VICTORIA -- The owner of a professional dog walking service in Central Saanich is warning people to keep an eye out for eagles after a small dog was attacked in Centennial Park.

James Younger, who owns and operates Central Saanich Dog Walking, issued the warning after a senior told him about the eagle attack on her dog last week.

According to him, the 85-year-old woman told Younger she and her husband were walking their two dogs – one weighing about 40 pounds and the other weighing about 10 – when the attack happened.

"An eagle swooped down over her head and landed on top of the small dog," Younger said, gesturing to his own dog’s harness standing next to him.

"Then, the eagle grabbed the harness and she started flailing and yelling and the only reason she got to keep her dog was because she did not let go of the leash."

Luckily, the small dog was uninjured, but the elderly couple was shaken up when Younger spoke with them.

Younger has been walking dogs professionally for about five years now, but has never met someone who has had an encounter like this. 

"I've heard about this as an urban myth for years, but once you actually talk to a lady that says, 'It happened to me a few hours ago,' it becomes real,” he said.

Not a witness to a dog attack in Centennial Park himself, Younger said he has seen some unusual activity from the eagles nesting nearby. 

"I've been watching over the past week, the eagles flying through the paths,” he said. “The female has been flying in front doing the recon and then about 20 seconds later, the male is coming through and doing the targeting."

He says the birds of prey have some new eaglets to feed in their nest located next to the park, so they may be acting more aggressively in order to feed them.

The large, forested park is a great place for dog walkers, one that Younger frequents with his own four-legged friends.

The Central Saanich dog walker has some advice though: be vigilant and keep your smaller dogs on a leash while walking through Centennial Park.