Law changes while wolf-hybrid dog wanders in Waldoboro
Waldoboro — The fate of a wolf-hybrid dog that was roaming through Waldoboro last week is linked to a change in state law that took effect while the animal was on the loose.
Mia, a black animal with white markings, was given to a Waldoboro woman on June 30. But soon after, the animal escaped from the owner’s apartment by busting through a screen, according to the Waldoboro police chief.
The animal was spotted around the village that weekend, and reportedly ate chickens roosting in the back yard of a downtown homeowner, said Police Chief William Labombarde.
The town’s animal control officer and the police department contacted game wardens for assistance. The police department on July 2 captured the animal in a Have-A-Heart trap that had chicken for bait, the police chief said.
From the day the animal got loose to the day it was captured, a state law took effect that made it illegal to have wolf-hybrids as pets, Labombarde said. Wolf-hybrids are no longer considered domestic animals, he said.
Doug Rafferty, spokesman for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said his department took over the welfare and disposition of wolf-hybrids on July 2 from the Department of Agriculture.
He said the law has two options to deal with an unlicensed wolf-hybrid for whom the owner cannot be found: transfer the animal to a person with a permit to possess a wolf-hybrid; or hold the animal eight days before it is euthanized.
Rafferty said a woman has applied for a permit to have a wolf-hybrid and adopt Mia. He said as long as progress is being made, the animal would be kept at the shelter. He said there is no desire to euthanize the animal.
Rafferty said if an animal is claimed as a wolf-hybrid, that claim is accepted. He said genetic testing is long, involved and expensive, and many animals carry wolf genes.
The animal is under quarantine at the Bath-Brunswick Animal Hospital because the Lincoln County shelter was full.
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