A family in St. Albert, Alta., is warning pet owners to keep an eye on the sky after a fatal dog attack.

The killer — a snowy owl.

Last week, Darrell Bablitz and his wife Roxcanna Porenchuk let their one-year-old Yorkshire terrier out to the backyard. That's when a snowy owl attacked the young dog named Maggie May.

"I think I was in shock," said Porenchuk. "I was just like, can't be an owl. Like, really?"

The couple chased the bird away but it was too late for their dog, and they had to put it down.

Animal rescuer Karl Grantmyre has been saving snowy owls for four decades and he has never heard of one attacking a pet.

He said food is a little scarce for owls this year, but pet owners shouldn't be worried as these attacks are rare.