A Newcastle woman wants to warn pet owners after her Bichon Frise was attacked by a bobcat last Friday.
Wendy Thomas says at about 6 a.m., 12-year-old Hannah was out in the yard.
“My husband heard her yelp and bark so he grabbed his shoes and as he was heading to the back door he heard more yelps and barks and then our little dog came onto the deck and the bobcat followed her,” she said.
Wendy says the bobcat only turned away when her husband grabbed the door handle to open the back door.
Little Hannah had to have more than 70 stitches.
“The doctor said there were too many too count,” Wendy said. “She's going to make a full recovery but has had a rough week. She's 12. It's amazing she got away from the bobcat and lived through it."
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says bobcats are probably more common than most people realize and they appear to be using suburban settings more often, but due to their reclusive ways, they are not often seen.
WDFW offers the following information about bobcats
Where bobcats are deemed a problem, use the following management strategies around your property to prevent conflicts:
Don’t feed wildlife. This includes deer, feral cats (domestic cats gone wild), and other small mammals. Remember predators follow prey.
Prevent the buildup of feeder foods under bird feeders. Bobcats are attracted to the many birds and rodents that come to feeders.
Feed dogs and cats indoors and clean up after them. If you must feed outside, do so in the morning or midday, and pick up food and water bowls, as well as leftovers and spilled food as soon as pets have finished eating. Water, pet food and droppings attract small mammals that, in turn, attract bobcats.
Keep dogs and cats indoors, especially from dusk to dawn. Left outside at night, small dogs and cats may become prey for bobcats (which have attacked cocker-spaniel-size dogs).
Enclose poultry (chickens, ducks, and turkeys) in a secure outdoor pen and house. Bobcats will eat poultry if they can get to them. Note: Other killers of poultry include coyotes, foxes, skunks, raccoons, feral cats, dogs, opossums, weasels, hawks, and large owls.
Keep livestock and small animals that live outdoors confined in secure pens during periods of vulnerability. All animals should be confined from dusk to dawn
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) offices receive hundreds of reports of bobcat sightings each year. Due to time constraints, officers will only respond when there is a threat to public safety.