On close inspection this "dog" turned out to be something completely different

This dog turned out to be a coyote dog-wow © City of Folsom Animal Services - Facebook

An animal rescue took a surprising turn when vets discovered that a "stray dog" was really a wild coyote!

By Ashley Murphy

Published on the , Updated on the

When Sharon Bertozzi, of Folsom, California, found a sick-looking dog curled up under her porch, she knew she had to help. The poor creature was underweight, scared, and sores covered its body.

Sharon called the local animal rescue service who quickly arrived on the scene. They managed to coax the "dog" from its hiding spot and rushed it to a local animal hospital.

A surprising discovery

The skinny "pup" was given a quick once over by vets, who then made a startling discovery. This was no dog! This was a wild coyote!  The City of Folsom Animal Service posted the following message on their Facebook page:

“At first this was thought to be an old, very sick dog. Upon taking a closer look, it is really a young coyote with a bad case of mange."

The staff named the coyote "Princess" and provided some primary care before placing her with the Gold Country Wildlife Rescue, a non-profit volunteer organisation that rehabilitates and releases injured or orphaned wildlife.

Despite Princess being in a pretty bad way, volunteers at the Country Wildlife Rescue centre were able to nurse her back to health.

Princess is back where she belongs

She soon returned to a healthy body-weight, and her fur grew back. Princess started looking and moving like a wild coyote, and it wasn't much longer before the staff released her back into the wild.

Coyotes, also known as prairie wolves or brush wolves, are native to North America. They're close relatives of the grey wolf and the eastern wolf, although coyotes tend to be much smaller.

And while we’re glad that Sharon was on hand to save this Princess, coyotes are best watched from a distance. They might look cute, but these guys are fearless and natural predators.

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