Pit Bull Badly Injured in Fight Defending Family From Mountain Lion

Rocky the dog was left with a hole in his head that went "down to his brain" after he bravely defended his California family from a mountain lion, according to reports.

The pit bull, named after iconic movie character boxer Rocky Balboa, was left with cuts and bruises across his body after he chased the big cat that had entered the Padres family home in La Verne on Monday.

Rocky's owner Mary Padres noticed her two dogs barking in the backyard and went out to see what had caught his attention.

Surveillance video obtained by CBSN Los Angeles showed the moment that Padres set eyes on the mountain lion and immediately raced to get back inside the house.

"The mountain lion was looking right at me," Padres told the network. "It was huge."

But, fearless Rocky did not sit idly by and chased after the mountain lion in a bid to keep his family safe.

Footage showed the small pit bull give chase before he went off camera and continued his pursuit up the hill behind the Padres' home.

When the family learned Rocky had raced after the huge mountain lion, they came out and started to look for him. But, when the family found Rocky, they saw he had several injuries to his body.

Padres told CBSN Los Angeles: "We saw a hole all the way down to his [Rocky's] brain."

She added: "The whole reason he, they, went after the mountain lion is because I opened that door."

When asked if she and the rest of her family were scared to search for Rocky while the mountain lion was still out there, Padres replied: "We wanted to protect our dog."

After they managed to retrieve Rocky, they knew he needed to be treated for the eight large puncture wounds, and he ended up with 30 stitches from the vet.

Padres said she hoped by sharing her story that it would help keep families and their pets safe from harm.

Police told the network they are working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to determine if the mountain lion is a threat to others in the area.

Newsweek has contacted the La Verne Police Department for comment.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, there are several steps California residents can take to help protect themselves from mountain lions.

These include:

  • Deer-proofing your landscape by avoiding having plants that deer like to eat
  • Tramp brush to reduce hiding places for mountain lions
  • Do not leave children or pets outside unattended
  • Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house
  • Do not leave pets outside at dawn, dusk or night, as these are the times where mountain lions are most active
  • Bring pet food inside to avoid attracting mountain lion prey, such as raccoons
Mountain Lion
Stock image of a crouching mountain lion. Rocky gave chase after the mountain lion. joesephfotos/Getty