Mountain lion pulls dog from its home in Sonoma County, California

Terrifying moment woman comes face to face with a mountain lion after it dragged her elderly border collie Sherman out of her home by its neck – but dog miraculously survives

  • A border collie in Sonoma County, California, miraculously survived after it was pulled from its home by a mountain lion 
  • Rebecca Kracker shared a video on Facebook showing her dog, Sherman, lying on the ground after the wild animal dragged him into the back yard by its neck
  • The dog was not seriously hurt but Kracker said two goats on her property were later killed by the mountain lion 
  • The animal was later euthanized by state wildlife biologists  

This is the shocking moment a woman discovered a mountain lion preying on her elderly border collie in Sonoma County, California.  

Rebecca Kracker shared the footage of the terrifying incident on Facebook last week after the wild animal dragged her dog, Sherman, out of her home by its neck.   

The woman had left the sliding glass door to her home open on November 28 and was playing with two of her other dogs in another room when she heard Sherman suddenly yelp and growl. 

In the post, Kracker said she responded quickly, thinking her animal had fallen and gotten hurt, but soon realized ‘the horrible truth of the matter’.

This is the mountain lion that preyed on a woman’s border collie on November 28 in Sonoma County, California 

Rebecca Kracker’s border collie, Sherman, was dragged out of her Northern California home by the animal, identified as P1

The woman said her dog was moving oddly, ‘like he was convulsing,’ and saw the mountain lion drag Sherman out of the house, where he remained motionless on the ground in the back yard. 

Realizing she was just feet away from the dangerous animal, Kracker said she quickly closed her door to try and prevent the lion coming back inside. 

In her post, Kracker said she then called her neighbors to alert them and began filming at the suggestion of family members.

‘That’s my dog, just laying on the ground. It was just pulled out of the house by that f**king mountain lion,’ she says in the video. 

The mountain lion appears to watch Kracker as she films, rarely looking down at the dog located near its feet. 

Kracker’s other dogs bark in the background as she records, which the mountain lion seems to respond to by jerking its head.

