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Animal control looking into how East Side family’s pet goats, rabbits were killed overnight

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on April 6, 2011 at 9:40 am with 15 Comments »
April 6, 2011 9:40 am

Tacoma’s animal control officers were investigating how three goats and three rabbits were killed overnight in the yard of an East Side family’s home.

They are trying to determine what kind of animal – or animals – were involved and have contacted state wildlife agents for their help, Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum said this morning.

The Lively family discovered their pets dead this morning. The three rabbits – Tilly, Toby and Thomas – had been in a wire cage propped four feet off the ground when were attacked. The goats – Buddy and siblings Belinda and Bailey – appeared to have been chased and were found throughout the family’s yard.

All in an enclosed barnyard in an enclosed yard, Anna Lively said.

“It’s a very sad morning at our home,” she said. “They were my babies. These are part of our family.”

The Livelys 13 chickens and dog were not touched.

The Livelys called the Tacoma Police Department’s Animal Control Office. Three officers responded to the home this morning and found tracks in the yard, Anna Lively said. She described one set of the tracks as big.

“The size of your hand big,” Lively said.

Lively said her son heard a ruckus outside about 3:30 a.m. The dog barked once but probably hid.

“My concern is for other people’s animals,” Lively said.

The family had rescued each of the rabbits and goats over the past couple of years.  They were raised as pets. Lively home-schools her three youngest children, ages 9, 11 and 13. One of their morning chores was to go outside and pet the animals.

“These are animals that run too you, not away from you,” Lively said. “They were just darling, sweet little critters.”

Leave a comment Comments → 15
  1. shaboo999 says:

    A cougar, perhaps? I don’t know the East end of Tacoma so I’m guessing.

    I’m sorry for the loss of your animals.

  2. My friends’ goats were killed about 6 months ago very close to Portland Ave. E. and 72nd St. E. He had several acres right by there. His dog was barking from inside the house but he did not go out and check until the morning.
    It is very likely that it was Pit Bull dogs. My sister in southern Oregon had a pregnant miniature horse killed by a pack of Pit Bulls which were owned by her irresponsible and inconsiderate (criminal) neighbor about two years ago.
    I am certain that the owner of the dogs which did this HAVE to know that their dogs are doing things like this when they come back all covered with blood.

  3. dster420 says:

    And I also know of a family that had a llama, and a pit bull attacked it, and ripped its face off- dog was put down.

  4. summit98446 says:

    Seems iff dead animals were left there, then it was an unleashed dog(s). Coyotes would drag their prey off.

  5. another_opinion says:

    My sympathies to the family for the loss of their animals!!! so sorry! I agree with the other posters here, it’s most likely dogs and in the east side, most likely pit bulls. I love dogs and know that all pitbulls aren’t evil (I have met some sweeties myself) but most people in Tacoma who own them don’t train them properly or supervise them as they should.

  6. i find it odd that they didnt hear this going on ive had goats and while they arent vicious or a threat they will definitely make some noise and let you know when something like a murderous rampage is going on? sorry for your loss. hope it wasnt pitbulls, but i dont see how pitbulls could open a cage 4ft off the ground. and why werent the chickens touched? they it seems to me would be the path of least resistance after the rabbits.

  7. tachyonwa says:

    take this is you will, but the information i’m giving is from discussion with the Livelys. i am a member of the family. we’re pretty sure it was at least one cougar. 3 of the 5 officers who examined the prints thought so. cougars have been spotted in the neighborhood before. then there are the huge cat tracks, the fact that the dog broke off his chain and hid instead of barking, the lack of other dog barking noises, and the fact that the rabbits were still in their cages when attacked. the wire bottoms of the cages were pulled down, which would not have been possible for even a large dog’s jaws or paws, but all too easy for a cougar’s massive claws. all of which point to a cougar as the most likely culprit.
    some people believe that it may be a mother and cub in the area, which might explain cougars hunting in my family’s backyard, as a mother cougar has to hunt more than usual to feed herself and a cub. however, we are waiting for tacoma police and wildlife experts to confirm the evidence at the scene and decide on any possible course of action.

  8. My brother in law in Missouri says every time there is mention of cougars, law enforcement is quick to sweep it under the rug. I wonder why. If there is a cougar in my neighborhood, I want to know about it.

  9. tachyonwa says:

    probably because there is a lot of pressure from environmentalists and fish and wildlife departments to avoid them. theyre endangered in the east, but they’re getting a little too familiar around here. probably as a result of human expansion and encroachment, sure. but i just don’t want them eating my pets. or my young siblings.

  10. tachyonwa says:

    of course, i’m not sure yet what’s being done or not done about these cats in the area. i’ve been researching for a few hours straight and i can only take so much…

    thanks to those who have offered their sympathy and support.

  11. livelyfarm says:

    Thanks to all of you for your kind thoughts and words in regards to the loss of our little animal friends. I am especially grateful to the 3 patrol officers and 2 animal control officers from the Tacoma Police Dept. They responded quickly and with compassion and reassurance that there was nothing we “could have” or “should have” done to prevent this terrible event. Whether it was “big cats”(cougar) or “big dogs” doesn’t really matter. Something killed my sweet little goats and rabbits Please be watchful of your own little critters. This has truly been a sad sad day.

  12. Daytonaboy says:

    I’m sorry for the loss of your pets. A couple of years ago all my chickens were killed in there pen. I followed the feathers and dead chickens and it happened to be the neighbors dogs that killed them. Unfortunatly both dogs got hit and killed taking the chickens across the hwy to there home. But anyway, I don’t know what area your animals were attacked but I live in the graham area and two weeks ago I was driving south on Orting-Kapowsin Hwy and about the 219th cross street and a Bobcat ran across the road. I got out and took pictures and video of it as it just stood there and starred at me. I tell ya it was very cool but right of way I thought of peoples pets and farm animals. Anyway I have cool pics and video of it taking off into the woods.

  13. PolarBear53 says:

    it was probably a cougar, We saw one in the other night and were shocked called wildlife department. Come to find out several reports in or near Tacoma recently with reports cougar sightings. Why there hasnt been a public announcement is beyond me considering it’s a city enviromemt

  14. BigPaulie says:

    Those damn Sasquatch!

  15. awww sorry to hear about you poor poor animals…

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