BARNSTABLE (CBS) – A local family was quite surprised when the adorable “lost puppy” they thought they had rescued turned out to be a coyote baby.
The Cape Wildlife Center, based in Barnstable, said the family found the animal last week “wandering and distressed on the edge of a busy road.”
“He was then accidentally brought home by a local family after they misidentified him as a lost puppy,” the center posted on Facebook. “After they made their mess, they called us for assistance.”
The center along with the Department of Public Health determined that the coyote cub had not been exposed to rabies. He’s recovering at the center and will soon be introduced to a coyote foster brother from Rhode Island.
The coyote pups will be vaccinated and raised together in “as natural an upbringing as possible” within the center.
Officials say this has been a fortunate result, considering how susceptible coyotes are to the deadly rabies virus.
“This case had a happy ending, but it could have easily gone differently,” the center said. “If the seekers had been asked, scratched or extended contact, we would have been required to put the puppy down and test for anger.”
The center says people are encouraged to contact relevant authorities before they intervene to help wildlife.