Rarely am I captivated by a headline, but when I read "Psycho killer raccoons terrorize Olympia" I knew I found something special.

That sensationalized AP story is a condensed version of The Olympian's story, "Cat-killing raccoons on prowl in west Olympia." The article says, "Raccoons have killed about 10 cats in a three-block area near the Garfield Nature Trail at Harrison Avenue West and Foote Street Southwest... Five raccoons actually ganged up on and carried off a little dog, who survived."

"You've got to watch which ones are bad," says Kari Hall, who started a neighborhood Raccoon Watch. "It's not all of them. We just have to arm ourselves with pepper spray."

Resident Lisann Rolle was bitten when she tried to save her cat from an attack by three raccoons. "I'm afraid of them," she says. "I carry an iron pipe with me when I go out at night."

The Olympian suggests the following tips to keep raccoons away:

  • Don't feed them.
  • Don't leave any food out that they can get to.
  • Clean your grill. The odor can attract them.
  • Don't put your trash can out where they can get to it.
  • Keep your lights on. Raccoons like to avoid being seen.
  • Keep gates closed to make it harder for them to get close to the house.

I personally like a solution proposed by "Tyler," who left the following comment in the article's comment section online:

"A .22 injection keeps both raccoons and possums from bothering cats -- takes the fight right out of them..."