Wolf History, Conservation, Ecology and Behavior
About Wolf-Dog Hybrids
[Current state regulations regarding private ownership of wolves and wolf-dogs are listed below]
The Wolf Hybrid
Dorothy Prendergast
Rudelhaus Publishing

Above Reproach: A Guide for Wolf Hybrid Owners
Dorothy Prendergast (ed.)
Rudelhaus Publishing

Living with Wolfdogs
Nicole Wilde
Phantom Publishing

Wolfdogs A-Z: Behavior, Training
& More
Nicole Wilde
Phantom Publishing
A variety of information on wolf hybrids ("wolfdogs") exists on the Web. Below are external links to select material.

American Wolf Hybrid Alliance (AWHA)
P. O. Box 117
Hereford, Arizona 86515

National Wolf Hybrid Association, Inc.
2375 Honeysuckle Lane
Hartsville, TN 37074

United States American Wolfdog Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 663
Williamstown, NJ 08094

Rudelhaus Publishing
P.O. Box 1423, Gallup NM 87305
(505) 863-5408 or FAX: (505) 722-067
Wolf Hybrids - Fantasy and Facts
Canadian Kennel Club
There are many topics in the canine community that spark a wide range of emotions. We all love our canine companions and think they're the most intelligent, devoted, hard working or just downright cuddly pals in existence. The same holds true for the supporters of the wolf-hybrids, or wolf-dogs. In the past few years, these animals have come under close public scrutiny and made a number of headlines, usually for all the wrong reasons. There is a public outcry in many cities in both Canada and the US for the banning of these animals, and just as large an outcry against such a ban by their supporters. The purpose of this pamphlet is neither to support nor condemn the breeding/ownership of these animals. Research included published reports by both active supporters of hybrids and those opposed to them. What will be presented are simply the facts that, on average, both these groups agree on.
Beginning with the name, supporters of these animals react negatively to them being labeled "hybrids". Technically, the term is incorrect; as hybrid implies the result of the mating of two different species. Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are classified as a sub-species of the wolf (Canis lupus) thus the correct term shoud be wolf-dog. Since "hybrid" is the more accepted and recognized label, it is used in this pamphlet, with no offense intended.
Why do people buy wolf-hybrids? With many, it's the desire to own a part of the wild, the mystique of having a "child of the wilderness" bond with them. To these people, there is a draw to what Jack London described in the Call of the Wild, and all the romance and adventure it involves. Others like the idea of owning an "exotic" pet; something that sets them apart from their friends and neighbors. Sadly, there is also the "fringe" group that has the "macho" attitude of wanting to own a wolf. Regardless of the intention, the fact is that almost all the purchasers of these animals haven't done the research necessary, have relied on word of mouth information, and are on average ill-prepared for the special responsibilities which come with the ownership of a hybrid.
Wolf-hybrids are not the perfect house pet for the average person. They require an advanced understanding of wolf behavior, special containment, nutrition and the willingness to put up with the mass destruction these animals are capable of. There are considerations such as a prey drive much higher than the average dog, which could spell disaster for other neighborhood pets, along with a small child who has tripped and fallen and is screaming for its mother. It could easily be considered as wounded prey, and the results would be devastating for both the child, the hybrid and all parties involved. Remember that these animals often retain a wolf's primitive instincts, while losing the wild animal's fear of humans. This can lead to an unpredictable and dangerous animal. Hybrids can also often challenge their owners for dominance, and this can result in serious injuries to the person involved. Even a defensive bite with no intent to harm can result in serious injuries.
There are many myths surrounding hybrids, and these often contribute to them being "sought after" as highly desirable pets. Some of the most popular are:
