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Cleveland Ohio


Neighbor's dog attacked by six wolf-hybrids

Reported by Kristin Anderson
POSTED: Friday, December 12, 2003 3:04:20 AM
UPDATED: Friday, December 12, 2003 3:06:38 AM

CHARDON TOWNSHIP -- A pack of six wolf-hybrids attacked a neighbor's dog Monday night in Chardon Township.

The dog, 13-year-old Buster, had to have surgery to stitch his chest back together after being attacked while trying to protect his two little brothers.

"It's terrifying, all these dogs on top of him, biting and chewing," said Buster's owner, Oscar Smith. "It's just unimaginable."

Smith says it's not the first time that his neighbors' hybrid wolves were running free. But it's not illegal in Chardon Township to own dogs that are up to 99-percent wolf.

"An animal that has one-percent dog in it is classified as a dog," said Geauga County Dog Warden Matt Granito. "So he would fall into the dog regulations."

But Granito says they're still part wild and can be unpredictable and dangerous.

Granito says the owners of the wolf-hybrids are being very cooperative. He says they're going to make their electric fence even higher to make sure the animals don't get out again.

But Smith now walks outside with a shotgun when he lets his dogs out at night. He's hoping to spread the word so his other neighbors will help him fight to change the ordinance.

"Now that these dogs have a taste of blood, who knows what's going to happen now," said Smith. "It could be a child, someone getting the mail. If they're loose they could be attacked by these dogs at anytime."

Many cities and townships don't have ordinances that stop people from owning a hybrid wolf because they weren't needed. But now that hybrids are becoming more popular, the ordinances are slowing starting to change.

It's still unclear if Buster will make a full recovery.


Geauga County man starting a petition to make owning hybrid wolves illegal

Reported by Todd Wilson
POSTED: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 9:30:33 PM
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 9:31:30 PM

RUSSELL -- A Geauga County man whose dog was attacked by a hybrid wolf is afraid they may be free to roam again.

Neighbors say they've seen the wolves in their yards over the last few weeks. A group of hybrid wolves recently attacked Oscar Smith's dog.

"It was indescribable," said Smith. "Here he is, laying down on the ground with two of them at it with the other two standing and watching."

The hybrids live just down the road from Smith, so he took the owner to court. He won, but only to cover medical bills for his dog.

"We were kind of happy with the decision," said Smith. "We got part of what we were asking for."

It's not illegal to own a wolf hybrid in Geauga County because there's no law prohibiting it. So what constitutes a hybrid wolf?


"A wolf hybrid is a cross between a wolf and a shepherd or a husky or a mastiff," said Geauga County dog warden Matt Grannito. "Some other domesticated dog it's been bred with."

The hybrids don't fall under the wildlife division but rather under normal dog laws in the state of Ohio.

Smith says he's not worried about his safety or the safety of his dogs anymore, but he worries about the safety of the children in the neighborhood and the two-year-old who lives next door.

Smith is starting a petition to make owning hybrid wolves illegal.




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