Ivan McLaws had no idea what he was facing when he went outside his home Sunday night around 8 p.m. to find out why his dog was barking. McLaws was armed with a flashlight and had his 4-year-old golden retriever, Megan, with him. McLaws said he smelled what he thought was a skunk, but could not find anything.
He was walking back to his house and while standing on the deck, a bobcat attacked McLaws' dog.
"I hit the cat twice in the head with my heavy flashlight, and on the second hit it acted like it was going to come after me," McLaws said.
He went into the house and grabbed his handgun and discharged a round into the cat. However, when the cat released the dog, it wheeled around toward him, so he fired several more rounds until it stayed down.
McLaws called the Gila County Sheriff's Department and was soon joined by a deputy, an Arizona Game and Fish official and a Gila County animal control officer.
Animal control officer Ty Goodman picked up the dead bobcat and will send its head to the state laboratory to determine if it is rabid.
The dog was current on its rabies vaccinations, but received a booster shot. It was not seriously injured.