A young mountain lion in Peoa killed a Yorkshire terrier Monday morning at 5100 N. Woodenshoe Road.

Peoa resident Elaine Jorgenson said she found her dog's mangled body on the front porch of the home at about 9:30 a.m.

"I just fell apart," Jorgenson said. "I was crying. I was screaming. I was very distraught."

She quickly turned and ran inside the house.

"Within four feet of the front door is where the attack happened," Jorgenson explained.

She said she knew parts of her dog had been eaten.

"You couldn't even tell that it was a dog," Jorgenson said. "It was just instant shock."

Jorgenson's husband said she could hardly speak.

"I heard her start to scream hysterically," Peoa resident Richard Jorgenson said. "I was pretty angry so I went to find out what did this."

But what he found resembled a scene from a horror movie.

"It had come right up the walk," Richard said. "There was blood all over the snow and there was a trail of blood out to the vehicles."

Minutes later Elaine spotted a mountain lion hissing at her from underneath a trailer at the ranch.

"I was going out to mail a letter and [Richard] asked me to look to see if I could see any trace of anything as I was coming back to the house," she said. "It was way too up-close-and-personal for me. I was scared to death. What do you do when you are face to face with a mountain lion? I started running toward the house to tell [Richard] to come out and shoot it.


I was screaming, 'get the gun; get the gun,' at the top of my lungs."

Richard then shot the mountain twice with a high-powered rifle.

"They're very good at hiding," he said. "I'd been by that trailer at least twice with it hiding under there. I'm not sure how my wife saw it."

The cougar was one of several spotted by Peoa residents in the past several years, Richard said.

"We've got too many of those buggers and they're doing a lot of damage," he said. "We've seen them within 300 or 400 yards of our house in the last couple years."

Richard estimated the young mountain lion he shot Monday weighed nearly 90 pounds.

"If they're on your porch, my opinion is, shoot them," he said. "It's self defense and it's also defense of my animals."

Richard blames cougars for having killed many of his sheep.

"There are hardly any sheep in the valley now and my opinion is a high number of those have been taken by cougars," he said.

Elaine said she does not allow her grandchildren to sleep outside while visiting in the summer.

"I always tell them no because there are mountain lions in those mountains," she said.

But cougars rarely attack people, said Rustin Nielsen, a state Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officer.

The cougar Jorgenson shot Monday was slightly emaciated, Nielsen explained.

"It hadn't eaten in a while," he said. "One of its front legs had also either been injured or deformed at birth. So it was basically a three-legged cougar."

This may explain why the mountain lion was looking for food in a neighborhood.

"It's not common for a cougar to go on to someone's porch," Nielsen said. "But it is pretty hard to find a meal when you are a three-legged cougar."

Peoa is cougar habitat and people who encounter a mountain lion should slowly back away from the animal.

"You don't want to run, that's the worst thing you can do," Nielsen said. "You want to wave your arms and try to look as big as you can. They're not out looking to take on something big."