DEADWOOD — A small dog survived an encounter with a mountain lion Thursday morning, but not unscathed.
Callaway, a dachshund-mix, is the latest victim around Deadwood, which has seen an rise in lion encounters.
“One of his toenails was pulled completely out and he has a big rip on the side of his face that required stitches,” Karla Hawki of Deadwood said of her dog’s wounds from his mountain lion encounter Thursday. “The vet said there was a nick on his collar, so we think his collar saved his life, preventing a puncture wound to the neck.”
Additional injuries included puncture wounds on his back, face, scrotum, hip, and a three-inch gash in his side, requiring 10 staples.
While mountain lion sightings in Deadwood might not be up, per se, Deadwood Police Chief Kelly Fuller said mountain lion encounters are. Callaway’s encounter, occurring in the Peck Gardens subdivision in an area just across from Super 8, was one of the latest.
“We’re getting our fair share of sightings recently,” Fuller said. “A couple near the trail, and this weekend, in fact, blood was found on an area of the Mickelson Trail, which, after investigation, indicated that a deer had been killed and drug down by the creek. They’ve (mountain lions) been spotted near the trailhead, the trailer court, and even down here by the police department in Gordon Park. Pretty much from the trailhead, Charles and Cliff Street, to Deadwood Gulch. I don’t know if actual sightings are up that much, but human and domestic animal encounters have gone up. We had the incident with the gal and the dog in the trailer court, now the incident with the Hawkis’ pet dog ... I don’t know if it’s just an anomaly or what.”
Additionally, a small dog was killed by a lion on Maitland Road in January.
In the recent Deadwood incident, Karla said she and Ken got out of bed and saw the lion out in front of their house the night it attacked Callaway.
“He went out to go potty and we heard all this barking and yipping like he does when there are deer in the yard,” Karla said. “But he wouldn’t stop. He woke everybody up. I woke Ken up and we’re looking out the window, the next thing I know, he comes bouncing back in the yard and I look out and there’s a mountain lion in the yard on the brick wall. He was a good size cat, we’re thinking maybe 1 or 2 years old, not huge, by any means, but not a cub.”
Just as suddenly as the lion appeared, he was gone.
“So, I go back to bed and ask Ken, ‘Can you quiet your dog down?’” Karla said.
Callaway has a doggie door and is able to let himself in and out, as he did the night of the lion encounter. But what Karla encountered when she woke up shocked her.
“I got up to get dressed and go to work at 5 o’clock and there was blood all over my house,” she said. “It was just like, ‘Oh my God, where did all of this blood come from?’”
Unbeknownst to the Hawkis, Callaway had been attacked by the lion.
For this pup, it was the second time the Hawkis would come to his rescue, the first, a lifesaving adoption from an abusive resident in his former home.
Mountain lion sightings are not uncommon at the Hawki residence.
“There have been mountain lions in the yard before,” Karla said. “I’ve seen them and their foot prints on the front porch, on the deck, in the yard, but that’s usually in the winter time … but not going after people’s pets. I think people need to be aware there’s one out that’s tasted blood and is looking for pets.”
As of Sunday, the Hawkis hadn’t seen the lion again and Callaway was on the mend.
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