Myth: Wolf hybrids make better guard dogs.
Fact: Wolves are naturally shy, sometimes even timid, especially toward man. This inherent characteristic usually makes any aggression fear related, and difficult to control, rather than based on an inclination to protect.
Myth: Wolf hybrids live longer than dogs.
Fact: It has been well-documented that wolves live 12 to 14 years in captivity, which tends to be the average life span of a large dog.
Myth: Hybrids are healthier than dogs and not prone to the same congenital diseases.
Fact: Wolves and dogs are prone to the same diseases. Usually, wolves die before they get a chance to pass on genetic ailments but scientists and employees at wolf-parks around the US have all reported wolves suffering from: hip dysplasia, cataracts, under and over shot jaws, tooth problems, mono and cryptorchidism, skin allergies and many others. There is also the fact that the effectiveness of rabies vaccines on these animals has been questioned over the years.
Myth: Northern breeds, especially Malamutes, are part wolf anyway.
Fact: Recent studies have shown that Malamutes and Huskys are no more related to wolves than any other breed, such as the Chihuahua or the Poodle.
Myth: Some of the dangers described are true, but only with regards to hybrids with a high percentage of wolf blood.
Fact: Hybrids with a higher percentage of dog blood tend to be more aggressive than hybrids with a higher percentage of wolf blood. Many breeders who deal in wolf hybrids set their prices based on "wolf blood content" of their pups. There is no sound basis in biology or genetics for this. Breeding a pure wolf to a pure dog will produce an offspring with 50-50 genes, but when this offspring is bred to other 50-50 mixes only genetic testing can indicate which genes are passed to the offspring. The offspring may inherit a majority of the dog genes from both parents and basically look and behave like a dog, or the opposite, and be for all intents and purposes a wolf. "Percentage" as calculated by breeders (using their "pedigrees" and basic math) of these hybrids is no guarantee of anything.
Here are some facts as accumulated a reported by the Wild Canid Survival and Research Center:
The majority of exotic pets, including hybrids, are dead before the age of three.
Because the treatment of hybrids is not covered under malpractic insurance, most veterinarians will not treat them.
Currently, over 300,000 known hybrids exist in the US, and the population continues to grow.
Wolf hybrids can be socialized and even tamed but they cannot be domesticated.
It is impossible to determine that a dog contains wolf blood by appearance alone. Genetic testing is the only way to determine the percentage of wolf and dog.
Because of liability issues, animal control agencies will not take hybrids and animal shelters cannot place hybrids into new homes. This results in many hybrids being destroyed every year.
There has never been an attack by a healthy wild wolf on a human being in North America. Ten people were killed by privately-owned wolf-dog hybrids between 1986 and 1994.
Each time a hybrid attacks a person it is a setback to the reintroduction efforts of endangered, wild wolves. People assume that hybrid behavior and wild wolf behavior are one and the same. They are not.
Will all this keep people from breeding and owning these animals? Probably not. The lure of the unusual, and in many cases the potential for profit, play a large role in the breeding of hybrids. The hope is that the above-mentioned facts may make a few more people stop, think, and take the time to make an educated decision as to whether or not to purchase such an animal. Proper facilities should be ready prior to the acquisition of the animal. Neighbors should be notified, city ordinances verified. Children below the size of an average 14-year-old are always potentially in danger. Proper containment -- a standard 6' chain link fence is not enough -- is a must..Freedom of choice dictates the individual's right to choose a hybrid as a companion, but along with that freedom comes the responsibility of ensuring the safety of all who may be exposed to said companion.
The Canadian Kennel Club
Policy Statement -- Wolf-dog Hybrid Species

