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Colorado Couple Faces Off With Mountain Lion to Save Injured Dog

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Colorado Couple Faces Off With Mountain Lion to Save Injured Dog

Posted 2024-02-14  by  Stephanie Mallory

The young dog lost an eye during the attack, but is otherwise OK

Furgus, a 14-month-old Australian shepherd and black-mouth cur mix, is recovering after losing an eye during a mountain lion attack near Keystone, Colorado, last month.

According to, the mountain lion attacked Furgus in his backyard and drug him off, but his owners, Shawne and Shannon Leach, managed to track him down and save his life.

“The whole time we were tracking him we didn’t have any fear for ourselves. That cat was not going to take our dog,” Shawne Leach said. “We were so determined to get him back. Who could have thought I could face a cougar 5 feet in front of me and not be absolutely petrified?”

Shawne said after she let Furgus out into the backyard for a pee break, she sat down to eat dinner and that’s when she heard an odd yelp from outside. She said she went to the door to call Furgus, but there was no response. Her husband grabbed a flashlight and went outside where he discovered blood in the snow.

“He told me to suit up because he thought the mountain lion had Furgus and we’d probably never see him again but — by golly — we’re going to go look,” Shawne said.

The snow was close to 2 feet deep, so forging a path was difficult. Shawne pushed a path through the snow while holding a flashlight. Meanwhile, her husband, followed behind with a handgun.

The couple tracked the mountain lion through their backyard and across the frozen Snake River to the edge of the golf course.

“The tracks of the cougar were very easy to follow because they were big,” Shawne said.

Then they spotted the green glow of Furgus’s light-up collar. Shawne shined her flashlight on Furgus, who was “laid out like he was ready to be put in a coffin.”

“I thought, if he’s dead, at least we’re not going to let that cougar eat him,” she said.

Shawne said she at first didn’t see the mountain lion until she raised the flashlight just slightly, revealing the huge mountain lion standing over Furgus. She said she was barely 5 feet away.

She said she started shouting, “Go away. Go away.” Then Furgus lifted his head and looked in her direction.

“I [shouted] back to Shannon, ‘Furgus is still alive. We’ve got to save him,'” Shawne said. “I’m yelling at Shannon, ‘Shoot it! Shoot it!’ That thing [had] its mouth open and [was] hissing at me.”

Shannon first fired at the ground, but when the big cat didn’t move, he fired another shot in the direction of the cat, causing it to run off.

With one of his eyes hanging out if its socket, Furgus stood up and walked to Shawne. When they realized that Furgus could walk, they retraced their steps back to the house, where they called their neighbors, who took them to the veterinary hospital.

While the medical staff was unable to save his eye, Furgus pulled through.

Shawne said from the time they realized Furgus was gone to discovering him at the edge of the golf course was about ½ hour.

“It felt like an eternity, and I felt like I was deep in the jungle, the deep forest. It certainly didn’t feel like the backyard and the perimeter of the golf course,” she said.

Leach said Furgus is still getting used to losing an eye, but he came out of the animal hospital with his tail wagging.

“We were going to get that dog back, and we did,” Shawne said. “He’s alive, and we’re going to have him for a long time.”

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