California resident Vicky Fought often slept with the French doors in her bedroom open so that her dog, Lenore, could go outside at night if needed.
But while asleep in bed with her 12-year-old daughter on Monday, something walked right through the doors and into Fought's Pescadero home, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.
The woman awoke around 3 a.m. when her dog, who was lying at the foot of the bed, started “barking aggressively.”
Fought quickly looked toward the open door and saw “a shadow of an animal” enter the room and approach the bed, the police statement said.
She thought it may have been her larger dog — but then Lenore went silent.
The large creature had snatched the 15-pound Portuguese Podengo off the bed, and Fought soon realized what it was.
She told NBC Bay Area:
“As it walked down our path, I thought, 'That looks a lot like a lion.'”
Fought grabbed a flashlight and left the bedroom in an attempt to retrieve her stolen dog, but she quickly made a disturbing find, according to the police statement.
Outside her bedroom door were “large, wet paw prints” and drops of blood. Fought immediately contacted police.
When deputies showed up on the scene, they found paw prints that were suspected to be from a mountain lion — which, according to the San Jose Mercury News, are common around Fought's home. Blood was also recovered from the bedroom door.
Detective Sal Zuno said that it is “very rare” for mountain lions to enter homes, because they often have more than enough prey available:
“They prefer deer, but at the same time, they are predators and do hunt.”
There have been no further sightings of the mountain lion that entered the California home, nor has there been any sighting of Lenore, leaving the Fought family devastated by the loss of their beloved pet.
But they remain thankful that nobody else in the home was hurt.