Wildlife refuge responds to hawks preying on dogs debate

Posted: Updated:
Hawk warning spreading on Facebook Hawk warning spreading on Facebook
NEW JERSEY -

The Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge is hoping to put to rest a heated Facebook debate over whether hawks prey on dogs.

Dog lovers have taken to Facebook in recent weeks warning about dogs being attacked by hawks.

Memes warning that hawks are out in force this year have been posted thousands of times on Facebook, including most recently on the Toms River Office of Emergency Management page.

Jeanne Gural, of the Woodard Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, says that the claim against hawks is a bit hysteric.

“A full adult red-tailed hawk could weigh 3 pounds whereas a Chihuahua might weigh 12 pounds,” she said. “And while it's a good idea to keep any eye on your pets, the red-tailed hawks and the other raptors of New Jersey actually do us a service. They keep the rodent population down, which helps keep the tick population down.”

The owners of a French bulldog in Fair Haven, however, still blame hawks for endangering their dog Phoebe. They say she came to the door bloodied by what their vet believes to be a red-tailed hawk.

It is unclear where the viral meme originated.

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