Originally created 12/16/06

Illegal wolfdogs taken from home



The state Department of Natural Resources removed two wolfdogs from a home in Hephzibah on Friday after catching their owners trying to sell them on the Internet, according to DNR's conservation ranger assigned to Augusta.

Cpl. Ben Payne said the animals were living with a couple with two toddlers in the house. He said he would not identify the wolfdogs' owners late Friday because he could not get in touch with his public affairs liaison.

The family had gotten the animals out of state and was keeping them as pets, Cpl. Payne said.

In Georgia, he said, it is illegal to keep wild animals without a permit, and that includes the part-wolf, part-dog animals.

"They are wild animals, and wild animals are unpredictable," he said.

One of them is an adult female and the other, its offspring, is a juvenile male, the corporal said.

The younger wolfdog was docile, but the female had to be removed with help from the woman at the house, he said.

The animals are being kept at Augusta Animal Services on Mack Lane until they can be relocated, Cpl. Payne said.

Wolfdogs are commonly referred to as "hybrids," even though dogs are descendants of wolves and considered to be the same species.

But dogs have been domesticated over thousands of years of breeding, and many believe mixing a dog with a wolf can undo that, making "hybrids" dangerous.

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com.