Dog Who Saved Owner From Mountain Lion Dies

'We said goodbye,' owner writes of Eva
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2022 1:06 AM CDT
Updated Jun 9, 2022 1:43 PM CDT
Dog Defends California Woman From Mountain Lion
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / Karel Bock)

Update: A sad coda to the story of a life-saving dog—Eva has died from injuries sustained while protecting her owner from a mountain lion, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. "We said goodbye," owner Erin Wilson wrote on a GoFundMe page for her dog's vet bills. The Belgian shepherd survived the confrontation last month, but her condition slipped over the past week and she never recovered. Our original story from May 17 follows:

Soon after Erin Wilson stopped at a picnic area along Highway 299 near the Northern California town of Big Bar on Monday afternoon and started walking her dog along a path toward the Trinity River, she was confronted by a mountain lion. The animal swiped at Wilson, who screamed—getting the attention of her 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, Eva, who was off leash and had been walking ahead of her, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "She came running. And she hit that cat really hard," Wilson, 24, tells the Sacramento Bee. The cougar turned on the 55-pound dog and the two started fighting. Then the mountain lion latched onto the dog's head.

Wilson started hitting the puma, throwing rocks and sticks at it, and even trying to gouge its eyes or choke it, but it would not release Eva's head. So Wilson ran back to the road hoping to find help, and Sharon Houston stopped when she saw Wilson frantically trying to flag someone down. They returned to find the mountain lion's jaws still clamped around the dog's head, and Wilson started hitting it with a baton. "She was very determined to stop this mountain lion from attacking her dog, so I couldn’t leave her," Houston says. Finally, the cougar released the dog. When it turned back toward the women and swiped at them, Houston sprayed it with pepper spray she'd brought from her car, and it retreated. Eva was gravely injured, but Wilson on Wednesday posted on Instagram that the dog is recovering and will return home Thursday. (More uplifting news stories.)

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