Gwen Maxwell saw a little puppy covered with cacti and immediately called for help. However, she soon found out that the tiny animal wasn’t a puppy at all.
The 85-year-old retired school teacher spotted the hurt animal after leaving her home one morning.
She saw what she thought was a puppy run across the street while covered in huge clumps of cholla cacti.
“He’d get up and tumble around with all those chollas on him, and it was just so heartbreaking,” she told azfamily.com.
But once Maxwell got a closer look she realized that it was a pup… just not a dog. It was a coyote pup with six or seven pieces of cacti sticking into it’s back, legs, foreleg, knee, and shoulder.
Maxwell ran to a neighbor for help who summoned some assistance.
She then noticed that the coyote pup’s mother was keeping a watchful eye on her child.
“She kept coming back and holding a vigil in my backyard,” Maxwell recalled.
Two gloved maintenance workers from the Pebblebrook Golf Course soon showed up to help. That’s when worker Jose Soto and Assistant Superintendent Shawn Bordine used pliers to pull the clumps of cacti away from the coyote’s skin.
“The dangerous cholla cactus spines likely weighed more than the pup herself,” the Town’s Facebook page said.
They were surprised by how calm the pup was throughout this process.
“As Jose held him, I was able to pull stickers out of his mouth,” Bordine said. “He didn’t bite or make a sound.”
Once the pup was clear of all spines and stickers, he was set free and immediately ran back to her mother and siblings across of the golf course. The pup was a little bloodied up but in good health and spirits overall.
“The little pup is a bit worse for the wear but overall doing much better before Jose releases her to her mama,” the Town’s Facebook page said.
Thanks to some human intervention, this coyote received some medical attention and able to go back with his family.
“Without aid, the pup surely would have died,” the golf course’s Facebook page said.
Many fans of the Facebook page were concerned for the little coyote and were glad to see that it got the help that it needed.
“Awww…poor little guy! Good thing they found him when they did and cared for him!” one commenter said on Facebook. “The pup’s mother wouldn’t have been able to help him and he would have suffered much pain and hunger!”