STANWOOD, Wash. -- Cougar sightings are concerning neighbors in Stanwood.
A family had two dogs killed weeks apart and they think cougars did it. More pets are being reported missing and many fear the big cats are the culprit.
“My heart is broken, I don’t want anyone to feel that way, it hurts,” said Suzanne Karelsen.
Karelsen lost her dogs Dottie and Betty. She says she called the State Department of Fish & Wildlife to report it, but so far, it’s not investigating.
“It’s very frustrating all I wanted them to do is acknowledge this maybe come and check the area,” said Karelsen.
Sgt. Jennifer Maurstad says there are only three people available to investigate incidents like this in Snohomish County. Due to budget cuts and limited staffing, it needs proof there’s a sighting.
“Often times it’s a cat it’s a dog just to weed through that process and save time we will normally only respond if it’s a confirmed sighting,” said Sgt. Maurstad.
Julie Goforth says she came within 300 feet of a cougar.
“He literally looked right at me,” she said.
To give officials their proof there are cougars in the area, Goforth set up two cameras on her property.
Karelsen says she’s turn the pain of losing her pets into a passion to protect the community. She feels another attack will happen again.
“Maybe I can save the life of a child or an adult,” said Karelsen.
While there isn’t a confirmed sighting yet, the Department of Fish & Wildlife recommends keeping all pets indoors at night.