Tragedy Avoided As Belgian Malinois Pup Saves Its Owner During Mountain Lion Attack

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog,” as said by Charles M. Schulz and we cannot agree more. For time and time again our four-legged companions reform our understanding of unconditional love and loyalty.

This story that you’re about to read is quite traumatic and I’d like to warn more sensitive readers of the contents ahead, as it features some harm caused to a dog by a mountain lion as it was protecting its owner from the attack.

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Before we continue with the details, I’d like to offer a word of thanks for being here, for all your comments and the upvotes. If you’d also like to follow the author, that’d be much appreciated, but without further ado, let’s get into it.

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Erin Wilson and her 2-year-old dog Eva were taking a little stroll in the afternoon sun before tragedy struck

Image credits: eva_the_mal

Erin Wilson (24) was spending the afternoon with her 2-year-old dog Eva in the beautiful region of Big Bar, Trinity County, California.

According to wildlife officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), they’d been driving on State Route 299, stopping beside the road near a picnic area next to Trinity River, before exiting the vehicle to take a walk.

Eva was slightly ahead of her and off her leash when Erin heard a noise beside her.

One second she heard a weird noise, the next – a mountain lion had scraped its claws across her shoulder, preparing for another attack

Image credits: eva_the_mal

Before she knew it, a mountain lion jumped out from the bushes, swiping Erin across the left shoulder, causing injury.

The cougar growled and prepared for its second attack, causing the woman to scream Eva’s name in shock and, without a moment’s hesitation, the pup charged at the cat.

The mountain lion lost any interest in Erin, allowing her to move away to safety, however, the horror was just beginning.

Erin screamed out for Eva and the pup, without a second’s hesitation, charged at the cougar with all her might

Image credits: eva_the_mal

The large cat bit the dog’s head and would not let go. Erin told TODAY, “they fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

Fearing for her beloved pet, the petite woman started to attack the mountain lion herself, throwing rocks at it, before trying to tug and pull them apart, even attempting to choke and gouge out the feline’s eyes, to no avail. The lion wouldn’t budge.

Determined to find help, Erin rushed back up to the road and flagged down a passing vehicle, driven by Sharon Houston. Once aware of the situation, she retrieved a can of pepper spray and a PVC pipe, the pair hurrying back to the fighting animals.

Sadly, the pepper spray did close to nothing, only encouraging the mountain lion to move off the trail, dragging the poor dog along the path.

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Sadly, the cat got the upper hand, biting down on the dog’s head. Erin was not giving her beloved dog up without a fight

Image credits: eva_the_mal

However, Erin wasn’t giving up her dog that easily. The pair began hitting the mountain lion with the PVC pipe, Erin yelling “‘Get the f**k off my dog!’” as she told The Sacramento Bee. “And eventually it just let go, and ran off.”

She picked up her glasses that had fallen to the ground, hugged Sharon and quickly got her bleeding pup back in the car.

The woman wasted no time getting her pet to emergency care at the VCA Asher Animal Hospital, ignoring her own injuries in the process. Erin’s husband, Connor Kenny, told SFGATE that the dog suffered two skull fractures, a punctured sinus cavity, severe damage to her left eye and was experiencing seizures.

It was unclear whether the pup would live, but Erin begged her to keep fighting: “I was like, ‘Just stay with me, dog. I love you. I can’t live without you. Just don’t go. Don’t leave me.’”

She threw rocks at the mountain lion, tried to choke and blind it, before stopping a passing car and asking for help

Image credits: eva_the_mal

Only at the facility did she think about her own wounds. She received medical treatment in Redding, her injuries consisting of bite wounds, scratches, bruises and abrasions. All were, thankfully, non-life-threatening.

To help cover the medical expenses, Erin shared their GoFundMe page and was soon overwhelmed by the love and support the public had for her heroic pup.

The fundraiser gathered more than $32,000, well exceeding what the family needed. Erin explained where the funds were gonna go in an Instagram post: “Any additional funds will go towards her aftercare, some very solid pampering, ensuring her safety and quality of life, my medical bills and a few charities of our choosing. We are looking at Malinois rescues, big cat rescues, and predator management groups.”

The person had a PVC pipe and pepper spray and with their help, the mountain lion finally let go of the dog, rushing away into the wilderness

Image credits: eva_the_mal

The pup fought hard for her life and, with amazing care from the vets and her family, she got stronger each day that passed. They were able to go home on May 20th and even got a milkshake on the way home to celebrate.

