When Melissa Spoelma awoke to the sound of breaking glass early Saturday morning, she didn’t wait around to confront the home intruder. Instead, she rounded-up her three young children, called 911 and fled her Hudsonville, Michigan home.


Responding to Spoelma’s call, Ottawa County Deputy Sarah Flick and her German shepherd, Okar, soon arrived at the scene to investigate. Following department protocol, Flick shouted a warning to the intruder and released Okar to search the premises.

In a matter of seconds, the deputy heard the telltale sounds of a struggle, with plenty of growling and banging noises coming from a back bedroom.

One might say it sounded like feathers were really flying in the confrontation between the 74-pound K-9 cop and his adversary.

Indeed, that would be an exceedingly accurate description of the event.

When noise of the struggle subsided, Deputy Flick, with her service weapon drawn and ready, kicked in the bedroom door. There she discovered her canine partner straddling the deceased home invader—a mature wild turkey gobbler sporting an 8-inch beard.

County animal control was contacted to recover Okar’s victim and the Spoelmas returned home to deal with a roomful of feathers and broken glass.

Deputy Flick rewarded Okar with an appropriate “atta boy” and later told the Grand Rapids Press that her partner doesn’t differentiate between feathered and non-feathered home intruders.

“It’s a funny story, but those tom turkeys have huge talons,” she said. “He doesn’t know it’s a turkey and that turkeys are not bad guys.”

Without a doubt, all parties involved in the incident were surprised by the home crashing gobbler—but probably none more than Mr. Spoelma, who was away from home for the entire ordeal.

He’d headed north before dawn Saturday morning, to scout for a place to go turkey hunting when the Michigan season opens in two weeks.