BLACK PRESS FILE PHOTO A cougar photographed by a shed hunter in March 2018.

Cougar kills dog in Port Alice

Social media reports of North Island cougar-dog attacks on the rise

A cougar has attacked and killed a small dog in Port Alice.

The dog’s owner, Port Alice Acting Fire Chief Jerry Rose, said he let his two dogs, Charlie and Lucy, out to pee around midnight on April 6.

Rose explained that “Lucy was about two feet in front of me and Charlie was three feet in front of me and the cougar jumped up in the driveway.”

Seconds later the cougar grabbed Charlie.

Rose said he yelled at the cougar until it dropped Charlie and watched as the cat ran off after Lucy started barking and chasing after it.

Charlie, who was a small maltese and yorkie cross known as a morkie, did not survive his injuries.

“It took us quite awhile to go to sleep that night,” said Rose, adding, “We could still see the cougar grabbing Charlie.”

“I can confirm that yesterday at midnight there was a cougar that attacked a small dog in Port Alice,” said North Island Conservation Officer John Paquin, adding, “Just as the dog was going out to urinate the cougar came around the carport and the cougar’s predatory instincts kicked in.”

Paquin said the cougar is still at large as conservation wasn’t able to immediately attend the scene to locate the cougar and remove it.

“We have had a few calls in Port Alice previously, but we couldn’t find the cougar and remove it — things went quiet for a few weeks and then this incident happened,” said Paquin.

Rose also noted he’s talked to a few people who have spotted the cougar around the village and there’s been “a few pet cats that have gone missing in the past couple of weeks.”

Paquin said that “Port Alice cougar sightings have sometimes gone unreported, and conservation is asking the public to continue to report sightings and incidents.”

Paquin said pet owners should be mindful and monitor pets at night, keep them on a leash, and use a flashlight.

“When I take Lucy out to go pee I need to keep her on a harness and keep her close to me,” said Rose, adding“Be cautious with your pets and kids with the cougar around and please call if you see anything because the more calls they get the more they can do.”

Social media reports of dog attacks throughout the North Island have also increased.

When Maureen Rose, Jerry Rose’s wife, posted about Charlie’s attack on the “Port Alice News and Views Facebook Group” responders detailed that a dog was attacked and killed at Cluxewe Resort and that another dog was attacked in Zeballos.

“A dog was killed at Cluxewe Resort on Friday. There were a lot of people on the beach when it happened. Conservation was called,” said Anita Pinchette in the April 5 post, also commenting that “Another dog was attacked in Zeballos today. Our North Island Vet was working on it this afternoon. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for her. Watch your pets everyone because they are everywhere.”

To report a sighting or incident please call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network.

– with files from Tyson Whitney

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