Mountain lion euthanized after attacking family’s dogs in Summit County

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SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah -- A Summit Park family woke up Sunday morning to find two of their dogs had been attacked by a mountain lion. One animal was injured while the other was killed, and personnel from the Division of Wildlife Resources ended up killing the cougar before it could hurt any other pets.

Heidi Hewitt, who also lives in Summit Park, got video of what residents believe to be the same cat, walking around her house on Saturday.

“It was very, very calm, it just lumbered on my patio like it was just out for a casual stroll," Hewitt said.

Hewitt said it’s the first time she’s ever seen a cougar on her property.

"As pretty as the cat was, I was really in awe that it was right there, I kind of wanted to pet it, but I was terrified to even open my door,” Hewitt said.

Hewitt’s decision not to go near the cat was smart, because later that night, neighbor Susan Lee Strauss says the same cat killed one of her dogs and injured the other.

"I went to pet Casper, and he started whimpering really badly, and I turned on the light and saw blood all over our comforter,” Strauss said.

Strauss said the head of her black lab pointer mix, Casper, was actually in the mountain lion’s mouth.

“How he got out of it is just beyond miraculous,” said Strauss as she pointed out the puncture wounds surrounding Casper’s head.

Strauss’ other dog, an Australian shepherd, wasn’t as fortunate. The mountain lion had carried her off. When Strauss went searching, she came face-to-face with the cat, sitting under a deck, in her neighbor’s back yard.

“She stood up and started to growl: I got out of there, I didn’t want any part of it,” Strauss said. "It was scary, and it was pretty stupid of us to be that close, but we were looking for our dog."

Strauss called the DWR, who euthanized the cougar with one gunshot to the head. Underneath the dead cat, Strauss found her dog’s body.

“You couldn’t make out her face at all,” Strauss said. “It’s horrible, and telling my 10-year-old was even worse.”

Residents say when you live in the wilderness; you have to understand the risks that are sometimes right outside your window.

“It’s part of when you’re living in Summit Park, it’s what happens, it was just very close to home and it was pretty brutal,” Strauss said.

For more information on how to protect your family from wildlife, visit Wild Aware Utah.

19 comments

  • Gail

    Why couldn’t they just move the mountain lion to another area back in the mountains. If you live in areas in the mountain fronts, this is their territory. Keep a closer watch of your pets. This is so not right.

  • Janice Martinez

    They should keep their dogs inside at night and even in the day when they aren’t around to observe them if they want to live in that area. It is the cat’s territory not theirs.

  • Mab

    1) the ignorant owners are at fault

    3) the mountain lion did what it is supposed to

    4) the mountain lion should have been tranquilized and moved at most

    5) the animal should not have been killed and the dog owners and idiots responsible for murdering the lion are all wastes of skin.

  • mimik9s

    Who leaves their dogs out overnight when they live near wildlife? Would have been the same thing if a bear or coyotes had killed the dog. Explain to me how mountain lions know pets are off limits?!
    I have 7 dogs and I would never leave them outside unattended never mind overnight!!

  • ralph

    what the hell do you expect when you live out in the woods? i don’t want any dog or cats attacked but you the owner were IRRESPONSIBLE for putting your dogs out there and leaving them!!! the cougar pays for trying to survive by being killed What if there are kits out there starving now because they are dependent on the cougar to survive???

  • Debra Pisons Young

    Residents say when you live in the wilderness; you have to understand the risks that are sometimes right outside your window. SO KILL THE WILDLIFE INSTEAD OF RELOCATING IT. WHAT IF IT HAS BABIES AROUND? SMH – Disgraceful.

  • D Hugs

    Sad, it probably followed her animals in from the wooded area. Animals don’t know the difference between pet or prey.

  • abby

    Summit Park is not wilderness–do not ever mistake a suburb for wilderness. A wild animal that will kill and be uinder someone’d deck is NOT a wild animal, and has been conditioned. Do not ever mistake a wild animal in these conditions for a wild animal in the true wild. If it is in a neighborhood, it needs to be dispatched, for it is no longer wild

  • Basabi

    In India scores of people are killed by the wild animals like Royal Bengal tigers , wild elephants bears leopards etc not to speak of the pets and cattle. Human race is constantly encroaching their habitat. Deforestation is taking its tolls. But killing these animals is legally banned. The tigers are tranquilizes and left deep inside the still existing Sundarban forest. The herds of elephants attack the human habitats, destroy the crops and kill if anybody dares to face them. They are driven by the forest department

  • RDF

    Human wildlife conflict. Humans moving into areas where wild animals live, prey killed by psychopath hunters and even more demented trappers. Humans are a multiplying plague on this earth and innocent animals always pay with their lives.

  • vivalaleta

    Jesus, you move into nature and then blame it for doing what it does.You shouldn’t let dogs or cats roam around outside anyway.

  • brian e.

    … poor mountain lion… as much I hate saying it, but perhaps it was for the best… the picture provided shoed a very skinny, emaciated shadow of a cat… imagine how hungry he must have been to try to take a dog…

  • Jessa

    such B.S! why kill it?!!!!!!
    i love dogs, animals period. i am sorry for the dog getting attacked, but remember these are wild animals, and we are taking their space. How ridiculous, we KILL the lion, because it attacked the dog…………… hhhhmmmm similarities
    (who are the real animals in this world?!!!!)

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