A few years ago, California woman Sharon Bertozzi, who loves and cares about all creatures, human and otherwise, found what looked like a stray dog near the front of her house.
Bertozzi felt a lot of compassion for the pup, who was terribly skinny, clearly starving, and almost furless, presumably from a skin disease. She called the City of Folsom Animal Services to help give the creature the care she needed.
But when they arrived, it was clear that story was a bit more complicated!
Who wouldn’t have compassion while looking at a sweet “dog” like this? Except when the animal services arrived, it became clear that this wasn’t a sick stray but rather a wild coyote. While some people might not feel a lot of love for these creatures, who are known to attack and eat small pets when they are hungry, Sharon Bertozzi couldn’t have disagreed more.
As Bertozzi posted on Facebook, “she was hiding behind a ceramic vase right next to my front door for about 4 hours before I finally realized she was a coyote. My heart just ached for her.” Thankfully, the City of Folsom Animal Services felt the same compassion for the animal as Bertozzi.
They used some gauze to muzzle the coyote for safety and took her in for treatment. “We will call her ‘Princess’ and we wish her a successful recovery,” Animal Services posted on their Facebook page. Since the city’s shelters are equipped to deal with the usual inflow of dogs and cats, they sent Princess to Gold Country Wildlife Rescue in nearby Loomis for rehabilitation.
Gold Country Wildlife Rescue (GCWR) specializes in helping wild animals that have been injured or lost in urban areas get back to their natural habitat. Princess had a lot of problems, most notably mange, a disease caused by mites that had left her almost entirely without fur. When Bertozzi discovered her, she was also severely dehydrated and starved.
As Gold Country posted on their Facebook, “she is in very fragile condition and suffering from one of the worst cases of mange that we have ever seen. Her skin is very dry and cracked and she is extremely weak, but we are doing all that we can for this sweet canine.”
Sallysue Stein of GCWR told KXTV in Sacramento that people’s reactions to the rescue were mixed. “Some people are saying, ‘Why would you release something that going to eat cats? Just shoot it.’ And then there are the others saying, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so glad you’re saving this baby.'”
Big THANK YOU to City of Folsom Animal Services for helping bring this very sick female Coyote to us a few days ago. She…
After rehydrating the coyote and getting her the treatment for mange, the rescuers were happy to see her getting better and hoping to release her into the wild.
As Sallysue Stein, of Gold Country, told KXTV, it’s tough for shelter employees to see the animals that they develop a strong bond with leave forever. “I feel like we can help, then we can put them back in the wild […] I tear up, because we send them back, but we don’t know what’s going to happen to them.”
For Sharon Bertozzi, though, she was just glad to help a creature in distress, even if it wasn’t exactly the canine she thought it was!