Mountain lion returnsto Johnson Lane

I have spoken with several Johnson Lane residents who all had something to share about the mountain lion. She's back, but perhaps she never left. Recently she (or it could be a he) has gotten very bold as she has attacked two neighborhood dogs on Halloween evening.

At first you might guess the lion attacked a small dog because she has eaten ducks and chickens the last time that I wrote about her. She first attacked a large dog of more than 100 pounds. I didn't talk with that owner, but then she took a swipe at a medium size, 50-pound Queensland mix female dog named Sage owned by Bill and Cathy Skaggs. Cathy said she heard what sounded like a dog caught in a fence. She looked out at the back of their fenced acre and saw Blue, their male dog, walking along side of Sage who was crying. Cathy could tell Sage was hurt. Cathy and her husband walked out to meet their pets and Sage stopped crying. They could see that Sage's right side was all torn up. The sun had just set over the mountain but it wasn't quite dark yet. They wrapped Sage with a towel and a chip clip to keep it in place. As they walked out back to inspect their fence line to see what possibly could have done this, they found paw prints most definitely from a very large cat.

They drove down to Carson Valley Veterinarian Hospital where Dr. Steve Talbot spent an hour and 38 minutes stitching up Sage and putting in four drain tubes. Dr. Talbot gave them antibiotics and pain killers and dressed Sage in a T-shirt held on with chip clips to protect the area stitched. What is this about chip clips? Sounds like a very creative way to take care of your pet.

While Dr. Talbot was finishing stitching up Sage he asked where the Skaggs live. When they replied Johnson Lane, he told them he had a Labrador in that evening which was also attacked by a mountain lion in Johnson Lane.

Jack Spencer from the Division of Wildlife Services, at (775) 851-4848, told Johnson Lane resident Harley Buckingham when something else is killed, you should "leave it there and call him." Spencer said he would get the permit that would allow him to set a trap for 96 hours to try and catch it.

When Romy Cronin, principal at PiƱon Hills Elementary School, called the Division of Wildlife, she was told unless someone at the school physically sees it, they won't do anything about it.

So here is what I know: the mountain lion has left lots of prints in the Buck Brush Wash area off Stephanie, Wade and Squires. She is getting more brave - or desperate, depending on how you view this - to have attacked larger animals now. I have been told, if you live in this area, you may consider leaving a radio on in your barn in the evening and morning hours and always look around before you go out to feed and water your animals. I would suggest you carry a shovel with you, just in case and make lots of noise. Be safe!

-- Lisa Welch is a Johnson Lane resident and can be reached at 267-9350.


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