The carer who has taken a critically hurt eagle under her wing has urged owners to leash their dogs if they see a wild creature ahead.
WIRES raptor rehabilitator Jana Schader is caring for the white-bellied sea eagle injured by a dog on Broulee beach this week.
"It's always a tricky thing to balance wildlife and our pets," she said. From her home north of Wollongong, Jana says the eagle is in critical condition, suffering injuries to her body and wing as well paralysis tick poisoning.
"Just like dogs and cats, if raptors can't groom ticks off, they will get sick," she said.
"She was in the early stages of the impacts of the ticks, and that's the only reason the dog would have been able to grab her. I imagine the dog got quite a surprise. This wouldn't have happened to a healthy eagle."
The eagle has been separated from its life partner. Jana has cared for many raptors in her seven years with WIRES.
"Her weight tells me she's probably the female of the pair," Ms Schader said.
"In raptor world, females are bigger than males. She really is a beautiful girl. I can't promise she'll recover, but she is improving and I'm hoping by the weekend she'll be well enough for an anaesthetic. She can have an xray to see the extent of the injuries to her body and wing."
Council's senior ranger John Gomez saud even in off-leash areas, owners were required to control dogs.
"That means your dog should return to you on command, you should be able to see your dog at all times, and your dog shouldn't rush, chase or bite people or animals."