A friend’s chihuahua was fatally attacked by an owl at 6:00 am in Union County NC!! They are nesting and aggressive right now..use a short leash while walking them. Do not leave cats and small animals unattended outside. Anything under 15 Lbs can be at risk of attack…Talons are lethal even if they can’t get them off the ground. (Reposting from another site. Please share this information. How Owls Can Harm Your Pets
Some of you reading this blog are definitely wondering why the choice of title. Oh, yes! Owls can harm pets. In fact, many pet owners have experienced a hard time with wild owls.
Back in the day, leaving a dog outside was no big deal. Many dogs were unleashed, unneutered, and never fenced. Some dogs would even fight their owners once inside the house as if to show, they belonged outside.
Times have changed. Today many owners treat dogs and other pets like children. They live indoors, eat organic foods, and chill on the furniture just like human beings.
This has led pet owners to prefer leaving such dogs in the backyard when they can, because of reasons such as “She loves playing outdoors.” Others will tell you of how their pets enjoy chasing squirrels when they are outside.
This is quickly proving to be a tricky affair. Dangers such as losing pets, snakebites, bee stings, and lately, a hawk or an owl snatching a pet, are becoming real threats to pet owners.
Here is one example of such a case.
A determined owl tries to snatch a pet
You do not believe that an owl can take your pet away from you, read Sheena’s story below.
Sheena Tarrant from Wabush, Labrador witnessed a rare scene. Sheena’s dog, Oreo, had a lucky escape when a forest owl missed snatching it by just a whisker.
CCTV footage shows, Oreo mobile in the garden when all of a sudden an owl appears. The camera shows the bird, twice as big as Oreo (who is 11 years old), diving to snatch but luckily misses.
Screams from a frightened Sheena make the owl disappear into the dark night and Oreo is lucky not to end up as a bird’s supper.
Owls and their behavior
It seems a bit weird that an owl would even consider taking away such a cute animal like Oreo. For you to understand the bird’s motive you ought to grasp the nature of the bird first.
Here are some key points to know about an owl:
• Owls are solitary birds of prey.
• A broadhead, upright stance, binocular vision, sharp talons, characterizes them; with their feathers allowing them to fly silently.
• They survive on small mammals mostly. Examples of these mammals are small dogs and rabbits.
• They have two powerful eyes with each eye being able to move independently.
• Being nocturnal, they mostly hunt in darkness.
• An owls’ hunting strategy mostly involves surprise and stealth.
• Due to dark-colored feathers, they are invisible in the dark.
• They have powerful talons and a sharp beak. This makes it easy to kill prey.
• They live on all continents with an exception of Antarctica.
Now that you know what an owl is like, it is easy to see why it would not be afraid to hunt pets, especially the small-bodied type.
Owls do not choose to have their habitat just anywhere. Here are some indicators to know whether you are living in an owl-infested area:
• Areas with many trees- If your area is like a jungle, high chances are there are wild owls around. As soon as they lack food, they will be coming for your beloved pet next.
• Areas with a large presence of wildflowers- Owls prefer areas with wildflowers while hunting.
• Areas with long grass- Owls love the wild, and long grasses like rye enhance that wild scenery for them thus such an area is very attractive to these birds.
• Locations with shrubs and bushes – You might think that owls live only in high placed areas but this is not always the case. Owls will leave in other areas that you cannot bother to look for them. Therefore, if there are many bushes around chances are that you have owls in the vicinity.
Type of Pets that owls hunt
If you have the following types of pets then you need be extra careful.
• Owls attack any small dog. Short-legged dogs like the Affenpinscher, Bichon Frise, Bolognese, Brussels griffon, Coton de Tulear, Dachshund and many more, are capable of facing attacks from an owl.
• Owls have attacked cats in some instances. Even fully-grown cats are in danger where owls are present.
• Another favorite meal for owls is rodents. If you are keeping a rabbit as a pet, you ought to be aware that you can lose it to a hungry owl.
• Some species of owls like the great horned owl will carry animals that are four times heavier than they are.
How will an owl injure your dog?
Owls are very lethal when it comes to attacking their prey. They are so adapted to hunting that they will ooze with confidence once they spot that lovely dog moving about.
Strong deadly talons and a silent fast flight allow them to penetrate a prey’s body with the pressure of about 28 pounds. This amount of force ensures that they puncture the body of a pet. Additionally, the spine will most likely snap in such an event.
This kind of an attack has ensured many pet owners only hear a small sound when the owls attack. Many have reported to hearing only a yelp and finding their animals vanished, never sighting them again.
This shows the importance of taking preventive measures if you want your pet in the backyard.
Preventive measures against owls
• Ensure that your backyard has adequate light. Use flashing lights to be precise. This will deter the birds from flying through your area.
• Cage your backyard. Owls will not be able to zero in on your pet if the area is under a cage.
• Always be on guard if your dog is out in the backyard. Some species of owls hunt even during the day so make sure you supervise your pet’s stay in the backyard.
• Keep your yard free of places that an owl can hide. This includes plant material or debris.
As much as you would not like your pet attacked by an owl, remember that killing a bird of prey is illegal in some areas. This will even land you in jail in some cases.
Know the regulations of your areas and take preventive measures today to avoid surprises.