Puppy Rescued After Being Picked Up by an Owl While in Its Backyard and Dropped Onto a Golf Course

Latte, the 12-week-old, 11-lb. puppy, is currently making a "speedy recovery" after she was recently scooped up by the large bird

A puppy in Arizona is lucky to be alive after she was snatched from her foster human’s backyard by a large, flying predator and carried to a nearby golf course.

On Friday morning, foster carer Bonnie Ziegler let out four puppies, including the now-injured 12-week-old pup Latte, for a supervised bathroom break in her North Scottsdale backyard, according to Foothills Animal Rescue.

The cheeky puppies decided to go around the corner of the house — and out of their foster mom’s sight — to do their business. When it came time to call the puppies back inside, Ziegler noticed only three had returned and Latte was missing.


“I didn’t hear a sound and the other puppies didn’t bark. It was as if she just vanished,” Ziegler said in a statement on the rescue’s Instagram. “We immediately started searching and soon our neighbors joined in. We posted a notice on Nextdoor (a neighborhood social networking app) in the hopes someone might find her.”

Latte. Foothills Animal Rescue

And someone eventually did. Approximately 12 hours after her disappearance, a group of golfers at the Troon Golf Club discovered little Latte, who was injured and dehydrated, underneath a tree near the course’s 16th hole, the rescue shelter explained.

One of the golfers snapped a photo of the pup and posted it on Nextdoor, where Ziegler was then quickly notified.

After being reunited with Latte, the foster mom brought her to a veterinarian to be treated for her injuries, where it was determined that an owl had carried the 11-lb. pup away.

According to the Scottsdale-based rescue shelter, Latte surprisingly had no broken bones but suffered visible puncture wounds to her skull and neck from the owl’s talons.

“Incredibly, Latte survived and after a weekend at the emergency veterinary clinic, she is back with her foster family and doing well,” Foothills Animal Rescue said on Tuesday.

Latte. Foothills Animal Rescue

Melissa Gable, the Chief Engagement Officer at Foothills Animal Rescue, told PEOPLE that incidents like this often happen in that specific area of Arizona.

“Unfortunately it is not uncommon to see these types of predators here in our desert climate. Owls, coyotes, javelina, and bobcats have all been known to pose a potential threat to our dogs and cats,” Gable told PEOPLE. “And in this case, even with the foster mom standing just feet away, terrible accidents can and do happen.”

“Latte weighs 11lbs and is by no means a tiny puppy — that could easily have been a cat or other small breed dog. This serves as a very important reminder to pet owners,” she added.

Despite her scary adventure, head/neck injuries, and a minor cough, the rescue said, “Latte is in good spirits, making a speedy recovery, and is expected to remain in foster care for a few more weeks.”

“She tires easily right now, but still has the energy to greet visitors, wag her tail and cuddle with her foster family,” Gable said.

“We suspect her weight and her fluffy fur coat, may have helped save her life,” she added. “Most animals would not have survived this ordeal.”

Because Latte is currently a foster pup, she will be looking for a fur-ever home in the coming months but the shelter explained that she “may already have an adopter” and “will make a formal announcement on our social media if she does need a home.”

In the wake of the incident, Foothills Animal Rescue asked that in honor of Arizona Gives Day, people would help cover some of the $4,500 veterinary costs for Latte’s care.

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By Tuesday afternoon, the rescue announced on Facebook that all of Latte’s medical bills had been paid for, with a total of $6,090 donated by the fluffy pup’s supporters around the country.

The additional $1,590 that has been raised so far will go to Foothills Animal Rescue’s new Shelter Pet Medical Fund.

Those interested in donating to help the shelter’s other animals can do so here.

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