MESA, ARIZONA - Bruce McConnell was taking his dog, Heidi, for their morning stroll around his Mesa yard when she met a new friend.
"And right behind her was that little pup following her," said Bruce.
This was no ordinary puppy. It was a coyote.
"I've never seen a coyote puppy," he said.
Soft, brown and no bigger than a small dog, was an abandoned baby coyote following his dog.
Bruce decided to contact a local animal group to take care of the baby animal.
"This guy obviously was in trouble. We're very happy Bruce called us because this guy came in super dehydrated," said Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center's Kim Carr.
Vets at SWCC said the pup is between five and six weeks old.
"He's very thin so he'd been without his mom, we're not really sure how long, but it had been awhile," said Carr.
SWCC typically will take in a lot of abandoned baby animals in the next month or two, but it's April, which means the season is starting early, she said.
"When we get a call about this that makes us kind of worry, like, that time is here," said Carr.
Another concern is that people will step in when the animals might not actually need rescuing.
"They'll bring us these pudgy little roly poly, very healthy animals that had a mom out there and the mom was probably out hunting or doing what she was supposed to do to bring home dinner," she said.
Carr has some serious advice for those who discover a baby animal in their yard: Call the experts and let them determine if there is a problem or not.
You can find more information on the SWCC by visiting their website, www.southwestwildlife.org