Redlands neighborhood on alert after dog mauled

Early Saturday morning, a Redlands couple let their little dog out into the back yard. It was the last time they saw their 4-year-old King Charles Cavalier Spaniel alive.

The pregnant dog was plucked from over a 3-foot-high fence by a wild animal and dragged into a ravine, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

“The dog was probably killed instantly,” said Randy Hampton, DOW spokesman. “A neighbor walking in the ravine found the dog later on that morning.”

Around the body and along the backyard fence, DOW officers discovered numerous bobcat and coyote tracks. The wounds on the dog indicated the attacking animal was probably a cat of some kind, perhaps a mountain lion or a bobcat, Hampton said.

Neighbors in the 2000 block of Pannier Court in the Independence Ranch neighborhood on the Redlands were so disturbed by the attack they put together a care basket for the dog’s owners.

“They are experiencing grief big time, beyond measure,” said Gloria Somerville, a neighbor who lives a few doors away.

Somerville and many of her neighbors were surprised that predators lurk so close to their homes.

“We have lived here about four years and we didn’t realize,” said David Rosser, a member of the Independence Ranch Homeowners Association. “I heard there were bears that came down the ravine to the river, but I didn’t realize there were mountain lions.”

Carolyn Trevino, who also lives on Pannier Court, said she sees deer, skunks and prairie dogs all the time, but the attack has taken her nature watching to a new level.

“I am going to be more alert to it because I have my grandchildren come visit me on the weekends,” Trevino said.

Another Redlands resident, Ernest Espinoza, said he saw a bobcat three weeks ago.

“It was right below the Ridges. We live off Shady Lane,” he said. “It didn’t alarm me at all.

Now, when I see a mountain lion, then I will be concerned.”

After the attack, a trio of DOW officers canvassed the Independence Ranch neighborhood, distributing information regarding human interaction with wildlife.

“We want to highlight the need for pet owners, even if you are in what is considered town or close to town, there are wild animals that see your pet differently than you do,” Hampton said.
Cutting through the Grand Valley are numerous canals and trails that wild animals travel.

Wild animals are reclusive.

“That is what those animals are looking for, they are looking for seclusion and water,” Hampton said.

Domesticated animals, on the other hand, have lost their fear of wild animals and thus can easily fall prey. 

“As more and more people move into the urban interface, undoubtedly, the Division of Wildlife is going to see more and more of these situations,” Hampton said.

The Independence Ranch HOA, with the assistance of the DOW, will be putting information in its biannual newsletter about how to live with wildlife, Rosser said.

“There are a lot of new people moving into the area and they probably don’t understand there is wildlife in the area,” Rosser said. “It takes something like this to wake everyone up.”


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