Toothless 11-year-old dog saves dog brother from coyote attack in Mission Viejo

An elderly dog is being hailed as a hero by his Mission Viejo family after he jumped in to save his doggy brother from a coyote attack earlier this month.

Vinny is an 11-year-old, 10-pound Maltese-Dachshund mix, and according to his family he's got just three teeth. His brother Harley's not much bigger. 

Back on May 1, the Macaluso family said they had just returned from taking their dogs out, and were preparing to lock up the house for the night, when the dogs heard something in the yard and snuck outside.

"It happens just that quick," said Vinny's dad David Macaluso. "We're really diligent, and it just took one little thing, and we could've lost [our] little guy."

A coyote had jumped the fence. The attack was caught on home security footage. The coyote was seen on the right side of the screen, jumping over the fence, quickly running to the other side of the yard, as Harley was seen on the left side of the screen. Harley tried to run from the coyote; the two ran into the bushes off-screen. Then came Harley's horrifying shrieks of pain, followed by Vinny, jumping into action, running into the bushes. Vinny chased the coyote off another corner of the screen, while Harley, still crying, returned to the house as his dad came out to the backyard, clearly confused.

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"We just scooped him up and went to the emergency vet," said Erin Macaluso. "We didn't even realize what happened until after, we were sitting in the lobby of the emergency vet and rolled our camera footage back."

The family said they'd never even seen a coyote in their backyard in the 30 years they'd lived there before that night.

Despite deep bite marks, Harley is expected to make a full recovery.

"I'm so thankful for my dog Vinny," said David Macaluso in a social media post. "My dog Vinny is a hero in a fur suit."