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Anderson County, SC


Loose Animal Believed to be a wolf
March 29, 2004


Residents in an Anderson County neighborhood said they feared for their
lives until a loose animal they believed to be a wolf was shot this weekend.

Several animals, which some neighbors believe to be full-blooded wolves and some to be wolf-dog hybrids, are kept at 423 Van Martin Road, off Old
Williamston Road. One of them got out of its cage this weekend while its
owner was not home and roamed the neighborhood, residents said.

A neighbor shot the animal Sunday, claiming he feared for his life after the
animal killed Christine Lahser's dog, Ms. Lahser said.

"He literally bit a hole into my miniature Daschund dog," she said.

Ms. Lahser said someone comes once a week to feed the animals, and they have not had food or water for several days. Joel and Tammy Gravely, who live one street over from the house, said they did not let their children or their cat out of the house over the weekend, fearing the loose animal would attack.

They said someone has kept wolves at the home of Viki Pearson for at least
10 years.

"Other than them howling at night, we have never really had a problem with
them," Ms. Gravely said.

But the couple agreed they do fear what could happen if another of the
animals gets loose.

"They know Viki, but they don't know us," Mr. Gravely said. "We don't know
what could happen." Neighbors said five animals normally are kept at the house.

Two animals paced inside cages Monday. One was limping and when approached, another cowered inside a shelter.

The animals appear to be kept in separate cages in the yard, at the corner
of Van Martin Road and Maple Drive. The cages are hard to see into because of vegetation, and large shrubs have grown to cover the house's windows and front door.

Capt. John Chambers, a spokesman for the Anderson County Animal Control office, said it would be illegal for Ms. Pearson to have full-blooded
wolves, which are considered wildlife.

Animal control officers were in the neighborhood at different times
throughout the day and were fairly certain none of the animals was loose,
Capt. Chambers said.

Ms. Pearson, who is listed on Anderson County tax records as the owner of
the home, could not be reached for comment. No phone listing could be found for her, and no one answered the door at the house.

The situation is still under investigation, Capt. Chambers said.

Meanwhile, neighbors are concerned for the animals' welfare and for their
own safety.

"There are children in this neighborhood," said Hallie Nosko. "When they
come outside, I try to look out for them in case there is a wolf on the


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