Family brings home coyote they mistook for a lost dog
A family discovered they had welcomed a little coyote into their home after assisting what looked to be a puppy wandering the side of the road.
Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts, posted a photo of a cute fluffy animal to its Facebook page on May 2.
The organization revealed in the caption that the animal was an Eastern Coyote pup that had recently been separated from his family.
After becoming disoriented, the puppy roamed along the side of a busy road until he was discovered by a family.
After they wrongly identified him as a missing puppy, he was subsequently accidentally taken home by a local family, the post added.
When the family realized the four-legged creature wasn't a tamed pet, they contacted Cape Wildlife Center.
The wildlife hospital and education center decided there was no possible exposure risk to rabies, and were able to clear him for care and granted permission to rehab by Mass Wildlife with the help of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The coyote was being held in an isolation ward at the time the post was uploaded, waiting to meet a "foster sibling" from the Wildlife Clinic of Rhode Island. Both animals will be inoculated and raised together in the facility's outdoor caging, according to the New England-based institute.
This case had a happy conclusion, Cape Wildlife Center noted, but it could have easily gone differently. Coyotes can spread rabies, a viral disease that kills humans and other animals, according to the organization.
If the finders had been bitten, scratched, or had extended contact, we would have been required to euthanize the pup and test for rabies, the post said.
Before assisting a wild animal in distress, the Cape Wildlife Center recommends calling appropriate rescue resources.
Many social media users congratulated the family who unwittingly took in the coyote, while others expressed concern for the pup's future.
Will it ever be released back into the wild? someone wondered.
Yes, they will be reintroduced into the wild later this year when they are ready, the facility responded.