Bartlesville Family Says Mountain Lion Responsible for Dog's Death

The hunt is on in Bartlesville this week for a large feline, blamed for one family's personal tragedy. The family is working to move forward, but the location has residents confused and frightened.

A quiet Bartlesville neighborhood is not the kind of place you would expect to see dangerous wildlife, but early Thursday morning, that is exactly what April Gardiner says she saw, right in her own backyard.

Gardiner woke up to her two dogs barking. That is when she went outside to find what she called a "very large cat" facing down her two dogs. When she called for the dogs to come inside, she says -- what she believes was a mountain lion -- attacked her 13-year-old Schnauzer. The dog was so badly injured from the attack, she had to be euthanized.

"I was shocked. I mean, when it first happened, I was completely shocked, you know, when I came around, I thought they'd be barking at a raccoon or possum or, you know, some small animal and it was... a mountain lion," said Gardiner.

"It's hard to believe a mountain lion could come into a residential area, but this is Oklahoma and it is possible. It has happened before," said Animal Control officer, Rita Harvey, adding that what happened to the Gardiners may not happen every day, but it is not unheard of. It is possible that a mountain lion could still be roaming the area. "We've found large tracks that are the size of a mountain lion. They are not clear enough, though, for us to say 100%, this is a mountain lion track," Harvey said.

As the search continues, the Gardiners move forward with only one of their pets; leaving a family and a neighborhood wondering what could be lurking, just feet away.

"I hope they find it... I hope they find it. Then, the whole neighborhood can feel better."

Animal Control is still searching for the animal responsible for the dog's death.