It will take some time for one California family to sleep peacefully again after their beloved dog was snatched from the foot of their bed by a mountain lion while they slept.
Victoria Fought said the big cat snuck into her Pescadero home around 3 a.m. Monday, April 17, 2017, as she slept with her daughter, Catalina, and their dog, a 15-pound Portuguese Podengo named Lenora.
According to the New York Post, the family had left the French doors in their bedroom partially open to let in fresh air. They were awaken suddenly when their dog began barking aggressively. Fought said she saw the shadow of an animal enter the room and grab her dog.
“As soon as I saw it walk out, I said, ‘That’s a lion,’” Fought told CBS News. “It was shocking.”
Fought's daughter said she heard Lenora let out a strange bark she's never heard before.
“I knew something wasn’t right, but I kept my eyes closed,” she told the station.
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials have confirmed the animal was a mountain lion based on paw prints found near the home.
The dog's carcass has not been found, but blood stains were found near the French doors.
The incident appears to be isolated, and there's no ongoing search for the dog or the mountain lion.
Detective Salvador Zuna said, "They live in a very rural area, which is essentially mountain lion territory. What is unusual is the fact that this mountain lion got this close and actually went into the home.”
Zuno reminded homeowners to lock their windows and doors at night and to purchase an air horn for any unexpected encounters with large animals.
Have you ever had a close encounter with a mountain lion?