Wolf Dog Found in Brooklyn; Alligators in New Jersey

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

The Massacre in Zanesville, Ohio: Why?

Truce Reached Over Farm Animal Welfare in Ohio

Autistic Girl’s Service Dog Stolen, Found Dead In Yard


Photo of the wolf dog courtesy of Megan Lindsay


Chinmayee Jog
Chinmayee Jog5 years ago

Keeping exotic pets should be illegal, not to mention abusing/neglecting any pet of any kind should be illegal.

Jude Hand
Judith Hand5 years ago

Thanks for the update on the "wolf dog".

Robert Tedders
Robert T5 years ago

@Thomas P.: I dunno, I've heard stories about wolves in other parts of the world - i.e. not the U.S. - that make me slightly queasy. Is there something about American wolves that they don't attack people even in bad times, or is this just a result of common sense or the closing down of the national parks in winter?

rene davis
irene davis5 years ago

I can't get my head round hoarding or animal hoarding. But, thank god the authorities intervened when they did.

Thomas P.
Thomas P5 years ago

Thanks. I have known 2 people in NYC who have wolves. They too were not dangerous at all and quite loving. I feel like wolves are one of the most misunderstood animals. I'm not suggesting people should take wolves in as pets...I'm simply stating a fact.

Elaine Flynn
Elaine Flynn5 years ago


Terry V.
Terry V5 years ago


Diane L.
Diane L5 years ago

Martha E., I tend to agree with you there, about those who have some NEED for an exotic animal to have low self-esteem. My own daughter was an example (my avatar is one of her wolf hybrids she had for 15 years and I loved that animal dearly, and ended up taking care of her much of the time). When younger, she was a sort of "follower" in a group, but always wanted something "different" when it came to clothes, animals (pets), etc., so she could "stand out" and get attention. She wanted a Bengal (cat) for a long time and took me with her to visit a cattery. At the time, the price was more than she could afford and she wanted to borrow the money from me and I refused, so that was the base for a long-time argument between us. The first wolf hybrid she got (full brother to the one in my avatar) had serious issues, including aggression and unstable temperament. She saw a photo of a Savannah and wanted one, and the list goes on...........from Pixie-Bobs to a snow leopard! I have an online friend who has wolves and a Savannah, and while I know they get all the best care she can provide, the lives they lead is not what they should or deserve. They are kept in a secure enclosure and the Savannah was kept in her house for some time until she decided he was shredding it into pieces and put him in an adjacent pen to the wolves, but he's 100% alone there. I don't think it's fair.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle5 years ago

Keeping exotic pets is wrong for the animals and dangerous for humans. I suspect that these kinds of people are low on self-esteem and hungering for attention. Those of us who want unconditional love, rescue dogs and cats, who are domesticated and rely on humans for their keep.

Winnie Greaney

I'll never understand why stupid, horrible people think it's acceptable to trap wild animals in their homes, and not feed them…As well as inflict unnecessary injuries on them. Why???
This has to STOP. I hope charges will be brought forward against the owner as well as his mother?

Winnie (Ireland).