HomeOutdoorsNews9-Year-Old Labrador, Charlie, Recovering After Brutal Mountain Lion Attack

9-Year-Old Labrador, Charlie, Recovering After Brutal Mountain Lion Attack

by Jon D. B.
mountain lion in neighborhood
(Photo by ANDRES PINA/ATON CHILE/AFP via Getty Images)

Charlie was one of three dogs to be attacked by the same New Mexico mountain lion. One had to be put down, and another remains missing. By all accounts, Charlie is a lucky boy.

The mountain lion, which carried out a string of attacks in New Mexico’s Jemez Springs, has since been killed. But Charlie’s still recovering after being mauled by the big cat outside his home, and local Jemez Springs Police Chief Felix Nunez says Charlie is likely the only canine survivor.

His owner, Manolito Sanchez, says the 9-year-old yellow lab was barking so loudly that it caught the attention of his cousin. “He said, ‘it’s a mountain lion; it’s in the corner’, and I still didn’t see Charlie, so I was freaked out,” Sanchez tells local KRQE News.

Sanchez went into fight or flight mode, grabbing his flashlight as he looked for Charlie. No dog owner ever wants to see what he had to endure next.

“So, I ran around the corner, and I saw them in the corner, and the mountain lion had a hold of him from behind and were kinda laying down on the grass and just ran to them, and I yelled real loud and put my hands up,” Sanchez recalls.

Thanks to his owner’s actions, Charlie was able to escape and run home. Once reunited, Sanchez rushed him to an Algodones animal hospital nearby. And so far, it’s all good news in the aftermath.

“He’s doing good; he’s on two antibiotics, two pain meds, and he’s doing really well. Every day, we see an improvement his wounds seem to be healing really good,” Sanchez updates KRQE.

Mountain Lion Killed After String of Dog Attacks

Sanchez’s same cousin that heard the commotion was able to shoot and kill the mountain lion that night, potentially saving further canines. With one pup still missing and another having to be put down and Charlie still recovering, the Sanchez family didn’t take the chance. No charges will be pressed for the culling of the cougar.

Thankfully, Charlie is expected to make a full recovery. 2023 has begun with a string of cougar attacks on pets, however, leaving many Americans on edge. On the first of the year, The Colorado Sun reported that residents of Colorado’s Nederland reported over a dozen cougar attacks on pet dogs in their neighborhood alone.

In total, 23 Nederland-area dogs either disappeared, were attacked, or killed by mountain lions throughout 2022. At the worst of it, seven dogs were found dead within weeks of one another. And residents are bracing for the attacks to continue into 2023.

The answer to this isn’t culling cougars, however. Eliminating their threat to our pets would require eliminating the species altogether. And we all know how terrible of an idea that is for a multitude of reasons. Instead, the answer lies in responsible pet ownership and being vigilant in any area where mountain lions reside.