A family of Good Samaritans in Massachusetts bit off a bit more than they realized when they brought home what they thought was a lost puppy.
The New England Wildlife Center shared the story of a Cape Cod family who rescued a pup that was found wandering on the side of a busy road that ultimately turned out to be an Eastern Coyote.
“The Eastern Coyote pup was separated from his family last week and was found wandering and distressed by the side of a busy road,” the organization posted on social media. “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.”
With an assist from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, members of the New England Wildlife Center were able to take in the coyote and said that there was no risk of potential rabies exposure and the pup has since been cleared to be rehabbed.
The pup is now recovering in one of the organization’s isolation wards and a new sibling from Rhode Island is expected to be introduced in the coming days.
According to the Wildlife Center, once the two pups are vaccinated they will be raised together and “given a chance to grow and learn natural behaviors in our large outdoor caging,” they 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.”
Officials noted that while this case concluded with a happy ending, it could have gone worse, as coyotes are considered “a rabies vector species in Massachusetts and are susceptible to contracting the virus that is deadly to all mammals including people.”
In a different scenario, they noted that if the finders had been bitten, scratched, or had extended contact we would have been mandated to euthanize the pup and test for rabies.
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