Woman believes cougar killed her cat, neighbors come up with plan

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A group of neighbors in East Portland want to warn others about a possible cougar in the area after five calls to police related to a cougar within a week.

One of those calls was after part of Margaret Bell's cat was found dead in the lawn.

"What was left of an 18 pound cat, maybe if we're lucky, is a half a pound," said Bell. "It's sad."

She knew Portland police came out to 165th and Main Monday morning, but that's where the investigating stopped.

"I wish the animal people had come out and maybe just checked," Bell said.

Portland police spokesman Pete Simpson said police won't call wildlife agencies unless there is a more exact location for the cougar.

"We'd just be chasing shadows," said Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Rick Hargrave, who agrees they need more evidence to investigate.

A representative from the Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services said the same thing. Neither state agency received a call about the sightings and both agencies say they don't have the resources to chase every sighting without more proof, like a cellphone picture.

Both agencies also agree it's more likely the animal is a coyote.

Bell's neighbors aren't satisfied with that response.

"If you don't know, where's your truck? Why aren't you out here?" said Teresa Stuva. "It's frustrating. It really is."

"I can understand their point of view, but I don't necessarily agree with it," said Patty Hicks, who's reaching out to local leaders in the hopes of starting a new alert system.

"We can have a regular system maybe through reverse 911 system," Hicks said. "I'm going to do whatever I can to put the pressure on, so to speak."

Neighbors have called police from these locations and in this order since Saturday:
-122nd and Division
-167th and Hoyt
-165th and Main
-162nd and Halsey
-148th and Sacramento