Cougar kills dog walking with owner on Kittitas County trail

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Generic photo of a snarling cougar in the wild. (Photo: ThinkStock via Getty Images)

RONALD, Wash. — A cougar attacked and killed a dog walking with its owner on a trail near Ronald Monday evening.

The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office says Shannon Cernick was walking her dog about 8 p.m. when they came across a cougar on the trail.

The dog was not on a leash and the two animals started fighting.

The sheriff’s office said Cernick ran to get help. She returned with a neighbor’s friend who shot a gun at the cougar and it ran off.

Authorities say, “there was no sign that the cougar was struck.”

Fish and Wildlife officials responded but could not find the cougar.

Cernick’s dog died from its injuries.

The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office warns that people should use caution when walking and hiking in the county because cougar and bear sightings are not unusual.