A Community Comes Together to Help Sick Coyote Pups

Mar 17, 2022

Clearly, something wasn’t right.

A young coyote that a woman spotted in her suburban community was scraggly and too skinny. Suspecting he had mange, she called Anderson Humane.

Members of our Wildlife Allies team, who compassionately solve wildlife problems, went to the neighborhood to catch and treat the animal. “But coyotes are very smart,” said Ashley Kendall, Anderson Humane’s Senior Wildlife Manager. “They’re hard to catch.”

“We attempted to trap the coyote pups for two weeks with zero success. They’re just too smart,”

The team set up a trap and a camera and soon spotted not one but two young coyotes on the footage. It was clear they both had mange, a mite-born disease that causes severe itching and loss of fur. Left untreated, the animals can die, either from the lack of fur to keep them warm in winter or the secondary infections the disease often causes.

“We attempted to trap the coyote pups for two weeks with zero success. They’re just too smart,” Ashley said, explaining they simply needed to give the pups two doses of medication two weeks apart.

So the team decided to get creative. They put some chicken by the camera and observed when the pups with mange came to eat it, making sure no other animals were snacking on it as well. When they had their eating schedule down, they put the mange medication in the chicken and watched the footage of the pups eating the delicious, healing meals.

As they continued watching the coyotes, Anderson Humane staff saw signs of improvement. When they first started observing the pups, one was especially skinny and missing much of his fur. “He wouldn’t have made it through the winter,” Ashley said. Soon, though, they couldn’t tell the healthy-looking pups apart.

Ashley and her team felt good about the pups’ prospects – and about the community that supported their treatment. “The woman who called us about the coyote organized her neighborhood group to donate money to cover our fees,” she said. In the end, people from the community donated $450 for our services and to support Anderson Humane.

“It was cool the way this community came together,” Ashley said. “Most people are scared of coyotes. It was fun to see that many people come together to help them.”

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