Wandering In Philadelphia
Thought Animal Was Dog
Philadelphia police got quite a surprise when they arrived to
pick up what they thought was a stray dog last weekend. The
pooch was actually a wolf.
Someone spotted what they thought was a big dog around 4 a.m.
Saturday, wandering near Delaware Ave.
The animal was a little too big for police to handle alone
so they called in animal control officers, who were able to
corner and capture the animal.
When they got the animal back to the shelter, they realized
it was no dog.
“We've handled other rare breeds, alligators, hawks,
falcons, this is our first wolf,” said George Stem from
Philadelphia Animal Care Control.
It was Linda Thomas's first wolf as well. She was working
at the Mobil gas station when the wolf appeared across the
“We thought it was a big dog at first and then someone got
close enough and saw it was actually a wolf,” said Thomas. “I
actually thought somebody was going to hurt it, because first
thing when people see a wild animal, they'll try to destroy
There are no plans to destroy the animal. Animal Control
officers are hoping to find a place that can provide the
proper habitat for wolves, which is not the city of
Philadelphia. It is actually illegal to own a wolf in the city
except under strict regulations.
Officials say a man did show up to claim the wolf. He
claims he bought the animal when it was a puppy. It is not
clear if he knew the animal was a wolf when he purchased it.
But officials say he is not likely to get the wolf back since
he lives in Philadelphia.
Officials say the wolf appears to be very young and is as
fragile as a puppy right now, but he may not be as docile.
“The older it gets, it could go back to becoming a wild
animal,” said Stem.
Wolf Roams Big City Streets
... Will Be Taken To Sanctuary
Mar 30, 2004 9:32 am US/Central
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) Animal control officers in Philadelphia were in
huge surprise when they captured a wolf roaming the city's streets
popular nightclub this past weekend.
The bigger surprise? It was a resident's pet!
Neighbors told Calvin Hughes of KYW-TV the owner had been raising
inside an apartment building for years. And if you think that
feathers or raised concern, think again.
"And I petted the wolf and I have no problem with the wolf. You
pet some people!" Carol Oleksiak told Hughes.
Neighbor Tony Johnson said two wolves, a male and a female, were
the apartment building. "I played with them.I was never afraid."
George Sten of Philadelphia's animal control unit said it is
illegal to keep
a wolf within city limits and said the animal would be taken to a
in western Pennsylvania where he will be rehabilitated and
released into the
"We get 1,400, 1,500 strays but this wolf was the first," Sten
Officials Say Owner Won't Get Pet Wolf Back
by KYW's Al Novack
Wed, Mar. 31, 2004
It turns out a wolf found wandering Delaware Avenue over the
weekend did not wander in from the forest. It had been living in a
On Saturday, police spotted what they thought was a large dog near
nightclub "Egypt," on Delaware Avenue near Spring Garden Street.
Animal control officers picked it up without a problem, noting
that it was
very tame and docile. It even responded to the call of humans.
But, the Pennsylvania Game Commission says, it was a real wolf --
and it is
illegal to keep a wolf as a pet. They plan to "rehabilitate" it
and place it
back in the wild.
But the pet's owner, who came forward to claim the animal, says he
know it was a real wolf. To him, it was just a friendly dog. He
He lives on New Market Street, near I-95, in Northern Liberties.
apparently had gotten loose and wandered from its home.
What do neighbors think? They say it never bothered them and they
was actually a wolf
By GLORIA CAMPISI
Weeyakin is a wolf with an identity crisis.
Or maybe it's his owner who has the crisis.
The owner has told animal welfare officials that he thought the
corralled outside the Egypt nightclub, at Delaware Avenue and
Spring Garden streets, at 4:30 a.m. Saturday - was a dog.
The owner, who hasn't been publicly named, said he thought the
animal was a German shepherd-husky mix, according to George Stem,
executive director of the Philadelphia Animal Care and Control
Association(PACCA). Stem said he thought Weeyakin might be an
American Indian word but he had no idea what it meant.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission has confirmed the animal is a
male wolf, said Jeff Moran, spokesman for the city health
department, which oversees PACCA. DNA tests will be taken to be
certain the animal is indeed all wolf - not a wolf-dog hybrid,
In any event, Weeyakin's fate is sealed, Stem said.
Weeyakin will go to a wolf sanctuary, Stem said yesterday. One
chosen yet, he said.
The fate of the owner is still up in the air.
The game commission is considering bringing charges against him.
"You just can't buy a wolf and say, 'gee, I think I'll keep the
wolf in my
house,' " said state Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser. The
owner, who reportedly lives near the nightclub, could not be
Stem said the owner planned to meet today with PACCA officials to
documentation about how he obtained Weeyakin.
Stem said authorities want to know if the animal "was sold to him
as a dog."
The owner didn't even have a dog license for Weeyakin, Stem said.
wolf in Pennsylvania is illegal except under tightly controlled
He said the owner actually contacted PACCA to report his "dog"
He identified Weeyakin when he went to the shelter, on Hunting
fined; pet relocated
Posted on Fri, Apr. 09, 2004
By GLORIA CAMPISI
An apartment and a backyard aren't the most idyllic settings to
wolf - even one tame enough to be taken around to local
Mark Morris knows that now, since his wolf hybrid, Weeyakin, hit
when it escaped from Morris' yard on New Market Street near
Avenue in Northern Liberties late last month.
The animal was captured at about 4:30 a.m. March 27 outside the
Egypt on Delaware Avenue at Spring Garden Street.
A state game commission agent said yesterday Morris had been fined
game commission charged Morris with unlawful importation and
wildlife and, even though the wolf had caused no harm, with
protect the public from attack by a wild animal, commission agent
Morris couldn't be reached for comment.
Czech said Morris had no permits for Weeyakin and didn't even have
license. He said Morris told him Weeyakin was 80 percent wolf and
dog and was purchased about two years ago, at two months old, from
in Montana. He was shipped here by air.
Czech said Weeyakin was well- cared for and stayed in the backyard
water and hay to lie on.
"He was taking it and showing it at schools and libraries in the
Philadelphia area," Czech said.
Weeyakin stayed at the Philadelphia Animal Care and Control
while Czech searched for a new home for him.
Finally, Czech located a safe setting at T&D's Cats of the World,
refuge in Penns Creek, Pa., near Lewisburg.
If a haven hadn't been found, the wolf would have been euthanized,
said. "It couldn't be released into the wild. It was more like a
a wolf, he said.
Terry Mattive, owner of T&D's, where Weeyakin arrived Wednesday,
said he has
about 250 animals ranging from prairie dogs to Siberian tigers.
He said Weeyakin will be housed with two other wolves, Goody and
they have gotten used to him.
He said Weeyakin was "a little upset" with the long ride from
but soon seemed to bond with Mattive's daughter.
"His tail started wagging."