have happened to her.

Veterinarians quickly discovered that May had likely been a stray — her nails were overgrown and cutting into her pads, and her teeth were badly decayed. She had been in desperate need of help prior to her terrifying trip, but BC SPCA official Lorie Chortyk told the National Post, “Ironically, if it hadn’t been for this, we might never have found her.”

Eagle Ridge Veterinary Hospital swooped in to lend a paw, getting May’s broken ribs and torn pads fixed right away. However, the poor pup wasn’t out of the woods yet, still requiring dental surgery that was estimated at more than $3500. Animal lovers familiar with May’s story quickly donated enough money to cover both dental surgeries May required.

May's first dental surgery — which removed 28 teeth and part of her jaw, due to damage caused by excessive dental decay, was successful, Chortyk told TODAY.com. Her next operation will remove mammary tumors, and then, she'll find her forever home.

The BC SPCA had so much interest in adopting May that they stopped accepting applications so they could focus on choosing the perfect home from the wait list.

Still, the whole ordeal brings up an important question for owners of small pets — how often does this happen?

Experts agree that it’s not a common issue. “Raptor attacks on dogs are relatively uncommon but not completely unheard of,” said Randy Hampton, Statewide Public Information Officer for the Colorado Division of Wildlife said. “Raptors will defend nest sites from animals and raptors that are hunting might consider taking a small dog. Birds of prey found in Colorado are unlikely to be able to carry anything over about seven pounds, so it would need to be a fairly small dog for the bird to successfully carry it away.”

  • Slideshow Photos

    Awkward Family Pet Photos

    The creators of the successful blog "Awkward Family Photos" received so many uncomfortable photos of owners and their pets that they've created a new venture. Here's a selection of the hilariously awkward photos.

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    Awkward Family Pet Photos -

    The creators of the successful blog "Awkward Family Photos" received so many uncomfortable photos of owners and their pets that they've created a new venture. Here's a selection of the hilariously awkward photos.

    awkwardfamilypetphotos.com / awkwardfamilypetphotos.com
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    BYOLWD -

    Don’t even bother showing up to a dinner party at this family’s house without a little white dog.

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    Chicken Little -

    The only real chicken is the guy who doesn’t love one.

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    Best in show -

    The cat is thinking of entering him into some more shows.

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    Snakes on a family -

    Dad thought a cat or dog wouldn’t be good with kids.

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    Birdman -

    Gary felt that the parrot was overdressed.

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    Cat’s out of the pocket -

    Even on the farm, you must accessorize.

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    Color me bad -

    The dogs preferred the black & whites.

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    Cat’s eye -

    It’s one thing to cross a black cat’s path, but try upstaging it.

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    Curious george -

    This father didn’t want to admit it, but he had his favorite.

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    LOL cats -

    Cat casual.

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    Nativity -

    He’s the understudy.

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    Me and my skunk -

    A pony isn’t looking so crazy anymore, is it mom?

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    Pet-A-Likes -

    There is a theory that people look like their pets. For AFPP, it’s not a theory.

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    Baaaaaaa! -

    There is a goat in the living room.

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    Cougartown -

    “This was my brother and me in a crib that our dad had built, along with Sadie the cougar. We were modeling for his furniture, but who knows whether or not this confusing pic gave credit to his woodworking skills.”

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    Armed and Dangerous -

    He says parrot, she says rifle equipped with scope and bowie knife bayonet. Check out more Awkward Family Photos

    awkwardfamilypetphotos / awkwardfamilypetphotos

“We get several of those instances each year. People call us with reports of small cats and small dogs being watched by a hawk or owl, or a bird of prey picking up, or attempting to pick up, the pet. It’s rare, but it’s not an unheard of situation,” added Susan Carol Douglas of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

  • Slideshow Photos

    Grand National Pigeon Show champions

    Think pigeons are all dingy and gray? Think again. More than 300 varieties of "fancy" pigeons come to Salt Lake City's Grand National Pigeon Show every year. See which birds took home the prize this past winter.

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    American Show Racer -

    The American Show Racer, one of nearly 300 varieties of bird who strut their stuff at the annual Grand National Pigeon Show in Salt Lake City, is known as the "bird of dignity." This is one of the birds who took home a prize at the latest event earlier this year. Click through to see the rest of the champions.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Bokhara Trumpeter -

    The Bokhara Trumpeter, like this champion owned by Tally Mezzanatto, is a fancy breed known for its long feet and double crest.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    African Owl -

    African Owls, like this one from Jes Quesada, are known for their small size and short beak.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Bavarian Pouters -

    Bavarian Pouters (this one is owned by Jay Beals and Layne Gardner) were developed in Germany in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Barb -

    John Heppner's Barb is an prime example of this fancy pigeon breed, also known the English Barb.

