Mountain Lion Attacks Dogs in Morgan Hill; Chihuahua Presumed Dead

A Morgan Hill neighborhood is on edge following a pair of mountain lion attacks on pets.

Early Sunday morning, Cynthia Mercado says she woke up and heard her Chihuahua, “Sunny,” furiously barking.

“Just within a couple seconds I heard him cry,” she said. Sunny never came home, so the next day Mercado went hiking in the hills behind her house near Cascades Court and Olympic Drive.

“We got to the top and I actually saw the cougar,” Mercado said. “It stopped and looked at me.”

The mountain lion took off, but now the neighborhood at the base of hill is living in fear.

“I don’t feel safe and comfortable like I normally do at my home,” Mercado said. “I just feel really robbed right now.”

Marinela Ostheimer lives a couple blocks from Mercado. Three weeks ago her dog,”Nela,” was brutally attacked, possibly by the same mountain lion.

“We think she tried to protect the chickens,” Ostheimer said.

Even after several surgeries, Nela still has a cat tooth lodged in her throat. “The doctor said, she is a fighter,” Ostheimer said.

But, unfortunately for Mercado, Sunny wasn’t so lucky.

“He went out as a hero, protecting us,” Mercado said, “but I’d rather have him here.”

Experts say it is rare for a mountain lion to attack a dog so close to a home. Dog owners in the area tell NBC Bay Area they will be letting their pets sleep inside.

Contact Us