BOWMANSTOWN, PA (WFMZ/CNN) – A Pennsylvania family is counting their blessings after their small dog was carried away by an eagle but was found alive just miles from their home by a good Samaritan.
The Newhards have four little dogs, who they say complete the family, but Tuesday, they thought they had to come to terms with losing one pup.
When the dogs were outside in the yard playing, as usual, Tuesday afternoon, owner Monica Newhard’s brother saw a majestic eagle circling overhead.
Suddenly, it swooped down and carried 8-pound Zoey away in its talons.
The family desperately began searching the area, but they say the temperatures were in the single digits. A nearby river had frozen over, and they realized the eagle must have been looking for alternatives for food.
They put a picture on Facebook, hoping they’d at least get Zoey’s body back, so they could bury her.
"Never were we looking or even thinking that our dog would be alive. It was dead,” Newhard said.
Two hours later and four miles away, Christina Hartman spotted something in the road: it was Zoey, frozen and hardly moving.
Hartman took the dog home, fed her, revived her and, knowing she had a family somewhere, went online.
"The second thing I see is Monica and her granddaughter and Zoey,” Hartman said.
She didn’t know the people but recognized the dog instantly.
"I said to my friend Cindy, 'Oh my God, this is a miracle. There's a God,’” Hartman said.
Even now with the Newhards and Zoey reunited, everyone involved is still in awe.
"So many things could have gone wrong, and they didn't,” Newhard said.
The Newhard family is gratefully back together again, their little miracle Zoey very much alive, along with a renewed faith in the kindness of strangers.
“People are good. There is good in this world. You think, with everything going on in the world, you think, ‘No, there's not.’ And there really is,” Newhard said.
Zoey’s owner says another stranger has done something kind by offering the family a large crate for free, so the dogs can play in the yard while more protected from large birds.
Newhard is also considering buying special Velcro jackets made to protect small animals from overhead prey. If they’re snatched, the Velcro will quickly tear away, releasing the pet back to the ground.
Copyright 2018 WFMZ, Monica Newhard, Facebook via CNN. All rights reserved.