HOWL Colorado

“Wolf” bought off Craigslist to get new home

[thumbnail icon url=”wolf-bought-off-craigslist-to-get-new-home” filename=”news” year=”2009″ month=”10″ day=”23″]WCCO-TV, out of Minnesota, is reporting that Dakota – an animal sold as a wolf on Craigslist – has been turned over to an organization which will place her regardless of if her lineage ends up containing some wolf.

As reported on HOWLColorado, Dakota the “wolf” was confiscated from her new owner after he purchased her after she was listed on Craigslist.  

The buyer’s mother-in-law reported the animal to authorities, after learning it was supposed to be wolf, claiming concerns over the safety of her grand-children.

It was not this perceived threat to the children which got Dakota seized however. The county forbids the ownership of wolves.

An unnamed organization has stepped forward and taken Dakota stating they will place her in a new home regardless of if there is any wolf in her recent ancestry. Minnesota does not ban the ownership of wolves or wolf-hybrids at a state level, but cities and counties can pass local ordinance which outlaws the ownership of such animals.

There were many questions over the lineage of Dakota. While she looked remarkably dog-like to HOWLColorado, echoing the opinion of a wolf expert which WCCO-TV asked, it’s impossible to determine if Dakota has any wolf in her. At the DNA level, there is only a 0.2% difference between the domestic dog and wolves.

WCCO-TV told HOWLColorado that there are plans to test Dakota to see if she has any wolf in her. There is a lot of confusion over the viability of standardized testing of wolves and dogs.

We also contacted another wolf DNA expert who specializes in researching the origin of the domestic dog. He confirmed that the mtDNA variations between wolves and dogs are certainly distinct and was something a lab could develop a test for, but was unaware of the status of research in to such testing. HOWLColorado’s own investigating found no confirmation or supporting research to suggest the test exists and is 100% reliable. HOWLColorado contacted UC Davis to get a definitive answer on their testing capabilities, we will publish our findings as soon as we get that data.

You can read the original article on WCCO-TV’s website.

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