British Columbia

B.C. man fights off cougar after it wrapped its jaws around family dog's head

A pet dog is lucky to be alive after its owner fought a cougar off the canine near Christina Lake, B.C., last week.

Ian Orser, 69, kicked big cat in the head after hearing howling while working near Christina Lake

Red, showing her injuries, was saved by her owner's father last week when a cougar attacked her in a residential area near Christina Lake, B.C. (Ian Orser)

Red, a Ridgeback-German Shepherd cross, is lucky to be alive after her owner's father fought off a cougar that attacked the nine-year-old dog last week.

Ian Orser, a plumber from Grand Forks, B.C., was working in a residential neighbourhood near Christina Lake on April 9 when he and his 40-year-old daughter, Megan, heard a commotion including howling.

"We thought it was a dog fight at first. My daughter went down there, and she just yelled, 'It's a cougar!'" he told CBC Radio West host Sarah Penton. 

He said he ran over to see Red's head inside a cougar's mouth.

"The only thing I could think of doing was to kick it in the head," said Orser, 69.

"If I would have thought about it, I probably wouldn't have ran over there. But I just had to save our dog."

Some of the injuries Red sustained during the cougar attack. (Ian Orser)

Orser's kick did the trick, and the cougar backed off — but it didn't go far. 

Orser says he then swung a stick at the big cat, but it still didn't run away. He and his daughter then grabbed Red and the two other dogs with them and hopped into his truck to get to the vet. 

Red received medical treatment and Orser said she's doing fine now. But he said if either of his other dogs — both springer spaniels — had been in this situation, it would have ended much worse. 

"I think they would have been dead because they are a lot smaller," he said.

Orser reported the incident to conservation officers. The B.C. Conservation Officer Service confirmed they had received several reports of a cougar in the residential area.

Officers tracked down the animal and, because of the risk to the public, put it down. 

A Grand Forks man had to kick a cougar in its head to free the family dog from its mouth in a residential area in Christina Lake

With files from Radio West

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