I have been keeping this quiet for a while now after a threat to revoke the eventual permit. It is time to share my story about this crazy and horrible night that turned into a week. Buckle up; it’s wild and long. On Monday, 11/28/2022, at 5:55 pm, I was sitting in my living room watching two of my dogs play when I suddenly heard my old dog, Sherman, yelp, and growl. I got up, thinking that he must have fallen and hurt himself. I walked into the kitchen to see him looking like he was convulsing; thinking he was having a seizure, I ran forward to stabilize him. I quickly realized the horrible truth of the matter. He was being dragged out of the house by a mountain lion by his neck! I yelled and had my other two large dogs next to me barking and growling, yet our presence and noise did not phase the mountain lion. I had the thought process that I needed to close the door between us as, at this point, we were about 2 feet from the mountain lion with no barrier between us. I immediately called my cousin, who reminded me to start taking videos and pictures and said he was on his way but to try calling my neighbors as well. I stood shaking and documenting the ordeal while I waited for backup with the mountain lion hissing, baring her teeth, and continuing to strangle my poor Sherman. My neighbor was able to get here 10 minutes later and took a shot at the mountain lion. He missed by all accounts, but it did make the mountain lion run off… as did Sherman! We were stunned to see him immediately jump to his feet and run off, confused. My neighbor followed the direction of the mountain lion, and I corralled my dog back into the safety of my house, where I examined him for certain injuries. Miraculously he was not wounded except for a small wound on his lip. He was shocky and barely responsive for several hours, but every time I checked on him, he would wag his tail to let me know he was okay. My cousin arrived, and we immediately called Fish and Wildlife. They immediately said that everything we did was legal under the circumstances, but now that the cat wasn’t actively trying to kill any of my animals, we couldn’t do anything. They took a statement over the phone and scheduled a meeting for the following day at 7:30 am. Fish and Wildlife advised me to stay inside, and if I needed to take the dogs out to relieve themselves, to do it quickly and as infrequently as possible. Around 8:30 pm, my cousin decided that it was time for him to head home, and we took the dogs out quickly, and as we all stood talking, I turned and was shocked to see the mountain lion sitting only about 20 feet from us on our neighbor’s side of the fence. She stood up and hissed at us as we moved away. We quickly moved all the animals inside and watched the mountain lion through our kitchen windows. She sat vigil watching the house for a solid 30 minutes. Finally, around 9:45 pm, my cousin and sister decided they needed to go to their homes. When they walked to their cars, they could see the mountain lion staring at them from only 30 feet away on our side of the fence line, this time before sauntering around the corner. They quickly got in their vehicles and left. I stayed inside until fish and wildlife arrived the next morning. We lost a 100 lb 9-month-old buck kid to a mountain lion two nights before and had moved all the animals into our larger barn with higher fences, lights, motion lights, and talk radio playing. I never thought the mountain lion would be bold enough to enter my home to take my 70 lb border collie. The morning following Sherman’s attack, I was met by Fish and Wildlife Wardens so that they could take my statement and I could show them the scenarios that had played out. They cautioned me that I would likely not receive the Lethal Depredation Permit that I was seeking and reiterated that the mountain lion was dangerous and to remain inside when it was dark. Before they left, I was told that Wildlife Management would contact me next. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the severity of the situation had reached the appropriate people when I was immediately offered the option of either a hazing depredation permit or a lethal depredation permit. I confirmed that I wanted to pursue a Lethal Permit, and a meeting was planned for 1:30 pm that day. I was met by the Wildlife Management representative and the Sonoma County Trapper, who ran through my options and sprung into action as time was of the essence. By 4:45 pm, the trapper had arrived with the trap and was starting preparations. At 5:45 pm, we received phone calls saying our permit had been delayed because it reached the approval desk too late. On November 30, 2022, we finally received the official Lethal Depredation Permit. But at what cost? We lost a whole night; this cat could have moved on and potentially caused more significant damage to another community member. What happened on Monday is inexcusable. It was an emergency that was handled as if this was a nuisance call. There was a threat to life, and the best response was “Stay inside,” with no physical response from the county allowed. There needs to be a greater sense of responsibility with animals such as this collared and tracked mountain lion. The Living with Lions organization knows where this animal has been and must understand that it was not well. A cat that is desperate enough to step into the home of a human, it’s only natural predator, has undoubtedly been showing signs of distress in other ways. Part of their “conservation” needs to revolve around the humane death of animals that are unsafe for this world. I learned that the cat in question is P1, the roughly 16-year-old first collared mountain lion in the Living with Lions program. An article written by their Predator Expert states that she is extremely old for a mountain lion (Martins, 2021). Failing health would explain the inability to puncture Sherman’s neck if she is growing weaker in her old age or her teeth are dull or falling out. Sherman’s attack could have been prevented if they were honestly acting as conservationists; they could have chosen to do the responsible thing and humanely euthanize her. Sherman’s attack is not the first sign of her failing health. I was raised by true animal lovers that showed me what it is to be a steward of the animals in our care. I understand that Living with Lions is an organization that seeks to help educate the public and study mountain lions. Yet, they are doing a disservice to the community by not handling this situation sooner. This animal was undeniably sick and in need of being put down. My family has raised livestock on this property for over 50 years, and we have been lucky not to have dealt with a mountain lion. We have always understood that raising livestock comes with risk, but this was not livestock. This was our family dog sleeping inside my house. Losses happen, but this cat was out of control. It posed a safety threat considering that it was bold enough to enter my home and take a 70 lb border collie. Then had no concern for the presence of humans and continued stalking my house for hours following the attempted kill. What if my friends or family with young kids were here and it had taken a child? Taking a child was not outside of the realm of possibility for this animal. The injustice will not sit quietly with me. The disservice that Living with Lions is doing in our community by allowing this animal to continue her dangerous ways is inexcusable. The public deserves to know what this program really does. We spent days trying to get location updates from Living with Lions, which came few and far between. We were initially told that if we could determine her location on a neighbor’s property and discussed hunting her there with them, my permit would also cover that situation. Following a meeting within Wildlife Management, that option was removed. It was decided that P1 could only be killed on my property, narrowing the opportunities to handle this situation. It was mentioned that I was getting annoyed with how this was being handled and that I might go public with my story. That was met by the comment from Wildlife Management that if I were to go public, they could revoke the Lethal Depredation Permit because I am “lucky to have gotten one.” I don’t like to be threatened, especially when I am within my right to share this story with anyone I think should hear it. I want everyone to know what is happening in Bennett Valley and Sonoma County. I also don’t like being lied to; I did a little research and found an article by Dr. Quinton Martins himself. A Partner in Living with Lions, as well as their Predator Expert and Safari Advisor, states their tracking devices send their researchers hourly location information (Martins, 2021). They had more information than they were sharing with us. It is absurd that the Sonoma County Trapper doesn’t have his own access to the information on those collars. He is an employee of the state sworn to follow these convoluted laws and would honor the law. Yet in a situation where he must have as up-to-date information as possible on a mountain lion’s whereabouts, he is relying on 3rd hand knowledge that is outdated before it even gets to him. Well, I can tell you the cost of inaction on Monday night. This time it was two more goats killed. Two healthy, young does in their prime. Both were due to kid in March, with 4-6 babies expected between them. I am heartbroken to have lost these does, but also thankful that P1 didn’t try to take someone’s child. I was sitting at my counter working on a project when I heard what sounded like a goat getting attacked. At 7:18 pm, I called the trapper and pulled up my barn camera footage. Sure enough, I couldn’t see P1, but I could see a goat struggling on the ground. On his way to the property, we discussed the best entrance to the attack area. At 8:15 pm, I got the call that all was clear. P1 had been killed in the process of killing the second goat. The trapper said she again didn’t care about a human presence as he had leaned on the gate and made noise, yet she didn’t flinch. I am thankful that P1 is no longer a threat to our community. I am sad that in the span of a week, we lost three healthy goats. I am horrified that P1 was bold enough to enter my home and drag my large dog out onto my patio. I shudder to think what could have happened in our community if she hadn’t been killed last night. There needs to be a change in how issues such as this are handled. Living with Lions will say this was inevitable, but this mountain lion was not typical. She should have had some fear of humans after being shot at on Monday night. Two kills in a matter of a half hour is not normal. P1 should have been handled sooner; she showed signs of erratic, unsafe behavior prior to this, yet Living with Lions ignored the red flags. Additional video in the comments. References Martins, Q. (Ed.). (2021). Valley of the Moon lion update.

