This poor coyote pup was turned into a pin-cushion by a Cholla cactus (aka Jumping cholla) in Arizona. Even his mother had to abandon him because she couldn't do anything to remove the catcii, and his fate might have been grim if he hadn't been discovered by local residents of Sun City West (near Phoenix) who mounted a rescue operation. I'm still not sure if it's a happy or sad story, though (it ends well, but still looks very painful for the poor guy)...
With the help of heavy leather gloves and a pair of pliers, Bordine and Soto were able to remove the pieces of cactus from the coyote.“Jose and Shawn did such a good job,” said Maxwell. “They were very gentle.”
After removing all the cactus, Bordine and Soto took the coyote pup between some houses and let it go join its mother and siblings.
Bordine said later in the day he saw the pup and its father enjoying a little reunion.
“Dad gave him a couple of licks, they played, and then ran away,” said Bordine. “I’m glad we were able to help, because I hate to see an animal down.” (source)
I don't want to second guess what happened too much because I wasn't there and I can't know what the situation was and what kind of resources they had available, but if you ever find yourself in that kind of situation, try to contact a vet or a wildlife rescue expert. They might have equipment, know special techniques, or have animal drugs (painkillers) that can make the experience better for the poor animal.
Via AZ Family