Hero Dog Suffers Serious Injuries Scaring Mountain Lion Out of Family's California Backyard
A dog in southern California is being hailed a hero after chasing a mountain lion out of his family's backyard on Monday.
Vets expect Rocky the pit bull to fully recover from his mountain lion encounter after sustaining eight large puncture wounds during his fight with the big cat outside of his owners' home in La Verne near the Angeles National Forest, KCAL-TV reports.
In a surveillance video obtained by the station, Mary Padres' two dogs bark at the mountain lion as she rushes inside her home. Padres said that the "huge" animal was "looking right at me" before Rocky sprang into action.
Rocky, the smallest of Padres' two dogs, eventually chased the mountain lion out of the backyard and up a hill. Padres told the station that the canine confronted the wild animal "to make sure that I was OK."
"That's the whole reason he went after that mountain lion," she told KCAL-TV. "It's because I opened that door."
The family rushed outside with flashlights in search of Rocky, though the mountain lion was still on the loose.
"We wanted to protect our dog," Padres told the station.
Once they located Rocky, Padres said the family "saw the hole all the way down to his brain." It took a veterinarian 30 stitches to sew up the dog's wounds.
A mountain lion has been caught on camera twice in the last two weeks near another home two miles away from the Padres' residence, according to KCAL-TV.
"I'm 100% sure it's the same one," said Padres.
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After rescuing Rocky, Padres told KCAL-TV that she heard the big cat attack another animal. She recalled hearing "a horrible cry" before things went "quiet."
La Verne police and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are working together to decide if residents in the area should be warned about the mountain lion sightings, the station reports.
Anyone in the area that spots a big cat in their neighborhood is encouraged to contact local authorities.