Kind family rescue ‘distressed, abandoned puppy’ – then realise it’s not a dog

A kind family who rescued a “distressed” puppy after finding it abandoned on the side of the road were stunned to discover it wasn’t a dog at all.

After arriving home with the animal, the unnamed family suddenly realised they had actually picked up a baby coyote.

After realising their error, they called their local wildlife centre and passed the adorable animal into their care, according to the Mirror.

Cape Wildlife Center, in Massachusetts, confirmed they received the Eastern coyote after he was separated from his pack.

Posting to Facebook, official added: “He was then accidentally taken home by a local family after they mistakenly identified him as a lost puppy.”

Dozens of followers on Facebook agreed it was an easy misunderstanding, with one saying: “I can see how it can be mistaken for a puppy. He’s really cute.”

Many others shared their mixed experiences with finding wild coyotes.

One lady rescued an entire litter of coyote puppies, but warned they grew up to be aggressive.

Another disagreed and said their coyote was “never vicious or even nippy” and happily lived with their family for 16 years.

He will soon be introduced to another baby coyote.
He will soon be introduced to another baby coyote.

Staff at the wildlife centre were able to determine that the coyote had not been exposed to rabies and was cleared for care by the Mass Department of Public Health.

The animal is now “recovering comfortably” in an isolation ward alone, but will soon be introduced to a foster sibling.

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

The little coyote had been separated from his pack.
The little coyote had been separated from his pack.

“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 centre explained that this case had a “happy ending” but it could have “easily gone differently”.

Coyotes are considered rabies vector species in Massachusetts, meaning if the finders had been “bitten, scratched or had extended contact”, they would have been forced to euthanise the pup.

“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 centre added.

The Cape Wildlife Center has promised to share updates of the coyotes’ progress on its Facebook page.

This isn’t the first coyote to be mistaken for a puppy – Andrea Athie took an injured dog to the vets before discovering it was actually a wild coyote.

She said: “He was never aggressive. He let himself be caressed but we all know that it is a wild animal and he couldn’t live with us.”

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