Jan 23, 2014 2:52 PM by David Randall

On the prowl

GOLDEN - Residents in Coal Creek Canyon near Golden say mountain lions have been attacking pets. One dog was killed and another barely survived.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife posted a sign warning people after John Stevens' 12-year-old dog, Mccaffrey, was killed just before 6 a.m. on Jan. 11.

"I just made as much noise as possible," Stevens said, who was out walking his three dogs when Mccaffrey fell behind. "The cat tried to take him, but eventually let go and went up the hill. Mac, though old and degenerating, was still 130 pounds."

Beth White said the DOW's sign made her take notice when, at 2 a.m. Monday, her basset hound mix, Pluto, went out his doggie door and didn't return. She went outside to search for him.

"I saw a large set of eyes," White said. "I didn't realize it was a mountain lion for sure until I was close enough, and it was in my flashlight. I saw Pluto, and she was just limp and covered in blood, and I actually thought the lion had been eating her."

After three hours of surgery, countless stitches, and drains put in her head, Pluto was in good spirits Wednesday, wagging her tail, jumping on visitors, and happy to get attention from White and her two kids. The dog isn't out of the woods yet though.

"She's still at a serious risk for infection. She's on a lot of pain medications, and it did puncture her skull so she's at risk for meningitis and brain infection," White said.

White said she's keeping her kids and three dogs inside after dusk, especially because she knows that mountain lions are persistent. She said it came back just hours after it attacked Pluto and chased her other dog..

"It stopped 15 feet in front of me," she said. "I just got real big and tried to look real scary and ultimately it worked."

The Division of Wildlife said people should should clear brush around their homes, make noise when going outside, put pets in kennels with tops, use motion lights and keep pets from being outside on their own.




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