SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – A man came to the rescue of a missing dog when he spotted coyotes surrounding the animal in a brush-covered, hilly area near his California home Tuesday.
"We see three coyotes sprint down, hit the dog – basically head-butt the dog – and the dog goes rolling down the hill," Alex Siggins told KTLA. The dog wound up in a thorny bush, quickly surrounded by the coyotes.
Siggins' children were playing outside when it happened. "We were crying when we saw it, and we were just really scared," his daughter said. Her young brother told KTLA, "My heart felt really bad when the coyotes hit the dog."
Alex, an Army veteran, said he instinctively hiked out to help, not even bothering to put shoes on his bare feet.
"If that puppy's hurt I want to help it," Siggins said. "The two coyotes were on the other side of the bush ... I got a little closer, and a little closer," and finally he was able to pick up the cornered pooch. He turned to bring her back to the house, but the coyotes pursued him.
"I thought they would have just backed down right away, but the fact that every time I turned around they were stalking me ... I (thought) 'Yeah, they might be pretty aggressive.'"
He eventually made it home safely with the dog, who had an injured paw and was dehydrated. Siggins searched for her owner and came across a flyer about a lost dog in the Santa Clarita area. It turns out the pooch, a 5-year-old shiba inu named Umi, belonged to the Songco family, who live three miles from the Sigginses. She had been missing for two days.
"She is very lucky to be alive," said owner Louisa Songco. "I can't thank them enough for coming and saving her. I'm just really happy they took care of her."