Dog Defends Family From Mountain Lion in Utah Backyard

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

The lab suffered a concussion, as well as severe cuts and bite wounds

Ella, a 7-year-old lab, sustained serious injuries when she took on a mountain lion in her Cedar Hills, Utah, backyard. 

Ella's owner, Crystal Michaelis, said she was acting strangely alert last Wednesday, July 20, while the kids played in the pool. 

"She was on point. She’s a hunting dog but she was just on point,” Michaelis told

Michaelis had no idea a mountain lion was in her backyard near some rocks while her kids were playing.

But Ella knew something was wrong.

“She kept looking at the kids and then quickly looking back,” said Michaelis. “She was just being very cautious and my daughter thought it was very concerning.”

After the kids went inside, Ella and the mountain lion had a confrontation, but the family didn't know what happened until Ella showed up at the door injured. 

“We opened the back door and found Ella just bloodied. There was blood all over the door and all over the patio,” Michaelis said.

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She suffered a concussion and severe cuts on her head, nose, tongue, legs, and neck. She also had more than 30 bites on her body. 

The vet told Michaelis all of the injuries were from her shoulders up.

“Which means she never let down and stayed in that protective stance and defended,” Michaelis said.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resource officers say mountain lion sightings are not uncommon in the area, and they're asking people who live there to be on alert.

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