Eva, the 2½-year-old Belgian Malinois that was wounded fighting with a mountain lion on Monday, has likely recovered enough to go home from the animal hospital on Thursday, her owners say.
“The vet cannot believe the rate at which she’s improving,” Erin Wilson and her husband, Connor, wrote Wednesday night in an email to The Sacramento Bee. “Eva will likely be able to come home tomorrow, will need to be kept on bed rest for a while and on a soft food diet for 6-8 weeks.
“Eva still cannot see out of one eye, but we are hopeful that as the swelling goes down on that side of her head, her vision may come back.”
Wilson was walking with Eva along the Trinity River in remote Trinity County Monday afternoon when she said a mountain lion clawed her shoulder. Wilson said that when she screamed, the dog turned around and attacked the cougar. The cat bit down on the dog’s head and would only let go of Eva after Wilson and another woman hit it with a tire iron and a PVC pipe. They also sprayed the cat, which they said appeared to be emaciated and sickly, with pepper spray.
Capt. Patrick Foy of the Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday that DNA samples collected from the dog and Wilson came back this week confirming it was indeed a mountain lion that attacked.
Wildlife officers are trying to trap the cougar. If they are able to capture it, they’ll use the DNA collected from the fight to make sure it’s the correct animal before deciding whether to euthanize it, Foy said.
Trinity County is about four hours northwest of Sacramento. Eva has been treated at an emergency animal hospital in Redding, the largest city in the region.
Wilson created a GoFundMe account to help pay for Eva’s vet bills. As of Thursday, it had raised more than $31,000.