California Woman Bear-Sprays Home-Invading Cougar, Saves Dog’s Life

by Matthew Memrick

A little bit of bear spray went a long way in one Santa Barbara woman’s dog rescue and cougar repelling recently.

Say what? 

When a mountain lion broke into a Painted Cave house near Santa Barbara, Tracy Adams saved the day by rescuing the pet dog and getting the cougar out of the house. Noozhawk reported on the incident.

Cougars and Dogs and Bear Repellant, Oh My

Homeowner Ted Adams recalled Wednesday’s wild night when his sister’s dog, Buddy, started barking downstairs. Buddy was visiting with Adams’s sister, Lee Larsen. 

When Larsen went to check on the 25-pound mixed-breed dog, she couldn’t understand why the recently-adopted Buddy was barking up a storm.

Then, trouble happened. 

“Right about that minute, we heard a tremendous crash,” Adams told Noozhawk, adding that he, his wife, Tracy, and Larsen all rushed downstairs.

Adams told Noozhawk that the French door “completely smashed open” and Buddy was gone. Adams added that he thought a lion came in, took the dog, and left.

But the trio looked outside and down the hall into a room when Adams saw “the chunkiest lion” inside.

The chaos continued with the cougar trying to get out and bouncing off the walls. It hit a window with Buddy in its mouth. Ted Adams estimated the mountain lion was between 150 and 200 pounds. 

Cougar No Match For Woman’s Bear Spray

Adams hurried upstairs to get his gun and ammo when his wife, Tracey, closed the door to the bedroom and grabbed some bear spray she had from hiking in the Sierra Nevada last year.

Adams recalled his wife opening the bedroom door up and catching the mountain lion before it started to tear apart the dog. She gave it “a full blast of spray” from what Ted Adams thought was six feet from the animal. 

The homeowner said the lion dropped the dog and started to go after Tracy Adams before she shot it in the face again.

The woman stayed away from the lion but opened another set of French doors. The big cat found its exit and escaped.

Doggy OK After Attack

Ted Adams said Larsen’s dog only had puncture wounds around his neck.

One vet visit later, Buddy came home with a drain, some bandages, and tranquilizers to keep his healing on track.

Adams described the dog as having a head like a Chihuahua and a beagle/corgi combination body.

But whatever the combination, the homeowner said that dog would’ve been a tasty treat if not for his wife. 

The man said his neighbors had reported several mountain lions in the area, but none were bold enough to go for a dog inside a house. He informed them of the Wednesday attack and was glad that the cougar didn’t go after a small child.