Honestly, I didn’t know seagulls were capable of stealing much more than a chip down at the beach. But then I read the terrifying story of Gizmo, the small dog stolen from his backyard by a very bold seagull in the UK over the weekend, and now I’m questioning everything.

Devon Live reports that Becca Hill, a 24-year-old Devon resident and owner of a four-year-old chihuahua named Gizmo, watched on in horror on Sunday (UK time) as a large seagull swooped down into her yard and snatched up her dog, flying away with him in its beak.

My partner was in the garden putting the washing out at the time and suddenly he saw it swoop down. It carried Gizmo a fair way as we couldn’t see him anymore. I have no idea if he was dropped or where he is now.

According to the publication, Becca owns three chihuahuas and though she’d heard stories about this happening, never thought one of her dogs would be taken.

Gizmo and Becca. Credit: Devon Live

I seem to recall that seagulls are a lot bigger in the UK than they are in Australia, which might explain how this kind of thing could occur, though a spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds told Devon Live: “This must be extremely upsetting for the dog’s owner. Fortunately these types of incidents are very rare and not typical gull behaviour.”

Sweet Gizmo. Credit: Devon Live

Becca and her partner have launched a desperate search for Gizmo, urging local residents to keep an eye out for the small brown and white doggo.

We’re crossing everything that sweet Gizmo gets home safe.

Image: Getty Images / Frank Molter / picture alliance