She’s continuing her recovery with her favorite toys by her side and her sister Mishka patiently waiting for her to get better so they can play. Although, she has taken to sleeping under the bed, rather than on it.

Erin wrote in an Instagram post, “Eva is doing well. She is resting a lot, she has a big appetite, and is returning to her old self.” She’s expected to be back to her usual self in the upcoming weeks.

Erin wasted no time in taking her bleeding pup to the closest emergency vet. The pup sustained grave injuries

Image credits: eva_the_mal

Eva is of the Belgian Malinois breed, making her highly intelligent and athletic. The breed typically needs lots of social interaction and exercise, making them well suited for police and military work. Bored Panda noted one such dog joining forces of the Ukrainian army, so if you’d like to have a read, I’ll leave the link here.

However, due to their high needs for stimulation and physical activity, they might not make the best pets for everyone, as was the reason for the pair meeting in the first place. When Eva was about four months old, her previous family found the puppy to be a bit too much work. Thankfully, Erin clicked straight away with Eva, forming a close bond with the pup.

Eva suffered two skull fractures, a punctured sinus cavity, severe damage to her left eye and was experiencing seizures. It was unclear whether the pup would live

Image credits: eva_the_mal

Image credits: eva_the_mal

Though she understood why that couldn’t be the case with the previous family. Erin jokingly told NPR that they’re basically “a German shepherd on steroids or crack cocaine.” And yet these traits of hers, as well as her unconditional devotion to her owner, saved both of their lives.

Recalling the ordeal, Erin told The Sacramento Bee that she’d do anything for her dog, and she’s pretty sure Eva would do nothing short of the same. She’s certain that Eva saved her life that day, saying “if [Eva] had waited another second or two more, it probably would have either jumped up and bit me in the face, in the head and the neck.”

However, through the combined care of the vets and her family, she gathered the strength to keep going and was discharged home a few days later

Image credits: eva_the_mal

To help cover the medical expenses, Erin started a GoFundMe page and was soon overwhelmed by the love and support the public had for her heroic pup

Image credits: eva_the_mal

State officials visited both Eva and Wilson as they were beginning their investigation and hunt for the cat. A 1990 voter-approved law that banned mountain lion hunting in California gives wildlife officials discretion to put down mountain lions that attack pets, livestock or people. However, as tragic and frightening the event was, it is incredibly rare for this to happen.

According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, a total of 126 attacks, 27 of which were fatal, have been documented in North America in the past 100 years.

Considering the population density of mountain lions to people, as said by The Mountain Lion Foundation, you are more likely to drown in your bathtub, be killed by a pet dog, or be hit by lightning than to encounter a cougar. “If lions had any natural urge to hunt people, there would be attacks every single day. Instead, they avoid us.”

She’s continuing her recovery with her favorite toys by her side and, thankfully, all the injuries Erin sustained were not life-threatening

Image credits: eva_the_mal

It’s still a ways to go before Eva is back to her normal self, but at least we can say the story has a happy ending

Image credits: eva_the_mal

Mountain lions prefer areas with dense undergrowth and cover, and will leave an area if they perceive a threat. The solitary and elusive nature of mountain lions makes them difficult to research and practically impossible to count, however, their numbers are estimated to be 30,000 in the US. As secretive as these cats tend to be, you need to stay alert if you live, work, or play in cat country.

If, by any chance, you do get unlucky enough to encounter one, follow these three simple steps: do not run, look intimidating, fight back. Do your best to calm down and maintain eye contact with the cat. Try to look bigger by opening your coat or raising your arms, as the cat won’t attack you if you look likely to cause them damage. Slowly wave your arms and speak firmly, as high pitched screaming might trigger the cat to attack.

If you’re unlucky enough to encounter a mountain lion yourself, remember – don’t panic, do not run, look intimidating, fight back

Image credits: eva_the_mal

We can’t wait to see more of Erin and Eva’s adventures and wish them a smooth and quick recovery

Image credits: eva_the_mal

We wish Erin and Eva a smooth and easy recovery, both physically and emotionally. It seems the pair are well on their way to returning to normal life and we can’t wait to see what awaits them in the future. As Erin said, “My dog is my hero and I owe her my life.”

Leave us your thoughts in the comments below and I wish you all safe travels!

People have been continuing to show their love and support for the pair. Leave us your thoughts below!

The post Tragedy Avoided As Belgian Malinois Pup Saves Its Owner During Mountain Lion Attack first appeared on Bored Panda.


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