Desperate search launched after dog snatched from owner’s garden by swooping seagull

Ross McGuinness
A seagull swooped and lifted Gizmo the chihuahua (Pictures: PA)
A seagull swooped and lifted Gizmo the chihuahua (Pictures: PA)

The owner of a dog is desperately seeking its safe return after it was snatched from her garden by a swooping seagull.

Gizmo the chihuahua was grabbed by the bird from a garden in Paignton, Devon, on Sunday.

His owner, Becca Hill, 24, is hoping four-year-old Gizmo will be found alive.

Gizmo was lifted out of his owner's garden in Devon (Picture: PA)
Gizmo was lifted out of his owner's garden in Devon (Picture: PA)

“My partner was in the garden putting the washing out at the time and suddenly he saw it swoop down,” she told the Devon Live website.

“It carried Gizmo a fair way as we couldn’t see him any more.

“I have no idea if he was dropped or where he is now.”

She also posted about Gizmo on Facebook.

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She wrote: “Please, please, please, anyone finds a chihuahua he’s mine, a seagull took him from my garden.”

Ms Hill said her six-year-old daughter is “really upset” and “missing her dog”.

Gizmo the chihuahua is missing (Picture: PA)
Gizmo the chihuahua is missing (Picture: PA)

Fortunately, the child did not witness Gizmo being taken away.

Anyone with information on where Gizmo is asked to call 07774724797 or email

Ornithologist Peter Rock from the University of Bristol, told the BBC that seagulls are capable of lifting small animals.

"If you have a very tiny little dog I suggest you don't let it run around in your back garden,” he said. “It may well become a meal."

Tony Whitehead from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said it was a “rare thing to happen to a dog”, but advised pet owners to look out for their animals.

An RSPB spokesman said: "This must be extremely upsetting for the dog's owner. Fortunately these types of incidents are very rare and not typical gull behaviour."

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