Clark County Animal Protection and Control officers say they have responded to multiple cat and raccoon deaths by poison around Vancouver over the past several months.
A number of raccoons were killed and placed in Fircrest Park in central Vancouver, and officers also recovered bodies of multiple cats and raccoons, apparently poisoned, near downtown and east Vancouver, according to a county news release.
Another raccoon was found alive in an illegal leg trap, which was lodged in a backyard fence in east Vancouver, the release states.
Animal Protection and Control Manager Susan Anderson said that sightings of dead raccoons in Fircrest Park date back to the summer, and department officials have been called to pick up about 15 animals there. It appeared they were brought to the park from elsewhere, she said.
The cat deaths have been more spread out, she said. A handful were reported around the Hough neighborhood, a couple in the Fircrest area, and another handful in the Fisher’s Landing neighborhood.
“The most concerning case is the Fircrest Parks situation, where it’s clear that someone is targeting raccoons and dumping the bodies in the park,” Anderson said.
The department said it’s unclear whether the animal killings were intentional, but using poison or traps to kill pets or wildlife are illegal in the county and state.
“Death from poisoning in this manner is extremely painful, and using poison or body gripping traps is considered inhumane,” Anderson said in the news release. “Persons found to be responsible for these acts may be charged with animal cruelty.”
Animal control officials ask anyone with helpful information about these or other incidents to contact them at 564-397-2488.
The department also recommended checking the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website, for information on laws pertaining to nuisance wildlife, and for useful tips on how to more constructively live around wild animals.