San Diego Hiker Rescues ‘Puppy’ From a Canyon, but All Is Not As It Seems

May 30, 2019 Updated: June 6, 2019

A hike through a San Diego canyon turned rather eventful for one man when he heard a whimpering sound and saw a sight that no animal lover wishes to see. It was a tiny puppy, and the puppy was completely alone. Little did the hiker know just how bizarre a story was about to ensue.

Posted by The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center on Friday, April 19, 2019

The puppy’s mother was nowhere to be seen, and the creature’s very young age signaled to the hiker that she shouldn’t be left alone. There was nothing to be done but act quickly. So act quickly he did.

He bundled the puppy up and carried her home with him before contacting the San Diego Humane Society for assistance. Assistance was quickly provided; animal rescuers collected the puppy, but it didn’t take them long to notice a peculiarity in the puppy’s appearance.

Something wasn’t quite right.

Posted by The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center on Friday, April 19, 2019

The Society’s expert specialists looked closely in order to verify their suspicions, but the puppy was, quite literally, wearing the evidence on her face. She wasn’t a regular puppy at all: she was a coyote.

“Our officers are highly trained to recognize these differences,” explained Dariel Walker, speaking to The Dodo. Walker is the communications specialist with the San Diego Humane Society. “It is challenging to distinguish between a young dog and a coyote pup when they are so young,” she continued, “but the largest difference is the elongated snout.”

The hiker was shocked when he learned of the puppy’s true identity. It was an easy mistake to make, of course, and the difference in the appearances of young dogs and young coyotes was certainly subtle enough to have necessitated an expert.

Our Humane Officers recently received a call about an abandoned puppy in a canyon in Tierrasanta. To their surprise, the…

Posted by San Diego Humane Society on Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Walker thought so too. “Discovering the creature was actually a wild animal came as a big surprise,” she admitted.

Speculations suggested that the coyote pup’s mother could have accidentally dropped her while moving her litter or could have been startled by a human or another unexpected passerby.

Coyote sightings have been on the rise across San Diego County according to a news report by KPBS. Carly Padilla, the Humane Society’s community outreach educator, explained that usually “The Humane Society will not come to pick up a coyote unless it’s sick or injured.”

Our little coyote orphan #19-94, was recently in the news! Last month, this little girl was picked up in a canyon,…

Posted by The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center on Friday, April 19, 2019

This pup (coyote young are also, usefully, called “pups”) was lucky to be found and even luckier to be rescued. She likely wouldn’t have made it on her own.

The humane officers who collected her took the tiny pup to the vet for a thorough examination. She was given milk, comfort, and a lot of positive attention. Her welfare, after the stress of losing her mother, was well and truly prioritized.

Experts confirmed her young age: “Only a few days old,” Walker said. “Its eyes had not yet opened.”

Coyote pup #19-94 2019 orphan.

Posted by The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center on Thursday, April 11, 2019

The pup spent a comfortable 24 hours being cared for before being taken to the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, California. She may have been an orphan, but she was healthy, safe, and very much adored thanks to the thoughtful actions of one San Diego hiker.

As of April 19, 2019, the coyote pup is doing brilliantly, so says an update (and some unbelievably adorable photos) from the Wildlife Center. The Humane Society is hopeful that she will be released back into the wild once she is big and strong enough to fend for herself.

Her days-old disguise, it turns out, ultimately saved her life.

RECOMMENDED
TOP VIDEOS