‘Lost puppy’ rescued by family turns out to be baby coyote

Photo of baby coyote rescued. (Credit: New England Wildlife Center's staff)

One Massachusetts family got quite the surprise when they learned that the adorable lost puppy that they brought home turned out to be a baby coyote.

The Cape Wildlife Center, based in Barnstable, revealed the Eastern coyote was separated from his family last week and found "wandering and distressed by the side of a busy road." 

"He was then accidentally taken home by a local family after they mistakenly identified him as a lost puppy," the center shared on social media. "After realizing their mix up they called us for assistance." 

With the help of the Mass Department of Public Health, the wildlife center said they were able to determine there was no potential exposure risk to rabies and were able to clear him for care and rehabilitation. 

"He is now recovering comfortably in one of our isolation wards, but will not be on his own for long!," Cape Wildlife Center continued. "A foster sibling has just arrived from @riwildliferehab and they will soon be introduced." 

Once both baby coyotes receive their vaccinations, the center said they will be raised together and will be given a chance to grow and learn natural behaviors. 

"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 center added. 

And while this case has a happy outcome, the center noted this incident could have easily gone differently. 

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According to the Cape Wildlife Center, coyotes are considered a Rabies vector species in Massachusetts and are susceptible to contracting the virus that is deadly to all mammals including people. 

"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 center concluded.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.