LOCAL NEWS

Dog defends family from mountain lion

Jul 20, 2022, 6:29 PM | Updated: Jul 21, 2022, 7:57 am

CEDAR HILLS, Utah — Hot summer days like what we’ve been having, you can’t blame the family dog for wanting to be in the shade.

That’s what Ella, a 7-year-old lab, was doing in her Cedar Hills backyard Wednesday evening.

“She is usually down on the pool with the kids,” said Crystal Michaelis, who is Ella’s owner.

However, Ella wasn’t laying down for a break.

Instead, she was a little out of it after getting back from the vet because of what happened to her Tuesday night.

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

Little did Michaelis know there was a mountain lion in her backyard near some rocks while her kids were playing.

Ella was watching it the whole time.

“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.”

Once the kids went inside, something happened between Ella and the mountain lion.

The family didn’t know about it until they heard her at the door.

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

That fight to keep the mountain lion away caused injuries to Ella.

She had severe cuts on her head and nose, along with her tongue, legs, and neck.

Ella also had a concussion and more than 30 bites on her body.

Her 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 defend it,” said Michaelis.

This neighborhood is in the foothills of Cedar Hills.

Officers with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources say it’s not uncommon to see mountain lions here.

They’re asking people who live in the area to be on alert.

There were no sightings of the mountain lion Wednesday, but an officer found tracks in the yard where the fight happened.

There are also goats in a nearby yard and it’s possible the mountain lion was after them.

“They’ve also seen deer wandering through this area and since deer are kind of the main food source for cougars, they will often follow where deer go,” said Faith Jolley, DWR public information officer.

As for Ella, her family feels she’s a hero.

She protected her family with everything she had.

“Definitely. She can’t be replaced. That’s for sure,” said Michaelis. “She is our hero.”

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Dog defends family from mountain lion