A mountain lion attack that killed their French bulldog puppy prompted a Southern California couple to obtain a permit to hunt the big cat down.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports Holly and Mark Adams received the permit from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife this week, after one of their very valuable French bulldog puppies was killed in their backyard in Beaumont.
The couple says their purebred pet, Mickey Blue, was worth $4,000. The Department can issue such a permit upon request when property is lost in an attack.
They said the cougar was tracked to a golf course, but then Beaumont police officials wouldn't let them use a firearm.
“We don’t allow any shooting or hunting within the city limits,” said Beaumont Department Commander Greg Fagan.
The attack happened early Monday morning, March 17, at the home in the 35800 block of Anderson Street, according to Holly and Mark Adams, the Press Enterprise reports.
Around sunrise, Mark Adams let the couple’s pair of puppies — a male named Mickey Blue and a female named Annie, both less than a year old — into the backyard.
Holly Adams heard Mickey Blue barking shortly afterwards.
“He never barks,” she said. "That’s my first sign that something’s wrong."
She said she ran to the sliding glass door and saw a mountain lion about as tall as her hips with Mickey Blue in its jaws.
She pounded on the glass door, which startled the big cat and it dropped the puppy, jumped onto an 8-foot-tall brick wall and down the other side, she said.
She cracked the door open enough for Annie to squeeze through and called Mickey Blue.
“I was calling him, calling him, calling him, and he wasn’t coming to me,” she recalled.
The couple called the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and an official examined the animal’s wounds and determined the puppy was indeed killed by a mountain lion, said Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for Fish and Wildlife.
Since the mountain lion did not attack any humans, it was not deemed a public threat and department officials decided not to hunt the animal.
The Adams couple, however, requested a depredation permit, which gives the applicant permission to hunt the cougar for 10 days after issuance with firearms — traps or poisons cannot be used.
“Under state law, we must issue that permit” upon request when property is lost in an attack, Hughan said.
On Tuesday, March 18, the couple received their depredation permit and hired professionals who specialize in removing animal threats. The hunters tracked the cougar to the Morongo golf course, where they believe it has a den.
Then Beaumont Police Department declined to give them permission to use a firearm.
This has left the Adams couple at an impasse, they said: They’re afraid the big cat will come back after their other pup, Annie, who is worth $3,500, but they can’t hunt it.
“I feel like a prisoner in my own home,” Holly said.
Meanwhile, the couple — and their surviving puppy — are grieving, Mark Adams said.
“My other dog’s devastated,” he said. “It’s not even like the same pet.”