Amber Knox said she found her three-year-old rescue, Bullet, bloody Friday night after he got out of the backyard through an unlocked gate.
"The amount of blood we saw, I'm surprised he made it back. He's a very strong dog," said Knox. "He looked like he had been through a fight, he looked very beaten down."
While it is not confirmed what kind of animal attacked Bullet, AZGFD said it could have been a javelina or coyote. The team working on him at The Pet Doctor Tuesday believed it may have been a mountain lion or a bobcat.
"When wildlife attacks animals, they are doing it because they want to eat," said Doreen Windsor, Hospital Manager. "They aren't doing it because they are playing, they are doing it for the kill."
Knox said she usually walks Bullet every morning in the wash and has seen animals before, like herds of javelina, but had never been close enough to feel in danger of the wildlife.
Windsor said Bullet was lucky to have made it, and said smaller animals may not have been as lucky.
"The size of him and his strength is probably the only thing that got him through," said Knox.
"You think your dog is safe. But no fence is too high, especially for a big cat and sometimes the fence gets open like mine did," said Knox. "I keep my fence locked all the time and somehow it got open. Everyone can make that mistake."
The Arizona Game and Fish Department said sightings of javelina, bobcats and coyotes are common in the Foothills area. AZGFD said attacks on pets happen occasionally, but attacks on humans are extremely rare.
A man in Bisbee was attacked by a bobcat on June 24 while walking his dog. The bobcat was located and euthanized.
Reported wildlife sightings in Southeast Arizona, since June 1:
- Javelina - 27
- Coyote - 8
- Bobcat - 9