HOWL Colorado

Minnesota man buys “wolf” off craigslist; animal confiscated

[thumbnail icon url=”minnesota-man-buys-wolf-off-craigslist-animal-confiscated” filename=”news” year=”2009″ month=”10″ day=”21″] WCCO-TV’s Frank Vascellaro reports on the seizure of Dakota, a dog which is controversially being labeled as a wolf.

According the report, the man purchased Dakota from Craigslist where the seller claimed it was an “arctic/timber wolf.” A vet certified the identification – which is odd for several reasons.

Since the county does not permit the ownership of wolves, and the mother-in-law of the man called authorities reporting the animal and claiming concern for her grandchildren, Dakota was seized and is now waiting for a new owner.

It is not illegal to own wolves in Minnesota, but counties and cities can have their own laws regarding exotic pets. Therefore an adoption could happen if it would take Dakota to an unregulated part of the state.

The idea of a wolf being sold of craigslist is disturbing. What’s more disturbing is that a vet would classify an animal as a wolf. The ability to identify a wolf, wolf-hybrid, and wolf-like dog was, until 2008, almost impossible. The genetic difference in the DNA between a wolf and a dog is roughly 0.2%. The University of California developed a test which can differentiate between wolves and wolf-hybrids and dogs in 2008, but it seems unlikely that a Vet would have access to this technology and be able to correctly administer it. HOWLColorado is unsure of if this test can determine between a wolf-hybrid and a dog, or if the marker used in the identification is a dog-based difference and therefore dogs and hybrids would share the identifier.

The International Wolf Center was asked their opinion, and they stated that Dakota was probably a dog, but could have some trace of wolf in her. HOWLColorado is inclined to agree completely. But, it’s almost impossible to know for sure. You could state Dakota is a dog, and no one could prove any element of wolf. And sadly for Dakota, you could claim she is a wolf, and it is impossible to prove there is no recent wolf ancestry.

Hopefully she will find a new home. As the police chief said, regardless of the lineage of Dakota: “My only hope is that the animal doesn’t get destroyed ultimately.”

To read the story, and judge for yourself, click here.

EDITORIAL NOTE: HOWLColorado does not recommend wolves, or wolf-hybrids, as pets. They require very special care and have some challenges the typical pet owner is not equiped to handle. High content wolf-hybrids and wolves will likely adopt their human pack happily. Your couch, bed, glasses, backpacks, clothes, carpet or even walls, may not do as well when a bored wolf is around. Your smaller pets are at significant risk. If you get a puppy, you have no idea the size of the animal you will get. A 100 lbs wolf is a lot larger than it sounds. They are lengthy and lean, and they have a 1500 lb psi bite which will make short work of plastic, wood, and other suitably interesting objects. If you want to see wolves and wolf hybrids up close, HOWLColorado recommends the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center.  

One Response to “Minnesota man buys “wolf” off craigslist; animal confiscated”

  1. DeviouslyDagmar

    The idea of any animal being bought an sold over Craigslist is incredibly disturbing – especially wild animals. In this case, however, you’d have a hard time convincing me that pup is a wolf… it’s anything but.

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