Rescuing a golden retriever caught in a coyote trap

Hiker looking for artifacts finds a golden retriever caught in a coyote trap. The dog comes to Best Friends for medical treatment and to find a home.
By David Dickson

Thank goodness there are still a few people in the world who like to stray beyond the reach of the computer mouse and TV remote once in a while. If it weren’t for one such outdoorsy woman, Ava the golden retriever would probably not be alive today.

Golden retriever caught in a coyote trap

Macey Roberts was hiking around in southern Utah, not far from Best Friends, looking for Native American artifacts. This part of the country is rich with petroglyphs, monuments, and all sorts of other neat things to see and discover. A literal outdoor museum for history buffs. What Macey found instead was a dog badly in need of help. Ava’s leg was caught in a coyote trap. It seemed like Ava had been there at least a day.

Dog comes to Best Friends to heal and find a home

In fact, Ava was lucky indeed that Macey showed up at all. This particular spot was at least five miles from the closest home. (Hooray for hikers!) Macey freed Ava from the trap and then spent a week and a half trying to track down Ava’s family. Ava wasn’t wearing a collar, and no one responded to fliers and newspaper ads. Meanwhile, the vets taking care of Ava thought she would need to lose the injured leg. Macey was not in a position to care for Ava long-term. So after it became obvious that nobody would claim Ava, the pup came to Best Friends to heal.

Talk about adorable! This dog melts hearts on contact. She loves nothing more than to snuggle up and keep you company no matter what you’re doing. Whoever lost this beauty must have been trying to outrun a herd of stampeding wildebeests or something. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Her paw and leg will need some attention before she tries to find a new family. The vets at Best Friends have already done a preliminary surgery to clean out the wound. It’ll be another couple of weeks, though, before they can choose the best course of action. No matter the outcome, Ava is still one lucky dog even after all she’s been through. Thanks to Macey for bringing back a much greater treasure than any souvenir you could hope to find!

Please help Ava and other dogs in need

Photo by Gary Kalpakoff

Caring for Pets