The coyote had a blue collar and leash still attached when he was picked up by animal control officers on Wednesday. He was subsequently euthanized due to "possible exposure" to rabies. Tests showed that he was rabies-free, but animal control decided not to wait for the results.
Officers spoke with the owner of the coyote and learned that he might have mistakenly believed the animal to be a puppy when he purchased him. Charges are pending.
Not only did the coyote do nothing wrong, but he was unfairly punished for the misdeed of another. Coyotes are not domesticated animals and this guy needed space to roam, which might explain why he tried to make his escape.
Maryland law expressly forbids the possession of any exotic animals,including any canine other than domesticated dogs. Coyotes are just one of many species of animals that people attempt to own illegally in the U.S., though there are some you can own - even though it's generally a bad idea.
It's thought that millions of exotic animals are kept as pets throughout the country, and the exotic pet trade has become a multibillion dollar industry.
This just goes to show that it's never a good idea to try and domesticate a wild animal and take him from the wild where he belongs. In the end, the animal ends up suffering and, as in this case, dying through no fault of his own.
You can see photos of the innocent coyote on the Calvert County Sheriff's Office website.