Please Don’t Rescue “Abandoned” Coyote Pups!

UPDATE: An observer in June, 2017 became very concerned when she didn’t see parents attending to a den in her back yard. She contacted us when she hadn’t seen either parent for several days. We devised a plan for feeding the pups and then moving them to a rehabilitation center, but we delayed the move since no one at all can raise coyote pups as well as their parents. Then, VOILA! A full week later, the parents resurfaced. This is not unusual in the coyote world. Please know this and leave coyote pups alone! If you are concerned, keep an eye on the area for a good, long time before doing anything!

Why, you might ask, would you not try to save abandoned coyote pups? The reason is that they are probably not abandoned at all. Coyote pups are left for extended periods of time while both parents go off hunting. In 99% of the cases of puppies found without a parent around, this is what is going on. You will actually be hurting the situation rather than helping by “kidnapping” them from parents who love them and know how to give them the best upbringing. In the wild, and with their parents, they have a huge chance at survival. Once they are removed and placed in a rehabilitation center, their chances go down. The rehabilitation center can take care of their physical needs, but cannot train the pups early on how to fend for themselves: hunt, avoid, interact with other animals.

The hand that intends to help may, in fact, be causing their doom. Rehabilitated baby animals have a much harder go in life and many do not make it.

Here are some pups that were found “abandoned” and taken into a wildlife center. They are doing superbly well in the center. But they would have been doing better in the wild with their parents. Note that pups in the wild are now about the size of those below that no longer fit in the bucket!


If you want to donate to a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, here is a great one: AWARE. Melanie Furr took the photos of coyotes in the bucket and wrote a fabulous newsletter featuring coyotes for AWARE — press HERE to read it. Alex Johnson took the three coyote pups, upper right.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Strasser
    Jun 17, 2018 @ 22:12:25

    This pup has no parents he is like a skeleton with hide hanging off he/she. Lives in a water drainage pipe in Bennett, CO. I need help. I have wildlife and vet’s in the area
    ….no one what’s to help???


    • yipps:janetkessler
      Jun 17, 2018 @ 22:51:37

      Hi Karen —

      If you’ve waited in the vicinity for several days and no parent has returned, then it indeed could be an abandoned pup. If the pup is beyond help, the mother may have abandoned it on purpose — this is how nature weeds out the most feeble individuals.

      Please call Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. They are in Boulder, about an hour away from Bennett:

      Please let me know if this helps.


  2. olivia
    Apr 24, 2019 @ 23:54:37

    hello! we recently found pups in a storm drain outside of our house in a storm drain. we think the mom may be dead, but we aren’t sure. animal control and fish and wildlife said that we should try to find a place that will take them or euthanize them ourselves. do you know of any shelters in the olympia washington area that will take them?


    • yipps:janetkessler
      Apr 25, 2019 @ 00:59:28

      Hi Olivia —

      If you’ve watched the pups for several days first, and the mom never returned, then it’s time to take them into a wildlife rehab center. They’ll also tell you how to tide them over until they can be brought in. The only center close to you that I know about is in Lynnwood which is over an hour away: It’s called PAWS Wildlife: Here is their phone number: 425.787.2500 x817. They close at 8pm. Perhaps they might know of a wildlife center closer to Olympia? Hope this helps! Janet

  3. Catherine Ayotte
    Oct 09, 2021 @ 05:00:16

    In front of my house I had a coyote family so cute to here them , a nabor just kidnapped the babies and mother coyote crying searching for her pups,… what to do


    • yipps:janetkessler
      Oct 09, 2021 @ 05:28:33

      Hi Catherine — Coyote pups are all born in the springtime. By now they are full-grown. I don’t think a neighbor would be able to grab any of them. Are you sure they are coyote pups?? Please let me know why you think they are coyote pups! Thank you, and thank you for your comment. Janet

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