Kracker said she was in another room with her other dogs when she first heard Sherman growl

The mountain lion tracked Kracker with its gaze as her other dogs barked at the animal

The animal eventually ran off after a neighbor fired a shot at her

Thankfully, a neighbor went over to the house and fired a shot at the mountain lion. It missed but the bang caused the big cat to scurry away. 

Startled by the loud noise, Sherman also jumped to his feet, leaving Kracker and her neighbor ‘stunned.’   

Kracker said: ‘Miraculously he was not wounded except for a small wound on his lip. He was shocky and barely responsive for several hours, but every time I checked on him, he would wag his tail to let me know he was okay.’

One neighbor who spoke with KRON told the local outlet Kracker ‘thought it [Sherman] was a goner for sure.’   

In video posted by Kracker, the animal sat right outside of the woman’s sliding glass door while standing guard over the dog

Sherman miraculously survived and was mostly unhurt except for a small wound on his lip

Kracker called animal control officials who told her they couldn’t do anything because the animal was no longer actively hurting or attempting to hurt her dog. 

This response came after Kracker had already moved her other animals inside following the death of a buck days before. She said she hoped moving the animals into her larger barn would ward off any dangerous predators.  

‘I never thought the mountain lion would be bold enough to enter my home to take my 70 lb border collie,’ Kracker said. 

A day after the incident with Sherman, the big cat returned to the property and killed two of the Kracker’s goats. 

Kracker, who owns several different types of animals, said two of her goats were killed by the same animal just a day after the run in with her dog

After the goats were killed, wildlife officials responded and euthanized the animal, who had been tagged by local officials. 

According to officials with the Audubon Canyon Ranch, the environmental group which was ‘tracking’ the animal, the mountain lion was a 16-year-old female cougar known as P1. 

Officials from the organization said P1 was ‘unusually old’ and displayed behavior that’s not common for mountain lions. 

They told local media they are ‘saddened’ by P1’s death but ‘believe that the lethal removal of P1 was the right course of action.’ 

P1, seen here with cubs, had been tagged and ‘tracked’ by a local environmental organization

The animal was euthanized after the November 28 incident 

Living with Lions investigator Dr. Quinton Martins said in a statement: ‘Clearly, something was wrong with P1. She was very old for a mountain lion which may have led to issues related to aging including tooth wear, slowed responses, weakened senses, and possibly other health issues.

‘In recent weeks, she was more willing to put herself near human activity with people having frequent sightings of her, as well as feeding almost exclusively on livestock, all of which is very unusual behavior.’

Despite the response from Audubon Canyon Ranch, some in the area are still upset the situation went on as long as it did. 

‘That could have easily have been a kid,’ a neighbor told KRON. ‘The local activist organization knew this cat had erratic behavior problems for a while. I’m a local rancher. The public needs the whole story.’

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