Judge: Sheriff’s use of dogs to kill dangerous wildlife OK’d

GOLDENDALE, Wash. (AP) — A Washington judge has decided not to halt the manner in which a southern Washington state sheriff handles what he considers dangerous cougars. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the wildlife advocacy group Mountain Lion Foundation sued Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer and the county after Songer deputized hound handlers to track and kill cougars he considers a public safety concern. Activists have said the sheriff’s policy is a death warrant for cougars there. According to the lawsuit, the sheriff’s cougar management policy is illegally using hound handlers to kill cougars. A 1996 voter initiative banned hunting cougars with hounds in Washington, except in life-threatening situations.