A stranger made a daring rescue of a lost dog, come to her aid as when she was cornered by three “aggressive” coyotes in a brush-covered, hilly area near the man's Santa Clarita home this week.
Alex Siggins, an Army veteran, spotted the dog in danger while he was outside with his children on Tuesday.
“We see three coyotes sprint down. Hit the dog with -- basically head-butt the dog. The dog goes rolling down the hill,” Siggins told KTLA on Wednesday.
The dog rolled into a thorny bush, where she was promptly surrounded by the coyotes.
Siggins’ children saw what was going on and broke into tears.
“We were crying, we were scared,” his daughter told KTLA.
"My heart felt really bad," the girl's brother added.
Siggins knew he needed to do something, so he hiked toward the frightened pooch.
“If that puppy’s hurt, I want to be able to help it,” he recalled.
Although barefoot at the time, he crept along the hillside and made his way toward the dog ; the two coyotes were on the other side of the brush as he approached the pack.
The coyotes were aggressive, and they didn’t back down without a fight, according to Siggins. Still, he managed to grab the dog before the coyotes could get her and brought her to safety.
“I thought they would’ve backed down right away. But ... every time I turned around, they were stalking me if you will.”
The dog had an injured paw and was dehydrated, but was otherwise OK.
Siggins searched for her owner and came across a flier about a lost dog in the area. That’s when they discovered the dog -- a 5-year-old Shiba Inu named Umi -- belonged to the Songco family, who live three miles from them.
“Thanks goodness they saved the dog,” said a grateful Louise Songco, the dog’s owner.
Umi had been missing for two days before Siggins rescued her.
“She is very lucky to be alive," Songco told KTLA. "I can't thank them enough for coming and saving her so. I'm just really happy they took care of her."
Songco described the Siggins family as “really nice people” and said she hopes to stay in touch with them.