Dog possibly killed by bobcat in Fountain Hills

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Heather Trenholm suspects a bobcat killed her dog in her backyard. (14 July 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS 5] Heather Trenholm suspects a bobcat killed her dog in her backyard. (14 July 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS 5]
The fenced in patio area where a bobcat is suspected of killing the family dog. (14 July 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS 5] The fenced in patio area where a bobcat is suspected of killing the family dog. (14 July 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS 5]
Fountain Hills woman says a bobcat likely killed her dog. (14 July 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS5] Fountain Hills woman says a bobcat likely killed her dog. (14 July 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS5]
FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Fountain Hills dog owner is devastated after finding her 16-year-old female Boston Terrier dead in her backyard.

Heather Trenholm said she woke up around 1:30 a.m. Thursday to the sound of the doggy door swinging back and forth.

Trenholm's dog, Maggie May, went outside to use the bathroom unsupervised in her fenced-in porch, but never came back inside.

Trenholm and her husband ran outside within seconds and found Maggie May's lifeless body on the outside of the porch area, on the rocks near the backyard block fence.
 
"She was on her side, almost like she was sleeping," said Trenholm.

But she wasn't. She didn't move. She was gone.

Trenholm didn't see the creature who snatched Maggie May from from the fenced porch and carried her a few feet away. She took her to the veterinarian who said the punctures and claw marks on her body are consistent with a bobcat attack.

"It's a horrendous feeling," said Trenholm.

She's now telling her story hoping that it'll save other dog owners from similar heartache.

"We thought we were safe," said Trenholm, referencing the porch fence that varies from 2 to 6 feet.

Amy Burnett, a spokeswoman with Arizona Game and Fish, isn't surprised. She said bobcats are known to jump fences that are several feet high.

As for why the a bobcat would have attacked Trenholm's dog? Burnett said it could've been hungry.

"A small dog is about the same size as a bobcat's prey, a rabbit or jackrabbit," said Burnett.

"We always encourage people to supervise your pets at all times. We don't like to see people using dog doors. It's convenient for us, but it's also convenient for animals to take your pet away."

That advice has Trenholm closing off her doggy door, investing in a floor to ceiling fence, and going outside when her dogs use the bathroom.

If you or a pet has been attacked by wildlife, Burnett said to report it to Arizona Game and Fish by calling 623-236-7201.

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