A La Crescenta family's 10-year-old poodle is dead this week after being mauled, possibly by a bobcat or mountain lion, according to its owner.
It was around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday when Michelle Duque Gottlieb arrived home, near the intersection of La Crescenta and Orange avenues, after work. Having not eaten since lunchtime, Gottlieb decided to grab some food — but not before letting out Louise, the family dog, to do her backyard business.
When Gottlieb went out into the backyard about a half hour later to bring Louise in for the night, she was nowhere to be found. The backyard gate was closed, so Louise hadn't gotten loose, she said, and the small dog wasn't with Gottlieb's daughter.
"It was weird because it wasn't like Louise [to not respond]," she said.
Gottlieb further searched the property for the dog and eventually saw her lying on the patio.
It was dark outside, so she couldn't see her pet clearly. But, as she got closer, Gottlieb could see something was wrong.
"She didn't respond [to my calls] and, as I got closer, I noticed there was a puddle of blood," she said. "I realized she was really stiff and that she was dead."
Gottlieb called for her husband and the two figured that Louise was likely killed by a wild cat, because, she said, a coyote would likely have taken the dog out of the yard.
She said the family has lived in La Crescenta for about 20 years and never before had issues with mountain lions or bobcats.
Louise's death acted as a sharp reminder for the family about the realities of living near a wilderness area. She said people should be more cautious when sending their pets and children outdoors, unsupervised.
"I think we've become comfortable thinking we're safe," Gottlieb said. "I don't think we're safe as we think we are."
Earlier this year, a Glendale family's standard poodle was also killed after being let out into the backyard of a home near the Whiting Woods area.