Hero Labrador Retriever Saves Family From Mountain Lion in Utah: 'She Is Our Hero'

Ella the Labrador retriever protected her family from a mountain lion attack by getting her owners indoors before fighting the wild animal

Labrador retriever Ella to the rescue!

On Wednesday evening, while the Michaelis family enjoyed their backyard in Cedar Hills, Utah, their hunting Lab Ella started acting protective while standing near the yard's rock wall, KSL News reported.

At first, the family didn't think much of Ella's behavior, but when the dog started looking back quickly at the kids and nudged one of the children to get away, the family decided to retreat inside.

"She was just being very cautious, and my daughter thought it was very concerning," Ella's owner, Crystal Michaelis, told KSL News.

Dog defends family from mountain lion
KSL News/YouTube

Once the family moved indoors, Ella encountered a mountain lion — the animals are also called cougars — in the backyard, near where the family was relaxing moments before.

"We opened the back door and found Ella just bloodied. There was blood all over the door and all over the patio," Michaelis recounted to the outlet.

"I believe wholeheartedly that she was protecting them because it was within seconds that they came in, and this all happened," the proud pet owner told Fox 13 News.

Ella suffered "severe cuts on her head and nose, along with her tongue, legs, and neck," as well as a concussion and "more than 30 bites on her body" from her fight with the wild animal, KSL News reported.

"She is our hero," Michaelis told the outlet.

Dog defends family from mountain lion
KSL News/YouTube

On Wednesday, the Pleasant Grove Police Department confirmed Ella's attack and gave a warning to nearby citizens.

"According to [Utah Division of Wildlife Resources] officials, the dog that was attacked in Cedar Hills last night was in fact attacked by a mountain lion," the police wrote on Facebook. "The dog is believed to have been attacked in the yard and not in the foothills."

"Please be cautious while using the Murdock Canal. If you live in the northern end of Pleasant Grove," the police department advised. "Please be aware of your surroundings and know where small children are at all times. Please consider bringing pets indoors. Be safe out there."

The Pleasant Grove Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Officers with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) said it is "not uncommon" to have mountain lions in the area of Ella's home, KSL News reported. Though they have not yet found the mountain lion that attacked Ella, the authorities did find the animal's tracks in the yard where the fight happened.

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