ENTIAT — State Department of Fish and Wildlife officials tracked and shot an emaciated young cougar Monday after it took a small dog from the fenced yard of an Entiat city councilman.
Councilman Bill Haven said he suspects the incident happened between 10 a.m. and noon, while he was away.
He said the cougar tore a hole in a deer fence around his backyard on the edge of the Stoneridge subdivision at the north end of Entiat.
The cougar apparently snatched the dog, a 12-year-old miniature schnauzer named Snickelfritz whose eyesight was failing, and dragged it away. The dog was named after a childhood nickname given his late wife.
Rich Beausoleil, a state bear and cougar expert, used his Karelian bear dog, Cash, to track the cougar.
They found the dog’s carcass nearby and located the cougar among some rocks. The dog treed the cat, and wildlife officials shot and killed him, Beausoleil said.
The 8-month-old cougar was about 20 pounds underweight and too young to fend for itself, Beausoleil said.
He suspects the young cougar’s mother was a female cougar that had been shot and killed near the Shadow Ridge subdivision, also at the north end of town.
Beausoleil said young cougars usually stay with their mothers for their first 15 months. If it had been old enough to fend for himself, officials could have tranquilized and relocated the cat.