SWEET HOME, Ore. -- One Sweet Home family is still shaken up after they said they had no choice but to shoot and kill a cougar that was roaming around their property for more than a day.
Craig Hayes said he shot the cat after finding it trying to attack one of his goats late Monday night. The cougar had already mauled another one of their goats the night prior. His son, Rafe Hayes, found the dead goat in bushes nearby when he went to bring it water on Monday morning.
"So, its body was laying, like it was laying down, and its head curved that way staring directly at me,” Hayes said.
Craig Hayes called a local trapper to see if he could find the cougar but said they never got a response.
That evening the cougar came back and tried to kill another goat. That’s when Craig Hayes saw him feet away from the back porch and inches away from their children’s trampoline.
“It looked up at me while it was eating my goat, like what do you want and went right back at tugging away at it until I popped it with shells. That’s freaky,” Hayes said.
According to Oregon law, if a cougar is trespassing on personal property and attacking livestock, the property owner has the right to kill the animal.
Craig Hayes said he took all the legal steps after killing the cat to get it tagged and processed with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
But now instead of assuming any movement on their property is a deer, the Hayes family said they will assume the worst and hope for the least threatening possibility.
"We have some anxieties we sure didn't have before," Pamela Hayes said.