JEFFERSON COUNTY - A family was stunned when a mountain lion entered their home early Monday morning, killed one of their dogs right beside their bed, and carried it off into the night. The dog was a 12-year-old yellow lab named 'Scout.'

"It was 4 a.m. and we were sleeping," said Mack Anderson.

"We heard a commotion. Jacquie got out of bed to go check on Scout," said Anderson. "And she said, 'Mack there's an animal in here! It's a mountain lion.""

Anderson says the lion ran out the open patio doors where it had entered the house. He got his shotgun and a flashlight and went outside to look for the lion. At that point, Anderson realized that the lion had actually carried off the 72-pound dog.

Jacquie Anderson immediately called 911 to report the incident. A Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy arrived and then members of the Division of Wildlife (DOW). They began tracking the lion to see where it had taken the dog's body.

Lions are known to cover a freshly killed animal with grass and leaves and return to it later. Wildlife officers found the dog's body about 300 yards from the Anderson home and set a trap for the lion. Early Tuesday morning, the lion returned and went into the trap. Wildlife officers then euthanized the lion.

The Andersons say the lion was so bold that it was entirely capable of coming into a house to kill a child.

"We had no choice," said Jennifer Churchill, spokesperson for the DOW. "This animal was dangerous."

Townspeople in Idledale agree this lion was getting more aggressive and had no fear of people. Many people have seen the animal and several have had very close encounters.

Michelle Erickson, who also lives in Idledale said the mountain lion has visited her home several times.

"The first time, he walked up to our French doors that are in our living room and kind of peered at us," said Erickson. "He was just looking and he slowly turned and walked away. We saw him pretty much every night outside the house. He was definitely not afraid of anyone."

Wildlife officers say the foothills along the Front Range are lion country, and a large number of big cats live there. They offered some tips to help people avoid unpleasant encounters with them.

Among the tips: Install motion sensor lights around the house. Always be aware of your surroundings before you step outside your house. Make noise when walking outside. And keep any outdoor pets in a completely enclosed kennel with a top. Mountain lions can jump eight feet or more to get into pet enclosures.