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.

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