Warning: graphic video of dog being attacked
LOS ANGELES – A family in La Verne are counting their blessings after a terrifying attack on their dog by a mountain lion that was captured on the homeowner’s surveillance cameras.
The early evening attack on the couple’s 3-year-old giant black schnauzer named Holly Jolly happened over the weekend in the gated community of Mountain Springs.
Holly’s owners, Steve and Nicole, told KTLA’s Chris Wolfe that the area of La Verne they live in is filled with wildlife, like bears, coyotes, rattlesnakes and mountain lions.
The couple added, who were inside watching television when the big cat made its way into their yard, that this is the first time a cougar has ever come so close.
Mountain lion seen prowling neighborhood streets in Southern California
Footage of the vicious attack can be upsetting to watch.
“We heard a yelping and my husband said, ‘Is that Holly?’ and I said, ‘No, I think that’s the television,’ and he said, ‘No, I think that’s Holly,’” Nicole explained.
The couple quickly realized the horrific, shrill and guttural noises were coming from their backyard. Steve and Nicole started yelling enough to startle the mountain lion long enough for their schnauzer to break free and bolt to safety.
“As soon as I heard how fierce the battle was, I was like there’s no way,” Steve said. “I was imagining like a skunk or something back here that she was just messing with, so then I went in and grabbed a gun.”
By the time he got back, the mountain lion had disappeared into the night, but returned about 20 minutes later, presumably searching for the wounded dog.
Holly was treated by a veterinarian for puncture wounds, scratches and an injury that required stitches, though the family says she’s a fighter and is now doing fine.
“She’s enjoying all the extra love, all the extra treats, all the extra attention,” Nicole said. “She’s loving it right now.
They say the terrifying experience has been an eye opener.
“We wanted to let all of our neighbors know that this thing is out and bold enough to jump in yards and attack a dog almost the same size,” Steve said.
On Thursday last week, home surveillance cameras in Lake Elsinore captured another mountain lion prowling neighborhood streets.
In La Verne, Steve said he plans on accompanying Holly into the backyard at night to make sure she’s safe.
Experts suggest that if you encounter a mountain lion, it’s important to remember these tips:
Do not run, which trigger the animal’s predatory instincts to chase
Pick up any small children or pets
Do not turn your back on the animal, but look at its feet and avoid staring at it in the eyes
Raise your arms over your head to appear larger if the animal is acting aggressive
Make noise by yelling
Never approach the cougar
If there are cubs, be extremely careful not to get between them and the mountain lion