If This Dog Could Talk, She’d Tell of Hair-Raising Encounter

From Associated Press

Forget the chalupa, just “drop the Chihuahua!”

That’s what Sandy Parks shrieked when an injured red-tailed hawk dug its talons into Bandita, a 6-pound spitting image of the Taco Bell commercials’ talking Chihuahua.

The hawk burst from a neighbor’s bushes Monday and grabbed little Bandita, only to find itself in a tug-of-war with Parks, who was hanging on to the other end of a 5-foot leash.

“Here I am, yelling, ‘Drop the Chihuahua! Drop the Chihuahua!’ ” said Parks, 61. “I am surprised I didn’t scare the hawk away. I had no idea they had that much tenacity. I’ve been hungry before, but I’ve never held on to food that much.”


Parks said she yanked on the leash and slammed the 2.6-pound bird into a wall. The hawk dropped but kept its talons in Bandita, so Parks said she stomped on the bird, then slammed a door on its legs before it finally let go.

She left the hawk and rushed Bandita to the Niceville Animal Clinic, where the dog’s puncture wounds were treated.

Audubon Society members later brought in the hawk.

A veterinarian said the hawk suffered a broken feather in its battle with Parks, but it also had a previously broken wing that was still healing, clinic receptionist Laura Lassiter said Wednesday. The hawk weighed about half of what a bird with a 5-foot wingspan should, and its injury was probably why it attacked a pet.

The hawk will remain at the clinic for about six weeks while it recuperates, Lassiter said.

As for Bandita, she was sent home, but not before her owner was given a lecture about the illegality of battering birds protected by federal migratory bird laws.