Dog protects a family against a mountain lion attack

You can’t blame the family dog for wanting to be in the shade on hot summer days like the ones we’ve been enjoying.

Ella, a 7-year-old lab, was doing just that 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.

Ella, on the other hand, was not about to take a nap.

Instead, she was groggy when she got home 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.

Michaelis had no idea there was a mountain lion in her backyard among some rocks when her children were playing.

Ella had been watching it the entire 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.

Ella was injured during the fight to keep the mountain lion at bay.

Her head and nose were badly cut, as were her tongue, legs, and neck.

Ella sustained a concussion as well as more than 30 bites on her body.

Michaelis was told by her doctor that all of her 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.

Mountain lions are not uncommon, according to officers with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Residents in the region are being warned to be on the lookout.

The mountain lion was not seen Wednesday, but an officer discovered traces in the yard where the fight occurred.

There are goats in a nearby yard, and the mountain lion may have been pursuing 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.”