Special Eyewitness Report filed by AAF Correspondent: L. D.


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    Rescue Attempt Fails to Save Family Dog from Cougar Attack
By L. D.

Friday, September 1, 2000

This is a true story, it did happen to us Friday, September 1, 2000, Sequim, WA. (up at the cabin).

It was about 8:30 p.m. I was down cleaning the brush along the driveway with a machete. Prince, my toy poodle, was just nosing around like little dogs do, not getting too far from me. He was always looking to me for protection, from the bigger dogs and other people that scared him. He had made it to the end of the driveway and came back acting a little scared, but he was so little, it didn't take much to make him run back to my feet for protection. I saw him do this and kind of laughed at him a little and went back to cutting brush.

I looked at him again to see where he was. Just then I saw a cougar on a full run coming at me. Before I could even move to react, he grabbed my poodle dog, Prince, picking him up with his teeth right around the middle of his back, taking the biggest part of him into his mouth.

The cougar continued running on up the driveway with Prince in its mouth and ran right into my wife, Margie, and my other dog, Pepper. Pepper is a 13 year old Cocker Spaniel that is not in the best of health, but she went on the attack and went after the cougar.

The cougar turned around and wanted to come back towards me, but saw that I was coming at him swinging my machete and yelling at him, trying to rattle him so he would drop the dog and run off. He was determined to keep Prince and turned again and went up a cedar tree with the little Poodle in his mouth.

The tree was in the yard between Margie and myself. I could just see him, up there about 40 feet off the ground. He was looking down at me with a look as if to say, "Now what are you going to do". He did not like looking me straight in the eye's. I could see it made him want to get behind the tree from me.

I asked Margie to go for my hand gun because it was all I had with me. I kept the cougar in the tree by swinging the machete around. The dog was still alive for a little while but I heard the Cougar kill him just to get him to stop making noise.

Margie came with the gun. I got under the tree and found a place where I could shoot between the telephone and the power wires that ran to the house. I shot him twice in the chest, I was shooting at his heart. He then went around the tree and I shot again and missed him. This time I was shooting at his head. He then dropped Prince and leaped out of the tree straight at me. He landed across the power and phone lines and bounced back up again. I shot him three more times in the chest. This brought him off of the wires to the ground at my feet, less then 18" from me. At point blank range, I shot again hitting square in the right front shoulder, straight in line with his heart. But he turned again and somehow found the strength to keep moving away as I was shooting as fast as I could, recover from the last round kick back and fire again until a house came into view in line with the cougar.

At this point I had to stop shooting. I could not take a chance of hitting the house next door or someone inside the house. I had to let him get away. The cougar then ran straight away and into the woods towards the neighbors house. Darkness was coming on fast now, I only had two rounds left and a dim flashlight. I wanted to go after him as fast as I could but by the time I was able to reload and get back to the point where he went into the woods it was too dark to be hunting him down by myself. The brush was around 40" high and thick as hell. I decided to wait for the game department to show up and maybe the cougar would bleed out before they would get here and he would die.

I went to check on Prince, to see if there was a chance I could do something for him. It was too late, he was lifeless and limp, not moving, not breathing. I talked to him for a minute or so, in case he could hear me say good-bye. Good-bye to a friend and what a friend he had been to me. The little guy didn't deserve to die like this. He was a household pet, not living in the wild he had no chance to defend himself, as nature would have had it.

It took an hour for the Dept. Of Game to show up. I called the neighbors that I had phone numbers for to warn them about the wounded cougar that was still running about. George, the neighbor from the house across the street came over to help but was unarmed. We had started with two flashlights looking in the thick brush and found a big blood trail. We followed it a short distance and had just lost it when the Game Dept. arrived. Just after the first truck, a second Game Dept. truck arrived as well, with two more wardens.

Now there was five of us. The Game Dept. had much bigger and brighter lighting. It was much easier to see and to follow the blood trail with the bigger lights. One of the wardens had done this before, I could tell that right away. He was look and seeing the blood faster than the rest of us. He broke out in front and lead the way.

It only took a few minutes and a short distance to find what we were looking for, that being a dead cougar. He had only made it about 50 yards before dying beside a big fir tree. He may have tried to climb and died and fell out of the tree, it was hard to tell. Besides, I didn't care at that point as long as he was dead. The neighborhood was safe from that wounded cougar.

I went to get my video camera to film the dead cougar. The Game Dept. did not let me have the hide to have mounted. I was told they had rules and laws that stopped them from letting me have the cougar. Instead, I have one hell of a memory of what he looked like looking down at me. But him leaping out of the tree straight at me is a sight I will remember forever. One thing for sure, he was one fast killing machine. That is all a cougar is, a killing machine. He was shoot with a 40 cal hollow point slug out of a Sig 229 hand gun . I had one in the pipe and ten in a clip. When it was all over is still had two rounds left and he was out of sight that quick. He had six 40 caliber rounds in the chest and still ran 50 yards before dying, believe it or not. I was living under a lucky star that day I would dare to say.


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