Mountain lion kills two small dogs in Prescott; residents warned to be vigilant

Courier stock photo

Courier stock photo

A mountain lion attacked and killed two small dogs in Prescott on April 20 and 21, said Tom Kadden, public information officer for the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD).

Both attacks took place at night in the area of Oaklawn Drive and Rosser Street, according to the AZGFD.

“Prior to these attacks, there have been previous sightings of an adult mountain lion with three cougars,” Kadden said.

Last week officers from AZGFD spoke to residents of Granite Springs, in Prescott, warning them about the recent sightings and attacks.

“Residents were told to keep pets indoors,” Kadden stated. He added that so far, mountain lions have not shown any aggression toward people.

As of press time, Kadden said there have not been any new reports of mountain lion attacks.

Per Kadden, there is good mountain lion habitat around the Prescott area. Even though mountain lions are seldom seen, they do exist in the general area. Given the rise in doorbell or home security cameras, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the number of reported sightings increase, particularly nighttime sightings.  

Following are some tips for avoiding conflicts with mountain lions and what to do if you encounter one:

How to reduce the chance

of conflict with

mountain lions:

Mountain lions typically avoid developed areas, but may be attracted to them if they provide access to food, water, or shelter. Some ways people can reduce the chance of conflict with mountain lions are:

 Don’t feed wildlife. Feeding wildlife, specifically mountain lion prey such as rabbits and other small mammals, javelina or deer, or having livestock adjacent to wildlife habitat, may inadvertently attract mountain lions which prey upon them.

Don’t inadvertently leave food sources, such as pet food or garbage, accessible to wildlife.

Keep small pets indoors and keep a close eye on them when you are outdoors with them.

If you encounter a mountain lion:

Do not approach the animal. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.

Do not run from a mountain lion. Running may stimulate a mountain lion’s instinct to chase.

Stand and face the mountain lion, make eye contact, stay calm and speak loudly and firmly. Slowly back away toward a building, vehicle or busy area, if available.

Appear larger by raising your arms or opening your jacket if you are wearing one. Throw stones, branches, or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly. The idea is to convince the mountain lion that you are not easy prey and that you may be a danger to it.

Protect small children so they won’t panic and run.

Fight back if attacked. Many potential victims have fought back successfully with rocks, sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools, their bare hands, and even mountain bikes. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the animal.

Report all mountain lion attacks to 911. Aggressive mountain lion behavior or a mountain lion continually hanging out in a developed area should be reported to Arizona Game and Fish Department Dispatch at 623-236-7201. 

Reach Debra Winters by email at, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1111.

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