After a dog goes missing from an Idaho yard, Fish and Game officials have issued a wildlife warning

Below is a press release and photos from Idaho Fish and Game.

Last month, the Fish and Game Southwest Region team received a report from a resident of Boise, near 8th St. and Hulls Gulch, report that a wild animal had taken their dog from their backyard the morning before.

The homeowner stated that shortly after leaving the 18-pound miniature Labradoodle, they went out to fetch the dog and found only blood in the front yard with a blood trail that led to a 4-foot-high retaining wall and into the open hills.

A fish and game conservation officer investigated the area and found bobcat and wolf tracks, leaving only a collar around 100 yards from the housing. While the officer was unable to locate the dog and speak definitively about what type of predator was responsible for the attack, based on the scene, the officer suspected the dog had been initially attacked by larger cats – likely a Bobcat based on the tracks – Before it was cleaned and removed by a number of wolves.

“One of the many things to love about Idaho is that – even in Boise – we are on the edge of the wild,” said regional supervisor Josh Royce. “But when you live in that wild urban front, predators are part of the landscape. An apparent wildlife attack on a dog is a truly unfortunate reminder of that fact. While we know that conflicts between wildlife and pets can sometimes occur, it is only That knowledge doesn’t make it any less tragic for pet owners when situations like this arise, and my heart risks them.”

Mount Katchum Lion Kitten May 2021

Fish and Game staff carried out door-to-door educational outreach in the neighborhood where the incident occurred, and monitored any additional reports of conflict or abnormal wildlife behavior in the area.

The reported incident with the dog comes amid numerous reports of sightings of mountain lions, both in Boise proper and in neighborhoods near the foothills. While these sightings aren’t particularly common, they do happen nearly every year.

Bobcat and wolf sightings occur frequently, and black bears occasionally make their way into town. In most cases where wildlife finds its way into urban areas, it moves without conflict. In neighborhoods that support the opening of wild spaces such as the Boise Hills, the potential for conflict between wildlife and domestic animals is higher.

“The foothills of Boise are home to many of the state’s many types of predators, small and large,” Royce said. “With winter approaching and prey species moving in the highlands, predator species are also approaching the city, and this is the time of year when residents and pet owners should consider taking extra precautions to reduce the potential for conflict.”

Here are some steps homeowners and pet owners can take to reduce the potential for conflicts with wildlife, especially predatory species:

  • Never Feed Wildlife – Feeding, either directly or indirectly, can cause predators to become accustomed to humans, which can lead to uncharacteristically bold or aggressive behavior.
  • Securing the litter – Unsecured litter or compost piles can attract predators directly or indirectly by attracting prey species to your property. Keep your litter boxes inside a secure building when possible, don’t overfill them and take out the litter the morning of the pick-up, not the night before.
  • Close out crawl spaces – Spaces under decks, barns, or homes can seem like an attractive place for wildlife to shelter, whether it’s to rest, to feed, to seek cover from the weather, or to raise their young. Having a coyote, coyote, or mountain lion in your backyard can greatly increase the potential for conflict, so seal off these areas to prevent animals from using them.
  • Thick brush clipping – Brushing around your property can provide hiding places for both predators and prey. In the foothills of the Boise Hills, furnished areas can attract a variety of species including quail, rabbits, raccoons and more. Many of these species are on the region’s predator species list, and the thick brush provides great cover for ambush predators such as bobcats and mountain lions.
  • Consider Your Bird Feeders – Messy bird feeders attract not only birds, but also small mammals that are usually preyed on by smaller predators such as wolves and cats, and sometimes even larger predators such as mountain lions when sources of larger prey are unavailable. It may be wise to remove bird feeders if this predatory species is frequently seen around your area.
  • Feeding pets indoors Feeding your pets outdoors can attract many wild animals.
  • Watch for vulnerable small pets – Almost all predatory species around Treasure Valley may view small cats and dogs as potential food. Larger dogs can be thought of as food for mountain lions and as competition for wolves. If you live on the wild urban front, keep a close eye on your pets when you let them out in your yard, especially at dawn and dusk. When you are away from home with your pets in an area where you know there is predatory activity, keep them close to you with a short leash.
  • When to call fish and game – The presence of mountain lion, bear, coyotes or bobcat alone is often not a cause for concern. These species are usually more wary of humans than us. If you notice one of these animals exhibiting normal behaviour, appearing wary of humans and simply moving around in your area, don’t panic. If you are inclined to do so, submit a note about wildlife at the Fish and Game website.

In situations where predatory wildlife exhibits abnormal behavior (such as lack of fear of humans, approaching or following pets or people), or in the event of conflict or an immediate threat to human safety, you should contact Fish and Game’s Southwest Regional Office immediately at (208) 465-8465, or your local emergency office. The sooner Fish and Game learns about these issues, the better the scope of the results for both the animal and public safety.

Leave a Comment