MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (KTLA) – Backyard surveillance cameras captured the tense moments when a small Maltese dog saved his little brother by chasing off a coyote that had gotten the younger dog in its mouth.
The owners of the pooches, David and Erin Mascaluso, say the incident happened earlier this month in southern California after a coyote jumped into their backyard one evening. Their hero dog, 11-year-old Vinny, who weighs all of 10 pounds and has only three teeth, was up for the challenge, they said.
“He’s always been a scrapper, oh yeah,” David Mascaluso told Nexstar’s KTLA. “The first day we brought him home, I went and I pet him and he started growling at me.”
In the video of the incident, the coyote can be seen jumping the fence and chasing Vinny’s brother, Harley, into a corner. After Harley is heard yelping, Vinny springs into action from the other side of the yard and chases the coyote off as Harley runs in the other direction.
“You know, a little 10-pound, three-tooth dog … and 11 years old, chased off a 60-pound coyote,” David Mascaluso said. “So, it’s pretty amazing. He did a great job. He’s our little hero.”
Based on Harley’s injuries, Vinny showed up at just the right time, especially since a close look at the video revealed a second coyote just on the other side of the fence during the attack.
According to Erin Mascaluso, Harley suffered two lacerations on his upper back and one on his chest during the attack that had to be stitched up. The little pooch also had bite marks and abrasions on his chest.
While Harley appears to be recovering nicely, the Macalusos say Harley is a little bit clingier than before the attack — which is to be expected. They also hope their story urges others to take measures to protect their pets from coyotes.