A female wolf dog with a collar and chain around her neck was found wandering the streets of East New York, Brooklyn, on Tuesday night. The New York Daily News says that police found the three-year-old; New York Animal Care and Control spokesman Richard Gentles said that she “appeared to have been kept as an exotic pet.”
Mating a grey wolf with a wolf-like dog (a Siberian Huskie or Alaskan Malamute) produces a wolf dog hybrid which is considered a wild animal and therefore illegal in New York. No one has yet claimed her and officials say they will most likely send the 53-pound brown wolf dog to a sanctuary for unwanted wolf dogs.
UPDATE, 11:30 am, December 25: The wolf dog was transported to a wolfdog rescue called Howling Woods Farm in New Jersey yesterday morning. She is not “dangerous” as described in news reports but a “real sweetheart.”
The East New York wolf dog is not the only exotic animal recently found in urban quarters on the east coast. NJ.com says that, this past Thursday, the Mercer County Sheriff’s officers attempted to serve a restraining order to a home in the Wilbur section of Trenton. Officers found six small alligators, two turtles, a hamster and four sick and injured dogs living in what were called “dirty and cluttered conditions.” The alligators, which were up to two feet long, were in a plastic bin that was filled with stagnant water; a seventh, six-inch long alligator was found dead in a plastic container. The dogs were skinny, with injuries on their snouts. Karen Craddock, the mother of the animals’ owner, was present at the house and said that her son sometimes fed them and sometimes did not. The animals’ owner, Terrance Pierce, was not at the house when the officers investigated.
Describing one dog who wore a collar studded with screws pointing out, NJ.com says that “the dog wagged his tail and appeared happy to see people.”
The discovery of the wolf dog, alligators and other exotic animals, as well as the tragedy earlier this year in Zanesville — in which Terry Thompson let out 50 exotic animals and shot himself, and 49 of the animals were shot dead except for one monkey that was most likely eaten by one of the cats — all highlight the need for states to review laws regarding exotic animals ownership. As Care2′s Megan Drake asked earlier this year,
Should it be legal for individuals to own and house exotic animals?
According to BornFreeUSA, 20 states (including New Jersey) have a ban on private ownership of exotic animals; nine states have a partial ban; nine states (including Ohio) have no license or permit requirements. Having such laws will not completely prevent people from illegally buying and keeping animals. But they are an important deterrent to protect exotic animals from cruel and inhumane treatment.
Related Care2 Coverage
Photo of the wolf dog courtesy of Megan Lindsay