Strange ‘Creature’ Was Crying for Help, Surprises All With Its Cuteness After Rescue

April 30, 2019 Updated: May 5, 2019

This little chap got himself into a prickly pickle! Thanks to an observant lady’s help, he was able to be extricated from the pretty painful experience.

On May 14, 2013, at around 6:30 a.m., Gwen Maxwell, 86, was on her way out when she noticed some sort of baby puppy crossing the road nearby her home in Sun City West, Arizona. She also happened to notice something wasn’t quite right.

Pup Before

Posted by Recreation Centers of Sun City West on Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Upon closer inspection, the “puppy” was covered in cacti.

Gwen could not see its head or face, so she was still not sure if it was a pup after all!

Photo by Karl Pannkuk

Posted by Recreation Centers of Sun City West on Friday, May 17, 2013

Gwen rushed to help, but suddenly the poor thing, which was hampered by seven clumps of cholla cactus that stuck into its legs, face, and shoulders, collapsed in pain.

“He’d get up and tumble around with all those chollas on him, and it was just so heartbreaking,” she told KPHO.

Pup Before

Posted by Recreation Centers of Sun City West on Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Without aid, the pup surely would have died. Photo by Karl Pannkuk

Posted by Recreation Centers of Sun City West on Friday, May 17, 2013

Upon closer examination, it was revealed to be a baby coyote. The mother was waiting and watching anxiously nearby.

“She kept coming back and holding a vigil in my backyard,” said Gwen.

Mama coyote waits patiently for Shawn Bordine and Jose Soto to save her pup. Photo by Karl Pannkuk

Posted by Recreation Centers of Sun City West on Friday, May 17, 2013

Two men from nearby Pebblebrook Golf Course—maintenance worker Jose Soto and Assistant Superintendent Shawn Bordine—came to the rescue of the poor animal.

Wearing thick gloves and using a pair of pliers, they managed to cut free the baby coyote from its prickly prison of thorns.

Pup During

Posted by Recreation Centers of Sun City West on Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Although he was a little bloody and bruised, the little pup was brave and “amazingly cool” during and throughout the whole ordeal. He was a perfect patient.

Once freed from a horrible experience, he was as happy as can be.

The little pup is a bit worse for the wear but overall doing much better before Jose releases her to her mama. Photo by Karl Pannkuk

Posted by Recreation Centers of Sun City West on Friday, May 17, 2013

Shawn and Jose remove the smaller cactus spines. Photo by Karl Pannkuk

Posted by Recreation Centers of Sun City West on Friday, May 17, 2013

After getting some photos, Soto and Bordine set the coyote pup on the ground, and everyone watched as he ran straight home to his mother. As quickly as they appeared, they disappeared again into the bush.

What an eventful day for Gwen Maxwell and the kind golf course maintenance staff. We are sure the coyote pup will never forget the day he fell into the cacti!

The Rec Centers sends a huge shout out to Pebblebrook Golf Course maintenance worker Jose Soto (pictured) and Assistant…

Posted by Recreation Centers of Sun City West on Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The dangerous cholla cactus spines likely weighed more than the pup herself. Photo by Karl Pannkuk

Posted by Recreation Centers of Sun City West on Friday, May 17, 2013

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