Local residents who want to keep their pets and children safe can consider this story out of Los Angeles County, which warns that mountain lions and other wild animals may be seeking water and food in urban neighborhoods.
Glendale police and state wildlife officials confirmed Tuesday that a mountain lion likely killed an 85-pound black Labrador retriever, which was found next to a dead rabbit.
The dog and rabbit were found dead in Glendale's 2000 block of Rimcrest Drive early Friday, "and we speculate that the animal was a local resident's pet," Glendale police Lt. Bruce Fox said.
The dog, identified as Bubba by its owners, James and Lynnette Hamada, was apparently dragged over a 3 1/2 foot stucco wall.
Police notified the state Department of Fish and Game, but Andrew Hughan of the state agency said the cat's trail had grown cold by today.
"People who live near open country have to take responsibility," Hughan said. "Generally, don't leave food out: Lions can smell it. And don't just put your pets outside and tell them to go do their business."
A mountain lion also killed a Jack Russell terrier in La Crescenta Nov. 23.
Hughan said the extremely dry conditions have prompted wild animals to look for water in urban areas.
The 2014 calendar year will go down as the driest on record, according to the National Weather Service. Only 3.6 inches of rain, about quarter of the amount in a typical year, has fallen at the NWS weather station at USC, making it the third year in a row of below-nomal rainfall.
Annual rainfall in Los Angeles -- typically measured from one July 1st to the next -- averages 14.93 inches. --City News Service and Toni McAllister contributed to this report.