Kirkland neighborhood on alert after wild animal attacks on pets

KIRKLAND, Wash. – Neighbors on the Eastside say they’re arming themselves against a wild animal that is attacking family pets in the middle of the day. One dog is recovering and another dog is still missing, and authorities have been receiving a number of reports about missing cats.

This is all happening near the Kirkland Trail, a popular greenway that connects downtown Kirkland to Bellevue.

King County Animal Control and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have come out to the Kirkland neighborhoods to investigate. People in the neighborhoods said they’re scared to go outside.

They describe the animal as a coyote or a wolf-dog hybrid and believe it’s getting more and more aggressive.

Recovering from her injuries, 7-year-old dog Lucy will be staying inside for a while. Her owner said she had several puncture wounds after an attack by a possible coyote right in her front yard, with the dogsitter standing watch.

“She saw a large coyote that looked like a wolf come out from the bushes and right before it attacked our little dog, she started screaming, but the coyote took our dog by the neck and was gone,” said Deborah Schadt, the dog’s owner.

Neighbors found the dog barely alive and about a hundred yards away. While Lucy will survive, another neighbor Steve Wilkes is still missing his 9-month-old puppy, Rogue, after a similar attack Friday. They fear she’s dead.

Now several agencies are investigating, including the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“It sounds like in this particular neighborhood a lot of cats have been disappearing but again these coyotes are smart,” said Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Kim Chandler.

Chandler said coyotes are uncommon in Kirkland, but witnesses say the animal they’ve seen is bigger and bolder than those they’ve encountered before.

For now, Chandler recommends keeping small pets inside.

“These urban coyotes have learned this type of behavior,” said Chandler. “They learned that it’s a lot easier to snatch a cat or little dog.”

Homeowners are hoping more can be done so they don’t have to keep living in fear.

“It would be good if they could track one and determine how vicious it is and if it is becoming too socialized, urbanized and too aggressive,” said Schadt.

Chandler said he’s called the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife to see if the agency will intervene.