I think they're on the rise everywhere. We've had them in our neighborhood and I've heard stories of small missing pets locally. They are very bold. When I was at my dad's memorial service in Phoenix, you could hear them howling at night--really creepy. One walked right through the yard in the middle of the day while we were there. They will kill small dogs and cats, so I'd be careful. I haven't seen one here, but we have bears, deer, you name it!
My husband saw a cougar early one morning about 5 miles from our house! It really freaked him out. We've been told by the DNR that they don't exist in Michigan. Bill said he was pumping gas and saw what he originally thought was a big dog, but it was too big and had a long tail and walked across the highway--like a cat. The clerk in the gas station said it wasn't the first sighting. DNR still denies they're here, but a friend in Minnesota said it is because they don't want to take it off the endangered list (?).