Two dogs experienced a rare, unfortunate encounter with a porcupine in Missouri, officials said.
Their owner reported that the dogs were punctured by a porcupine, leaving behind two mouthfuls of quills, as seen in photos posted by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
The “poor pups” were taken to a veterinarian who removed the sharp quills from their faces, the department said in a Thursday Facebook post. A plate full of quills, along with some black and brown dog fur, was photographed following the incident.
Conservation Agent Mark McNeely responded to what the wildlife department called a “unique situation” in Gentry County, about 90 miles north of Kansas City.
“Porcupines are not native to Missouri and have only been documented a few times in the state,” the post says.
The porcupine was never seen, but the quills are proof there is at least one porcupine in the area.
“Many animals come away from a porcupine encounter with quills protruding from their own snouts or bodies,” according to National Geographic. “Quills have sharp tips and overlapping scales or barbs that make them difficult to remove once they are stuck in another animal’s skin.”
Following an attack, porcupines will grow new quills, National Geographic reports, and they’ll use them “as a persuasive deterrent.”