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    Berlin Long Faced Tumpler -

    The Berlin Long Faced Tumpler is one of several in the Tumpler group of pigeons. This 2010 champion is owned by Jim Brown.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Fantail -

    The Fantail pigeon (this one is owned by Amir Turkanovic) is characterized by its fan-shaped tail. Most pigeons have 12 to 14 feathers on their tails, but Fantails have 30 to 40.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Bohemian Pouter -

    This champion Bohemian Pouter is owned by Ryan Bateman.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Carrier -

    Carriers like this one by Kevin Heppner are a fancy pigeon breed developed in England. It is one of the largest of the flying pigeon breeds and is characterized by a long, slender neck and body.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Crested Saxon Field -

    The Crested Saxon Field pigeon, like this one by Mike Cobb, looks a little punk rock with its mohawk on the back of its head and neck.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Maltese -

    Maltese pigeons stand straight on its legs with a long, slender neck and a short, tucked body. This champion is owned by Noe Rodrigga.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Danzig Highflier -

    Brad Child's champion Danzig Highflier shows the breed's medium size, scoop tail and distinctive head shape.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    English Long Faced Muffed Tumbler -

    One of the most unique characteristics of the English Long Faced Muffed Tumbler is the long feathers that cover of the feet. The breed comes in a variety of colors, patterns and markings. Larry Deckert owns this grand champion.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    English Magpie -

    The English Magpie, such as this champion by Bob Pilchar, is a slender pigeon that stands erect with the back angling sharply upwards.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Berlin Short Faced Tumbler -

    The Berlin Short Faced Tumbler (this one is by Wanye Conta) is one of the more popular tumbler pigeon breeds.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Exhibition Homer -

    This Exhibition Homer is by Jim Brown.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Frillback -

    It's easy to see why this breed is called a Frillback; just look at its curly wing feathers.Tally Mezzanatto owns this champion bird.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Gimpel -

    The Gimpel, also known as Archangel, (this one is owned by Marvin C Jones), has a bronze or gold body with wings that are black, white or blue.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Indian Fantail -

    This winning Indian Fantail is from Rick Schlais. This breed originates from India and is similar to the Fantail with its wide spread of feathers in the back -- and longer feathers on the feet.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Jacobin -

    The Jacobin breed is known for its feathered hood over its head. This champion Jacobin is by Jim Ecker.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Mookee -

    The Mookee breed has a long S-shaped neck and an arched mane, and when it walks, it walks on its toes. Here, this champion bird is by James Jensen.

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    Old Dutch Capuchine -

    A full mane of feathers run around the back of the neck on the Old Dutch Capuchine breed. Layne Gardner took home this winning bird.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Pigmy Pouter -

    The Pigmy Pouter stands tall and elongated with a puffed out chest and longer feathers on the feet. This one is by Tally Mezzanatto.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Persian Roller -

    Persian Rollers such this one is by Brad Child have a scooped out body and tail with long feathers on the feet.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Polish Owl -

    The Polish Owl, which likes attention, is a little showy with its full crest on the back of its head and the frill on the front of its neck. This champion is by Andre Dembny.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
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    Saint -

    The Saint looks regal with its high collar of feathers around its neck. Isaac Carillo owns this winning bird.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
  • Grand National Pigeon Show champions

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    Budapest Tumbler -

    As the name suggests, the Budapest Tumbler originated in Budapest, Hungary. The breed is comes in many colors, including whie, yellow, black and silver, and in a variety of patterns. They have large frog-like eyes and square bumpy heads. This 2010 champion is by Mike Spencer.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
  • Grand National Pigeon Show champions

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    Short Faced Crested Helmet -

    The Short Faced Crested Helmet is characterized by a white body with a colored tail and colored cap on the head. This bird is by Tony Patti.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
  • Grand National Pigeon Show champions

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    Scandaroon -

    The tall Scandaroon, this one by John Heppner, has a distinct long beak that curves downwards, and a red eye cere. According to the Darwin's Pigeons web site, Scandaroons most likely originated in ancient Persia. They are also thought to have been used as message carriers by Alexander the Great.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association
  • Grand National Pigeon Show champions

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    Show King -

    The Show King originated in the United States during the 1890s by crossing four other breeds: the Duchess for grace, the Homer for alertness, the Maltese for compactness and style, and the Runt for body and size. This champion is by Joe Neehercot.

    National Pigeon Association / National Pigeon Association

That doesn't mean things won't change in the future.“Historically, raptors haven’t looked at dogs and cats as prey, but as humans move into their land, that can change to a degree. They have to adapt in order to stay alive,”  pointed out Lynn Cuny, Founder/CEO of Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, Inc. in Kendalia, Texas.

Still, don't scour the skies for feathered foes. “Yes, small animals should be watched carefully, but for many reasons,” Cuny said. “If you have a very small dog or an elderly cat, it’s especially important to protect them when they’re outdoors by being vigilant and providing them shelter.”

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