Are Hawk Attacks on Small Pets on the Rise in Ocean County?

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Red on the Run - A red-tailed hawk has its eye on prey as it flies in for the attack. Bear Creek Lake Park Lakewood Colorado.

TOMS RIVER-The Toms River Office of Emergency Management is warning residents about the possibility of hawks attacking small pets around Ocean County.   The moderator of the OEM page said that his own dog almost became a victim this week.

“A hawk came after my dog, Snowball, yesterday,” he said. “Yes, my little Weather Dog is real! There were three hawks eyeing him up as he is 7 pounds of pure pepperoni. As one dove in too close for comfort, I scooped him up and ran him back home.”

“Raptors hunt a variety of prey, including rodents, birds, rabbits, snakes, and insects. Large raptors, such as Red-tailed Hawks and Great Horned Owls, can attack and kill small pets,” according to Hawks Aloft, Inc., an avian research and conservation organization. “We recommend that for animals less than 15 pounds, that you supervise all of their outdoor activities and that cats be kept indoors at all times. Regardless of if your small pet is accompanied with a larger dog, or if it is sporting a kevlar or reflective vest–your pet is still fair game for predators like hawks, owls, and coyotes.”

Some residents say hawk attacks in the area are getting more aggressive.

“The hawks are getting more and more aggressive. Was playing ball with my little guy and the swooped down after him. Luckily I got him before the hawk did but now the hawks are even aggressive towards me when I’m in my backyard,” said Ryan Laskos.

As for the hawks, residents should note that some are protected and endangered species and you could face charges if caught harming the birds.