Pet Dog Survives Mountain Lion Attack After Being Carried Away in the Big Cat’s Mouth

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A miracle pet dog survived an Arizona mountain lion after the big cat carried it away in its mouth recently.

Karley, a husky mix, was walking with its owners, Steve and Tammy Miller, on a trail when the mountain lion attacked.

Field and Stream reported that the fierce animal seized the 65-pound dog in its mouth and then ran off with it. The couple fled and contacted authorities.

Fortunately, a park ranger called the couple later in the day to tell them Karley was safe and sound without serious injuries.

Couple Amazed By Big Cat, Dog

When the couple went hiking recently in Oak Creek Canyon, they expected the trip to be pleasant.

But things went south at the canyon. The area is a 40-minute drive south of Flagstaff.

Steve Miller told Fox 10 that he “seen my dog in this thing’s mouth, tongue out. It was limp. [It was the] most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen.”

The Millers were on foot when they came across the lion. The area is known for its cliffy switchbacks, hikes, swimming holes, and lookouts.

Tammy Miller’s screams came at “the cat” and for her dog “to fight” it.

But they didn’t work. The cat absconded into the wild with Karley, and the couple ran to report their canine’s abduction to authorities.

The Millers spent several hours looking for their dog, but a miracle happened. A park ranger called them to report that Karley was still alive.

Arizona Game and Fish Department official Amy Burnett considered the mountain lion was either “young and inexperienced” or “old, weak and desperate.” She told Fox 10 that these kinds of attacks on dogs are “rare,” with attacks on people “even rarer.”

Officials Don’t Plan To Go After Big Cat

Burnett’s agency said it would not go after the mountain lion or euthanize it after the incident.

According to, there are between 1,166 and 1,715 mountain lions in the state. Reportedly, hunters and officials killed 313 lions per year between 2016 and 2020.

Many of those Arizona lions range between 70 to 150 pounds. State authorities consider the animal a big-game species and offer an unlimited number of tags with it. The annual bag limit stands at one mountain lion per hunter. Arizona had a web page for how residents could live with mountain lions and offer hand safety information.

One tip includes walking with your dog on a leash, but there’s no report that the Millers had one. They probably released the leash in shock after likely seeing the big cat.

Social media users flocked to a TV newscaster’s Twitter account to share their amazement and wish the dog well. Some, like Rosanne Giuliano, urged the couple to leave Karley at home next time.

“Sweet beautiful Karley,” Giuliano said. “So happy u r found. No more hiking please. Leave her home. Brave dog.”