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Woman Shoots Gun For First Time To Save Dog From Mountain Lion

EVERGREEN, Colo. (CBS4) - A Colorado woman shot a gun for the first time in her life after she found her family dog under attack by a mountain lion.

Nancy and Dick Kelley live in the Kittredge-Evergreen area. Their home sits at 7,000 feet elevation. Nancy said she was walking up her outdoor porch stairs when she heard a banging sound around the house, and knew exactly what it was.

The Kelleys own a pair of dogs named Trip and Tilly. Both dogs only have three legs.

"With just the one (front) leg she collapses easily," Nancy said.

The tripod dogs are family to the empty-nesters who recently moved to their home in the foothills and started spotting mountain lions.

"We were just stunned -- two in the backyard and never saw them again," Nancy said.

Until Tilly was attacked.

Tilly after the attack (credit: CBS)

"It was banging, and then I heard, I guess growling," Nancy said.

She immediately thought about the pups who would come and go through the doggie door.

"I knew we have a gun; 'Where is it?' I've never shot a gun before. 'Do I just point and shoot?' " she said. "It's like the movies where I kind of came around the corner with my head, but not my body … honestly I really wasn't afraid as I was angry … I took aim, if you want to call it that, and shot, and was just calling frantically for her."

Tilly after the attack (credit: CBS)

The mountain lion fled and Tilly was found tangled in a fence with 30 puncture wounds.

"All we saw was a tail going up and down and up and down, and (Dick) said, 'She's alive.' "

The animal hospital told the Kelleys that Tilly was the eighth dog in the emergency room that night because of mountain lions attacks.

"The takeaway would be, if you live in the mountains, be aware."

The Kelleys now do things a little different since they know mountain lions are outside. At night the doggie door is always closed and they escort their dogs outside.

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