A Massachusetts Family Thought They Rescued A Stray Puppy – It Turned Out To Be A Baby Coyote

A Massachusetts family who rescued a stray puppy from the side of the road was shocked to discover that it was a baby coyote. The male pup was found “ᴡᴀɴᴅᴇʀɪɴɢ and ᴅɪsᴛʀᴇssᴇᴅ”, and the family took him in their car, thinking he was a domestic dog. The New England Wildlife Center reported that the young eastern coyote had become separated from its pack and was found ᴡᴀɴᴅᴇʀɪɴɢ and ᴅɪsᴛʀᴇssᴇᴅ along a busy road in Cape Cod last month.

“He was then accidentally taken home by a local family after they mistakenly identified him as a lost puppy,” New England Wildlife Center wrote on Facebook. ‘After realizing their mix-up, they called us for assistance. The staff were able to very quickly identify it as a coyote, who was still at an age where he should’ve been with the parents.”

After being assessed for ʀᴀʙɪᴇs and receiving its initial vaccinations, the coyote pup, estimated to be approximately five to six weeks old, will be raised temporarily at the wildlife centre. The centre plans to house the young coyote with a female pup between three and four weeks, recently brought over from the Wildlife Clinic of Rhode Island. Given their social nature, this socialization with a foster sibling is crucial for coyotes.

“One of the best things you can do for a young pup that’s lost its family is at least provide a sibling of similar age,” Zack Mertz, executive director of the Cape Wildlife Center, told CNN. “This way, they can learn as much as they can from each other.”

While the wildlife centre stated that this case had a positive outcome, it could have gone wrong. In Massachusetts, coyotes are classified as a ʀᴀʙɪᴇs vector species, which indicates that they are known to transmit ʀᴀʙɪᴇs to other animals or humans frequently.

“If the finders had been ʙɪᴛᴛᴇɴ, scratched, or had extended contact, we would have been mandated to ᴇᴜᴛʜᴀɴɪᴢᴇ the pup and test for ʀᴀʙɪᴇs ,” the Facebook post reads. “We are grateful to everyone who takes time out of their day to help wildlife when in need, but we always encourage people to call the appropriate resources before intervening; it can help keep all involved safe!”

This incident serves as a reminder that wild animals should be left alone and allowed to live in their natural habitats. While taking in a seemingly lost or ᴀʙᴀɴᴅᴏɴᴇᴅ animal may be tempting, it is essential to seek professional help from wildlife experts to ensure that the animal is properly cared for and can be returned to its natural environment.

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