HomeOutdoorsMassachusetts Family Rescues ‘Puppy,’ Turns Out To Be Baby Coyote

Massachusetts Family Rescues ‘Puppy,’ Turns Out To Be Baby Coyote

by TK Sanders

A Massachusetts family accidentally rescued a baby coyote that they mistook for an abandoned puppy wandering alongside a busy road. The family scooped up the wild animal late last month when they saw him alone and distressed, separated from the pack.

The New England Wildlife Center, which informed the family that their new dog was actually a wild coyote pup, said the family will surrender the animal.

“The coyote was accidentally taken home by a local family after they mistakenly identified him as a lost puppy,” the organization said on its Facebook page. “After realizing their mix-up, they called us for assistance. With the help of the Mass Department of Public Health we were able to determine there was no potential exposure risk to rabies; and we were able to clear him for care and granted permission to rehab by Mass Wildlife.”

Wildlife officials then said that the animal would grow up comfortably in an isolation ward with another rescued foster coyote.

“Once both pups receive vaccinations, they will be raised together and will be given a chance [to] grow and learn natural behaviors in our large outdoor caging,” the group said. “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.”

The Massachusetts Wildlife authorities will release the coyote “puppy” into the wild this fall

The Facebook post continued by warning the public to stay away from coyotes due to rabies concerns.

“This case had a happy ending, but it could have easily gone differently,” the post read. “Coyotes are considered a rabies vector species in Massachusetts; and are susceptible to contracting the virus that is deadly to all mammals including people. If the finders had been bitten, scratched, or had extended contact we would have been mandated to euthanize the pup and test for rabies.”

The wildlife center then thanked all good Samaritans for caring about the welfare of animals; but also encouraged them to always reach out to authorities in times of distress.

“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!” the post said.

According to the New York Post, the family had the coyote pup in its possession for less than 24 hours.

Eastern coyotes typically give birth to pups in April or May, so the timing of the discovery makes sense. The New England Wildlife Center hopes to release the coyote and its foster sibling in the fall, a spokesperson said.

“We will keep you updated on their progress and will share some photos of their introduction,” the organization concluded. “Thank you for your support!”