Mountain lion snatches pet dog from Northern California home

Katie RamirezApr 19, 2017

Pescadero resident Victoria Fought said she was sleeping with her daughter around 3 a.m. when she woke to the sound of her 15-pound rescue dog barking, the San Mateo Sheriff's Office said in a release.

The woman said she then saw the shadow of an animal enter the room and take the dog from the bed.

She added she saw "wet, very clear, large paw prints" along the path to their home and spotted a few drops of blood by their door.

"Deputies searched the area and also located paw prints similar to a Mountain Lion", according to the sheriff's office. Vickie Fought, a homeowner in Pescadero, says she and her 12-year-old daughter were sleeping in her bedroom with the back door open a crack when they were awoken by the barking of their small dog.

Rarely, however, do they make it all the way into a house, sheriff's spokesman Salvador Zuno told the Los Angeles Times.

Authorities have contacted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to see if a follow up investigation is necessary. More mountain lion safety tips can be found here. In the San Mateo County mountains, cougars usually eat deer and other wildlife, not pets, Zuno said.

Neighbors have been warned to be especially wary of mountain lions after one displayed such boldness.

In the meantime, officials are urging residents - particularly those who live or visit rural areas - to take precautions.

The SMSD says that this incident is a reminder to "lock and secure your home's doors and windows", and refers those with more questions on mountain lion behavior to this website.

Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the state fish and wildlife department, said the department was still trying to figure out if the animal was indeed a mountain lion. The mountain lion gained entry to the house via the back door which was cracked open.

"Obviously they're very shaken up by this, they lost a family member and it was a surprise in the way it happened", Zuno said.

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