'Lost puppy' that was rescued by a Massachusetts family turns out to be a baby COYOTE

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Case of mistaken identity! ‘Lost puppy’ that was rescued from the side of the road by a Massachusetts family turns out to be a baby COYOTE

  • The New England Wildlife Center shared on Facebook on Tuesday that an unnamed family on Cape Cod ‘accidentally’ took home an eastern coyote pup
  • Officials explained that the locals ‘mistakenly identified him as a lost puppy’ when they saw him ‘wandering and distressed’ on the side of a busy road
  • After the family called the center for assistance, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health helped determine the animal had not been exposed to rabies 
  • The animal is now ‘recovering comfortably’ in an isolation ward, but he will be introduced to a foster sibling soon and eventually released back into the wild  

A Massachusetts family got more than they bargained for when the ‘lost puppy’ they rescued turned out to be a baby coyote. 

The eastern coyote pup had separated from his pack and was spotted ‘wandering and distressed’ on the side of a busy road on Cape Cod last month, according to the New England Wildlife Center. 

‘He was then accidentally taken home by a local family after they mistakenly identified him as a lost puppy,’ officials explained in a Facebook post on Tuesday. ‘After realizing their mix up they called us for assistance.’

A Massachusetts family took home an eastern coyote pup after mistaking him for a'lost puppy' when they spotted him 'wandering and distressed' on the side of a busy road last month

A Massachusetts family took home an eastern coyote pup after mistaking him for a ‘lost puppy’ when they spotted him ‘wandering and distressed’ on the side of a busy road last month 

The New England Wildlife Center shared on Facebook that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health helped determine the animal had not been exposed to rabies

The New England Wildlife Center shared on Facebook that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health helped determine the animal had not been exposed to rabies

Nina Flaherty-Bellotti, a spokeswoman for the New England Wildlife Center, told The Boston Globe the unnamed family had the animal for ‘less than 24 hours’ after they found him on April 23. 

With the help of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, it was determined that the coyote had not been exposed to rabies and was cleared for care. 

The animal is now ‘recovering comfortably’ in an isolation ward, but he will be introduced to a foster sibling soon. 

‘Once both pups receive their vaccinations they will be raised together and will be given a chance [to] grow and learn natural behaviors in our large outdoor caging,’ officials 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.’

Eastern coyotes typically give birth to four to eight puppies in April or May, and the pup had separated from his pack

Eastern coyotes typically give birth to four to eight puppies in April or May, and the pup had separated from his pack 

The New England Wildlife Center (pictured) said the coyote is now'recovering comfortably' in an isolation ward, but he will be introduced to a foster sibling soon and eventually released

The New England Wildlife Center (pictured) said the coyote is now ‘recovering comfortably’ in an isolation ward, but he will be introduced to a foster sibling soon and eventually released

State wildlife officials told The Boston Globe that eastern coyotes typically give birth to four to eight puppies in April or May. The New England Wildlife Center plans to release the two coyotes this fall, Flaherty-Bellotti said. 

The center noted that ‘this case had a happy ending,’ but it could have done terribly wrong. Coyotes are considered rabies vector species in Massachusetts, meaning they commonly transmit rabies to other animals or 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,’ officials explained in the Facebook post. 

‘We are grateful to every single person who takes time out of their day to help wildlife when they are [in] need, but we always encourage people to call the appropriate resources prior to intervening, it can help keep all involved safe!’

The New England Wildlife Center promised to post updates on the coyotes’ progress and photos of their introduction on its Facebook page. 

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