A chihuahua owner has told of her horror after a bird of prey snatched her pet Chihuahua from the garden.
Sheila Gillanders rushed her beloved pet Emma to the vet after she was grabbed by the massive bird while playing in their home garden.
Only the quick action of her husband, who managed to pull the bird off the tiny dog and save it from being carried away.
The young pup, who turned one year old in June, was left with bruises in which the giant bird had attempted to sink its talons.
But she was given painkillers and is expected to make a full recovery.
Mrs. Gillanders from the village of Stoneywood near Aberdeen said: “The bird came down and grabbed her in its talons. But my husband managed to lift the bird off and rescue Emma.
“We got her checked out at the vet, and she’s fine, but it was terrifying.”
Mrs. Gillanders spotted the bird was wearing a bell and had a leather strap dangling from its leg. Suggesting it might have slipped its owner or been let loose in the area.
She said: “We see birds like this quite often.
“This one had an owner, but there are wild birds of prey too.
“Emma’s never out on her own, so this was quite a surprise.”
Teacup Chihuahuas are the smallest of their breed, often only 6ins tall and weighing less than 6 lbs.
A local bird handler, who did not want to be named, said reports of attacks in similar circumstances to this become increasingly common over the winter months.
Many see the tiny animals and mistake them for their usual prey.
The handler said: “This time of year, the birds are starting to get hungry.
“In the summer, there’s plenty of food like small animals available, but not at the moment.
“Things like rabbits are a big part of their diets, and there aren’t as many just now.”
Earlier this year, authorities were aware of an unknown bird of prey swooping on unsuspecting victims in Dyce and Newmachar.
One man was left “covered in blood” following a 20-minute assault beside a football pitch, while a cyclist discovered claw marks in the back of his helmet after being attacked.
Scottish SPCA Chief Inspector Alison Simpson said: “We are glad that Emma wasn’t hurt too badly in this instance.
“Incidents such as this are sporadic, but we ask animal owners to be vigilant when large birds are in the area.”