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from the The Reporter.com
Mountain lion killed after attack on dogs
By Robin Miller/City Editor
State officials shot and killed a mountain lion Tuesday after it attacked two dogs and then lingered in a rural north Vacaville family's yard.
The encounter began when Clement Road resident Kathy Bleasdale let her two 3-year-old boxers, Sinbad and Ali Baba, outside early in the morning.
The dogs ran to the front of the family's yard and began barking wildly.
"So I looked back there and I saw something go up the palm tree," Bleasdale said. "Then it dropped down and I saw that it was a big cat and I said, 'Hey, that's no ordinary house cat.' "
Bleasdale called county animal control officials for help, but the chase was on as Sinbad and Ali Baba pursued the cat through a field, over a junk pile, and through two open side windows on a shed before Bleasdale was able to grab them and lock them in her car.
"As I put them in my car, that's when I realized they were hurt," she said. Both dogs suffered lacerations that were treated by a local veterinarian.
Solano Animal Control, Sheriff's and state Fish and Game officials responded to the home.
Patrick Foy, a biologist and information officer with Fish and Game said the decision to shoot the mountain lion was based on the animal's aggressive behavior and the fact that it refused to leave the property.
"Trapping was not a possibility here," Foy said. "This was extremely aggressive behavior. It attacked and could have killed two dogs and there were children in the area. When I pulled up there were three kids in the driveway. That made the decision clear."
A federal trapper called in by Fish and Game shot the male lion, estimated to weigh between 100 and 110 pounds, after it came out from beneath a trailer on the Bleasdale property and moved about 75 feet behind the family's home.
Foy said the mountain lion likely was looking for food when it first came on the property. And while the male mountain lion tends to live a more solitary life, residents should assume there are others in the area.
"This is an open, rural area that could host others. You have to assume there is some small population out there," Foy said.
He added that the big cats are seen relatively infrequently but are "so secretive and stealthy that they can be there and not even be noticed."
Bleasdale believes the mountain lion killed Tuesday may have been on her property before.
"I'd never seen one out here before and I've lived here since 1962," she said. "But the dogs have been going to one spot and barking a lot at night."
For now, she'll have to keep a close watch on the boxers.
Sinbad suffered a scratch to one eye, according to Dr. George Eding, veterinarian with Orchard Veterinary Services in Vacaville where the animals were treated. "That should heal fine given time," he said. "He also had a one-inch cut that I stapled shut."
Ali Baba seemed to have taken the brunt of the big cat's attack, however.
"He had a number of puncture wounds and a two-inch laceration that I closed with staples,"said Dr. Eding.
Both Sinbad and Ali Baba will live to experience more adventures, Eding noted. They are on antibiotics to avoid infection and the veterinarian said rabies is not a concern because both pets had been recently vaccinated.
"They were very lucky," Eding said.
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