LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) - A Los Alamos family is mourning the loss of their pet dog after a mountain lion attacked and killed it in their backyard on Christmas Eve.
Police Capt. Randy Foster said that when Hari Viswanathan heard the family dog, named Gwennie, barking outside and found a mountain lion trying to pull it through wooden slats in the fence, he frantically tried to get the big can to let go and even hit it over the head with a shovel.
Even after four officers responded and the dog was dead, the mountain lion wouldn't let her go, Foster said.
One officer shot and killed the mountain lion for its aggressive behavior after calling and asking the Game and Fish Department what to do.
The family's home borders a steep canyon and faces an open forested area, Foster said. It's likely that the 110-pound mountain lion's natural food sources have been compromised because of drought and the massive Las Conchas wildfire that burned thousands of acres of forest over the summer, he said.
"I'm sure it was hungry," Foster said. "It was probably walking through the canyon looking for food."
Gwennie, a white and brown foxhound, was about 10 years old. It had been with Viswanathan, his wife and their 3-year-old son for nearly a year after the family picked her out in a shelter.
"It's obviously a shocking thing," said Viswanathan's father, Vriddhachal Viswanathan.
His wife, Selvi Viswanathan, said her son and daughter-in-law are telling the boy that the dog went to heaven.
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