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Police issue warning after bird attacks on small dogs

Jane Brooks of Hinsdale describes how a hawk swooped down upon her dog Zsa-Zsa. (Keri Wiginton/Chicago Tribune)

Jane Brooks of Hinsdale describes how a hawk swooped down upon her dog Zsa-Zsa. (Keri Wiginton/Chicago Tribune)

The Hinsdale Police Department has issued a community alert following attacks on two small dogs by large birds that appeared to be hawks.

Deputy Chief Mark Wodka said the attacks took place in the last month within or near the village limits. In one case, he said the bird caused substantial injuries to the dog, which required extensive medical treatment. Both of the dogs weighed under 20 pounds.

Although there are few reports of such attacks nationwide, Wodka said the alert is being issued to let residents know they should protect small pets.

The Willowbrook Wildlife Center offered several tips for protecting small animals from attacks.

They are:

- Keep small pets (cats, rabbits, small dogs) indoors. Don’t allow them to run free at any time. They are easy prey.

-Keep an umbrella or coat available to make yourself appear larger if needed to scare away other animals.

-Use a short leash when walking your pet.

-Do no leave domestic pet food outside. All wildlife will soon depend on it.

-Be aware that fences do not guarantee your pet’s safety, particularly from above.

-Always attend to small pets outdoors.

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