A family recently rescued what they thought was a distressed, lost puppy, who was wandering near a busy road. But the pup wasn’t quite what they bargained for.
According to the Cape Wildlife Center, the family reached out for help after realizing that they had actually taken in a coyote pup. In a post to social media, the wildlife agency said:
The Eastern Coyote pup was separated from his family last week and was found wandering and distressed by the side of a busy road. He was then accidentally taken home by a local family after they mistakenly identified him as a lost puppy. After realizing their mix up they called us for assistance.
The agency worked with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to ensure that the coyote pup did not pose a rabies risk and they were cleared to rehab the pup by Mass Wildlife. The agency stated:
He is now recovering comfortably in one of our isolation wards, but will not be on his own for long! A foster sibling has just arrived from @riwildliferehab and they will soon be introduced.
As soon as the pups receive their vaccinations, they will be raised together. The agency said that the pups “will be given a chance to grow and learn natural behaviors in our large outdoor caging. We work hard to give them as much of a natural upbringing as possible, and will work to replicate the essential behaviors and skills they learn from mom and dad.”
While this story has a happy ending, the wildlife agency warns that it could have ended much differently because coyotes are considered to be “rabies vectors” in Massachusetts:
If the finders had been bitten, scratched, or had extended contact we would have been mandated to euthanize the pup and test for rabies. We are grateful to every single person who takes time out of their day to help wildlife when they are need, but we always encourage people to call the appropriate resources prior to intervening, it can help Keep all involved safe!
(Image via Facebook/Cape Wildlife Center)