Mountain Lion Foundation demands court-ordered halt to lawless cougar-killing sheriff in Klickitat County

Sheriff who previously flouted mask rules and gun laws is now violating state wildlife laws

August 13, 2021, Kennewick, WA — The Klickitat County Sheriff’s rampage against wildlife violates state law and must immediately be stopped by courts, according to new filings in a Washington State court. The filing is the latest in the Mountain Lion Foundation’s lawsuit against Sheriff Bob Songer, calls for an immediate order halting the illegal hunts and his illegal deputization of a posse to assist in the culling. Just this year, Songer has pursued several cougars, illegally using packs of hounds to chase mountain lions that posed no threat to public safety.

“Sheriff Songer’s conduct endangers the people of Klickitat County, devastates wildlife, and contradicts everything science and experience teaches us about how to protect livestock and communities,” explains Debra Chase, CEO of the Mountain Lion Foundation. “Sheriffs are supposed to follow the law, not undercut the will of Washington voters and legislators, and the laws established to protect wildlife from being cruelly and capriciously chased by dogs. It’s a shame he wouldn’t abide by the law, or meet us and other concerned citizens to find a better solution, and especially bad that we need the courts to compel him to stop breaking the laws he swore to uphold.”

The Mountain Lion Foundation’s petition to the Benton County Superior Court asks for a Peremptory Writ of Prohibition, an order blocking further implementation of Songer’s so-called Dangerous Wildlife Policy and Procedures. In 1996, 63% of Washington voters approved Initiative 655, which prohibits the use of hound packs to hunt cougars, with very limited exceptions that do not apply to Sheriff Songer.

Chase explains: “Sheriff Songer’s policy allows him and people he claims to have deputized — without any background checks or training — to chase cougars simply seen walking through agricultural areas, or feeding on deer they caught in the wild. Rather than killing lions just for being themselves, Songer should work with state wildlife agencies, his own citizens, and groups like ours to develop safe paths to coexistence in Klickitat County.”

In a 2010 survey by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washingtonians statewide overwhelmingly agreed “it is the responsibility of people to help prevent cougar conflicts when living in or near cougar habitat.” Only 10% agreed with the statement “Cougars spotted in or near towns should be killed.” In the last 100 years, cougars in Washington have only killed two people (in 1924 and 2018). There has never been a fatal attack in Klickitat County.

A hearing on the legal case is scheduled for August 27. Filings can be found online at


Founded in 1986, the Mountain Lion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to ensure that America’s lion survives and flourishes in the wild. The Foundation’s website is

Adam P. Karp, JD, MS is a regional animal law litigator residing in Bellingham, Washington with licenses in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. He has practiced animal law for 23 years. His website is

Contact: Josh Rosenau, Conservation Advocate, Mountain Lion Foundation
916-442-2666 ext. 107

Adam Karp, Esq.
(888) 430-0001

Help Stop the Sheriff and His Killing Posse

We have joined a lawsuit against renegade Sheriff Songer in Klickitat County, Washington for unlawfully killing cougars. The Sheriff went rogue in 2019 convening a large posse to kill cougars just for being seen or living their natural lives in their natural environment.

This cougar killing program has resulted in the slaughtering of at least 16 cougars between August 2019 and July 2020. Just. For. Existing.

The lawsuit seeks a declaration by the court that the agency’s use of hounds to hunt cougars is unconstitutional, as well as a judgment stripping the civilian posse of any credentials to hunt cougars with the use of hounds or other means.

It also seeks a judgment by the court barring the sheriff’s office from killing cougars damaging property without authorization from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Please help us stop this cruel and inhumane practice by the Klickitat Sheriff and his posse.

We must move faster to protect these beautiful lions. Please give today to Stop the Sheriff and help Save Washington’s Cougars.