Does NJ have porcupines in the wild? Yes, and one just killed a dog
A family in New Jersey is mourning the loss of their pit bull after it was killed by a porcupine earlier this month.
According to the New York Post, the 9-year-old pit bull mix had gotten into a fight with a porcupine on the deck of the family’s home in Montague, Sussex County, on Sept. 2.
The dog got quills in his face, chest, and stomach, according to the dog's owner.
A local veterinarian was able to remove the quills from the outside of the dog's body. However, there were nearly two dozen quills stuck in his chest and abdomen.
The dog ultimately died and the owner is now facing vet bills in the neighborhood of $20,000.
A family friend set up a GoFundMe page to assist with paying them. As of Wednesday morning, over $7,800 had been raised.
Porcupines in New Jersey
While New Jersey is home to any number of wild animals, one does not often think that porcupines occupy the Garden State. In fact, they do, primarily in the northern half.
Larry Hajna, a spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, told pennlive.com that it's extremely rare for a dog to die from a porcupine attack.
“I’ve been here for 16 years and this is the first time I’ve heard of anything like this. Our general advice has been to never approach wildlife. Period," Hajna said.
In the rare instance of encountering a porcupine in New Jersey, experts say the best thing you can do is just keep your distance.
- The rumor that porcupines can shoot or throw their quills at aggressors is only a legend
- A porcupine’s quills are only lightly attached to its body, meaning they will easily come loose when used in self-defense