A hero pup is on the road to recovery after saving her owner during a mountain lion attack.
On Monday, Erin Wilson and her two-year-old Belgian Malinois Eva were taking a walk near Northern California's Trinity River when a mountain lion charged at Wilson, ripping through her jacket and scratching her shoulder, Wilson told The Sacramento Bee. She added that the mountain lion began growling at her.
"I yelled 'Eva!' and she came running," Wilson said of her 55-pound dog, who was walking ahead of her off-leash at the time of the attack. "And she hit that cat really hard."
"They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying," Wilson told the outlet. "That's when the cat latched on to her skull."
The dog owner intervened by punching the mountain lion and used rocks and sticks to hit the cat, who fought back after Wilson attempted to choke the animal and gouge out its eyes. Still, the mountain lion refused to let go of Eva, so Wilson says she ran to her car to grab a tire iron and get help from drivers passing by.
Wilson was able to flag down a woman named Sharon Houston. Houston told the publication that she grabbed a four-foot PVC pipe and pepper spray. Together, Houston and Wilson attacked the mountain lion, who had pulled Eva away. Once Houston sprayed the cat with pepper spray, it finally loosened its grip and ran away as Eva escaped to Wilson's pickup truck.
"At first, I was like, 'Wow, she's OK," Wilson told The Sacramento Bee. "But when I looked at her closer, I realized she had a couple of puncture wounds on her face. And she just had a lot of blood coming out of her mouth."
Wilson drove Eva to the closest emergency vet clinic, which was 90 minutes away. On the way, Eva experienced convulsions.
Now, Wilson says Eva is doing much better.
An Instagram post shared to Eva's account on Wednesday said that the dog "continues to improve."
"She's been switched to oral medications. The swelling of her face and her eye has gone down since yesterday. She will spend one more night with the vet. Thank you again to everyone for your love and support," the update explained, written alongside a photo of Eva eating from a dish with an IV in her arm and scars on her head.
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A GoFundMe for Eva's medical expenses has raised over $21,000, far over its $7,500 goal.
"Fortunately, she pulled through and received urgent treatment," Wilson wrote of her hero dog in the campaign's profile. "She is still not out of the woods, she is heavily sedated until we can be sure the pressure in her head is reduced. She has 2 fractures to her skull, a puncture into the sinus cavity and severe swelling around her left eye, which is impeding her vision. The vet is optimistic, she is 2.5 years old and is otherwise in top shape."
"My dog is my hero, and I owe her my life."
She later shared that funds not used on Eva's medical bills will go to "Malinois rescues, big cat rescues, and predator management groups."