April 24, 2014 2:29 am

Squamish residents warned after bobcats attack dogs, leaving one dead

VANCOUVER – Pet owners in Squamish are being warned after a number of attacks by bobcats on dogs.

Bobcats, which are rarely even seen, are being blamed in at least a pair of attacks over the last few days.

One dog is dead after one attack and two others were hurt in a separate incident.

Warning signs are now alerting dog walkers about increasing conflicts between pets and bobcats.

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“I don’t know if I’ll be keeping him on a leash all the time, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on him for sure,” said Mark Dandurand, who walks his dog Reef off-leash frequently

Just last week a 60 lb dog was off-leash when it was attacked by a bobcat. The dog developed an infection and died.

At a meeting Wednesday night, locals filled an auditorium to learn more about the bobcat problem, which officials say is the worst in years.

“We’re looking at about nine incidents this year that have been called into the Conservation Officer line,” said Meg Toom with Wildsafe BC. “I’ve been doing this job for the past nine years, we’ve never had the number of encounters that we’ve experienced in the last 10 months, so it’s a blip on the radar, we’re certainly seeing an increase in encounters with bobcats and dogs.”

It’s unclear exactly why the conflicts have increased. Wildsafe BC said the bobcats pose no threat to people, just dogs.

Now everyone who ventures out with their dogs in Squamish is being encouraged to keep their dogs on a leash, to help prevent future attacks.

- With files from Catherine Urquhart.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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