'It happened so fast:' Family's dire warning after cougar attacks
LAKE CUSHMAN, Wash. -- A cougar is suspected of snatching up at least two dogs near Lake Cushman on the edge of the Olympic National Park.
One family is warning other pet owners to be on alert in Mason County.
“I didn’t even hear anything,” said Karen Anderson.
Karen and Arher husband Arne’s 11-month-old puppy named Timothy didn’t survive his brush with a wild cougar on Halloween night.
“I stopped dead in my tracks because I was staring eye to eye with this cougar,” said Arne.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d have to see one kill my dog five feet from my back door,” Karen said.
Karen had just taken Timothy outside for a potty break but before she knew it, her dog was inside the cougar’s mouth.
“I don’t ever want to go through that again,” she said.
But the Anderson's aren’t the only victims. The very next day another cougar attack left a dog injured just across the street.
The Anderson's said the pooch survived but now they wonder if other pets are falling victim to cougars.
“Other dogs around us, right next to us, have gone missing,” said Arne.
The Andersons want to warn others about the dangers of living on the edge of wilderness.
“I just want the word to get out so that people know that this is in their area that they need to be careful,” said Arne.
They are warning their neighbors to keep a close watch on their pets -- and their children.
“Next thing could be a child,” said Karen. “I don’t want to have that happen.”
Washington State Fish and Wildlife officials searched the area with dogs trying to track the cougar but they came up empty handed.
If they can’t trap the cougar they may end up hunting it down and killing it.