A Placerville family is thankful to have their dog tonight, after a mountain lion dragged their terrier shepherd from the family’s deck, and tried to bring it into the woods.
Kirk Fetter had heard there could be mountain lions near his Placerville home, his friends have even claimed to have seen one.
But Wednesday just before midnight, Fetter needed no convincing. He came face-to-face with one in his backyard.
"My wife heard a growl, didn't think much of it until she heard my dog yelp a little and cry,” said Fetter.
"I just screamed daddy, daddy, Tiki needs help, come help her!” Fetter’s wife Chanida said.
What Chanida saw was a mountain lion grab Tiki their dog, Tiki by her throat, and run off.
No time to get dressed, Fetter jumped out of bed and into action.
"Alls I saw was a big old long tail, first instinct was to save my dog,” Fetter said.
Fetter ran toward the mountain lion. When he got over to the animal, he says it dropped Tiki.
He says the whole incident only took about 30 or 40 seconds. In the moment, he said he felt no fear, just a rush of adrenalin as he ran after his dog.
Tiki needed 6 staples to close her wounds, which a neighbor had to administer. Chanida remembers seeing the mountain lion stare her husband down before turning and running. But both say the risk was worth it, for one simple reason.
"It's a family member. You got to save your family,” said Fetter.
"She's like my first daughter, I had her, maybe she was like 3 months old. I fed her like my baby,” said Chanida.
The family got Tiki the year before their seven-year-old daughter Annie was born. Fetter says if something serious happened to Tiki, Anna would take it the hardest.
Tiki continues to heal, and her scars serve as reminders of just how precious a bond between a family and their dog is.