By KIM ESTES, Four Points News
A family dog was killed Thursday in the Hills of West Ridge subdivision of Steiner Ranch. Residents are warned it appears to be the work of a wild or exotic big cat.
Doug Mullen, owner of a 9 ½-year-old Welsh corgi named Allie, says, “My daughter found her savaged in our backyard early Thursday morning.”
“The main thing now is to get information out, especially to parents of small children as well as all pet owners. It appears the attack was by a big cat — a mountain lion or puma.”
Janet Roush, DVM, owner of Stay at Home Veterinary Care, examined Allie’s body and reports, “The width between the fangs was about four-and-a-half to five centimeters, proving the predator to be very big. Coyote fangs are about two-and-a-half centimeters apart.” Coyotes have been seen and heard often in Steiner Ranch.
Furthermore, Roush said, the incision was at the ribs and into the chest and abdomen. Coyotes attack at the hind end and in packs, leaving more wounds.
Mullen’s 17-year-old daughter, Lauren, let Allie out at about 6:15 a.m., Thursday. She called for her minutes later, but the dog did not come. Lauren got a flashlight and went outside to bring her in, but instead found the slain animal two feet from the back wall.
“My wife, Stacey, and I were at a business conference in Orlando. My parents were with Lauren,” Mullen says. “When she found Allie, she ran into the house, grabbed a phone, and called us. She was so upset. It was about 6:30 a.m., Austin time.”
Mullen’s father, Cash, went out and picked up Allie’s 33-pound body. Veterinarian Roush came by at about 8 a.m. She says, “It was a gruesome attack, a horrible scene, not something you want to find in your backyard.”
She says the aggressive animal may be a puma, mountain lion, or cougar. “It could also be an exotic animal that escaped from or was let go by its owner — something like a leopard or jaguar,” she says.
Even though cats may roam 50 to 100 miles, Roush advises local residents to be careful about letting young children walk dogs alone or letting out pets at dusk or dawn, peak hunting times for big cats. “A puma weighs between 125 and 150 pounds,” she notes. “And cats are very quiet.”
Mullen says no one heard any kind of noise or commotion the morning Allie was attacked, including the family’s other dog, a mixed-breed named Moze, who had remained indoors when Allie went out.
He adds, “Moze is definitely depressed. We’ve had him seven-and-a-half years. Allie was the alpha dog and Moze did whatever Allie wanted. Now, he won’t go outside although he loves walks. We tried to put the leash on him the other day and he started biting it. He won’t go.”