Mystery animal awaiting DNA results escapes rescue facility

Workers at Wildlife Works in Youngwood, Pennsylvania, said the mange-covered animal was either a dog or a coyote. DNA tests hadn’t come back from the lab by the time the animal escaped. (Wildlife Works)

PENNSYLVANIA (NewsNation Now) — The mysterious, four-legged animal found in a Pennsylvania woman’s home has escaped from the rescue facility where it was staying.

Found on Jan. 17 near a woman’s front door in Fairfield Township, the animal was so emaciated that it was hard to know exactly what kind of creature it was. Pictures circulated around social media, sent by those who wondered whether it is a dog or coyote.

Wildlife Works in Pennsylvania took the animal in for a DNA test and to treat it for mange. DNA results determining whether the animal is a dog or coyote could take two to four weeks.

Maria Dillman, the president and head trainer of TJ’s Rescue Hideaway who helped with the rescue, said the animal, who hardly had any fur, showed no signs of aggression and just huddled in the corner of his cage when he first came to the facility.

“He was completely emaciated,” Dillman said. “I do think that this animal looked at her (the rescuer) and just knew that she was a pure human, and she was going to help him.” 

While at the facility, the mammal did well, Dillman said.

That is, until Wednesday night.

A staff member who got to the hospital building Thursday morning found the animal’s empty cage destroyed. There were scratches on the walls and the hospital area itself was trashed.

According to Wildlife Works, the animal chewed through the window seal and screen to escape, NewsNation local affiliate WJW reported.

“WORST NEWS EVER!!!!!!!” Wildlife Works wrote in a Facebook post.

“He never acted aggressive or distressed, and there had been no evidence of escape attempts. We had him for about a week, during which time he ate nutritious food and received treatment for his mange and secondary infections,” Wildlife Works said. “We can only guess he was starting to feel somewhat better and decided it was time to go.”

To try and lure the animal back, Wildlife Works staff members left the barn doors open, with plenty of straw. The staff is also out trying to track the animal.

“Hopefully those of you who know Wildlife Works know this is NOT (our) standard of care, and will understand how devastated we are — not just for ourselves but for that poor creature out there in the cold again struggling to survive,” the rescue said.

Strange News

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