ESTES PARK, Colo. (KRDO) -- A dog is alive thanks to the quick thinking of its owner.
Gene Whannel told 9News that living in Estes Park, he knows the dangers wildlife can pose to pets. He said he usually checks the area with a high-intensity flashlight when he lets his dog Sadie outside.
Last Thursday, it looked like the coast was clear. He kept an eye on her through the back door when he heard a familiar but strange sound, the sound mountain lions make.
He says he didn't have time to think when he stepped outside to take on the large cat to save his dog.
"I grabbed that surveying stake and I hit the mountain lion once, then I remember he made eye contact with me, so I hit him again and the second time was in the face and the mountain lion released Sadie... its jaws were on her head so pretty much a death grip," said Whannel.
According to 9News, it took three hours in surgery to repair the damage done. Sadie lost an eye and was left with puncture wounds on her face and body.
Whannel said he admits what he did wasn't sensible, but at the time he didn't have the opportunity to think twice.
"It’s one of those things that you just react and do," he said. "If somebody told me this was going to happen and I had a chance to plan it out, would I have done the same thing? Yeah, I don’t know. Your pets are part of your family. I just reacted to protect my pet."
Sadie is on the road to recovery, and Whannel says she doesn't go out without a leash anymore.