The Canadian Kennel Club supports legislation intended to control or inhibit the perpetuation of the Wolf-Dog Hybrid species. This species has special needs which are generally unknown to prospective buyers. Lack of commitment to these needs can cause untold suffering to Wolf-Dog Hybrids and presents the risk of serious injury to people and other animals.
Current State Regulations
Pertaining to Wolves and Wolf Hybrids
Compiled by the Wildlife Education & Research Foundation, 2002
Title 3-8-1 Code of Alabama. "Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, it shall be illegal to own, maintain, sell, or trade any canidae or felidae for which there is no USDA licensed rabies vaccine. Anyone currently owning or maintaining such animal (as of 4/5/95) may keep the animal for the length of the animal's life providing the animal is spayed or neutered and is registered with the Department of Agriculture and Industries."
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has not changed its regulations; however, in late 1997 Dr. William B. Johnston, State Veterinarian at that time, issued a rule which counters the regulations followed by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and would place Wolf Hybrids under the same regulations and category as domestic dogs. Regardless of Johnson's decision, it is still illegal to own wolves or wolfdogs and illegal for veterinarians to treat them.
"Under 5 AAC 92.029 Permit For Possessing Live Game (a) No person may possess, import, release or export, or assist in importing, releasing, or exporting, live game, unless the person holds a possession permit issued by the department." "(c) The department (of Fish and Game) may not issue a permit for the capture, possession, import or export of any game animal, including a hybrid of a game animal and a species listed in subsection (b) for use as a pet." "The statutory definition of "game" (AS 16.05.940) includes wolves."
The Alaska Board of Game has recently adopted regulations under 5 ACC 92.30 requiring people who currently have wolf hybrids in their possession and owned them prior to 1/23/02 to meet specific guidelines in order to avoid prosecution for violation of 5 ACC 92.209. This regulation would include spaying or neutering and implantation of an identifying microchip. It also prohibits transfer of animal to any person outside the immediate family of the person who owned the animal prior to 1/23/02.
"As stated in live Wildlife Rule R12-401, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission has determined that certain species (including wolves) are an actual or potential threat to indigenous wildlife or to public safety. They may not be imported or possessed except as otherwise permitted by the Commission."
"Under current Department of Game and Fish policy, any hybrid resulting from the cross of a wolf and a domestic dog is considered a domestic animal and not subject to the Department's jurisdiction."
As passed on April 18, 2001, Act 1768 or 2001 regulates the ownership and possession of wolves and wolf-dog hybrids. While not specifically requiring a permit, the Act requires owners of "animal which is publicly acknowledged by its owner as being the offspring of a wolf and domestic dog." Health records and records of acquisitions and disposals must be maintained and available for inspection; minimum feed and care regulations are detailed, including rabies vaccination; and confinement regulations are specified, however a subsection following the confinement regulations states that "This section applies only to owners of four (4) or more adult hybrids or wolves, animals one (1) year of age or older." Section 8 states: "Nothing in this act shall be construed to prohibit local regulation of the ownership, breeding, confinement or feeding of wolves or wolf-dog hybrids."
Ownership of pure wolves is illegal except by the few people qualifying for a valid permit from Fish and Game. Among the criteria for such a permit are rigid requirements for facilities and experience in raising such animals, along with approval of the USDA. "Any F1 (first) generation wolf hybrid whelped on or before February 4, 1988 may be possessed under permit from the department. No state permit is required to possess the progeny of Fl generation wolf hybrids, but cities and counties may prohibit possession or require a permit." (See DFW Manual 671, Section 671.1).
"No person shall possess, sell, acquire, purchase, broker, trade, barter or attempt to sell, acquire, purchase, broker, trade or barter live wildlife unless he first obtains a proper license as provided in this chapter (Chapter 11. Also see CRS 33-1-109, CRS 33-6-113-114, and 18-9-202). All species of wildlife listed on the license must be approved by the Division; such approval shall not be granted if the proposed wildlife is deemed to be detrimental to wild native wildlife. "
"The Colorado Division of Wildlife does not regulate ownership of Wolf Hybrids as they are considered domestic animals."
"For the purposes of this section, the following shall be considered as potentially dangerous animals: .... the wolf .... No person shall possess a potentially dangerous animal. Any such animal illegally possessed may be ordered seized and may be disposed of as determined by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars for each offense.... A bird or quadruped which results from the crossbreeding of any animal with one of the species listed above ... shall be considered to be a wild bird or quadruped of that species."
Per the Rules and Regulations for the Possession, Sale or Exhibition of Wild Mammals or Live Reptiles Not Native to or Generally Found in the State of Delaware, and pursuant to the authority granted by 3 Del. C. Ch. 72, "No person shall bring into this State, possess, sell or exhibit any live wild mammal or hybrid of a wild mammal ... not native to or generally found in Delaware without first securing a permit under this chapter." The regulations state: "There must be two enclosures to house a (Wolf Hybrid), a primary enclosure and a secondary enclosure. Fastening or locking devices shall be required on both the primary and the secondary enclosures and must be tamper proof from the general public. The primary enclosure shall consist of a pen, cage or other enclosure where the (Wolf Hybrid) will be kept, and must be of such a construction that it cannot be destroyed by or escaped from by the (Wolf Hybrid). The secondary enclosure must be of a type sufficient to prevent the (Wolf Hybrid) from escaping from the property of the custodian ... should the (wolf or Wolf Hybrid) escape from its primary enclosure. The secondary enclosure shall be of a type sufficient to prevent bodily contact between members of the public and the (wolf or Wolf Hybrid)."
"The subject creature must not be a public nuisance. A nuisance will be considered as including, but not limited to, a subject creature which creates excessive odors or noise, displays obnoxious behavior or causes justifiable fear."
Inspection of the premises where the animal will be housed is required. Individual animal permits are required for pet owners and Class (4) permits are required for breeders or exhibitors of wolves and Wolf Hybrids.
"Delaware is divided into three counties and each has its own county government. The two northern most counties have passed laws stating that certain animals are not allowed. Wolves and Wolf Hybrids are listed as animals that are not allowed in New Castle County or in Kent County."
"Pure wolves and hybrids which are 25% or less domestic dog require a $100 permit per year unless exempted as a researcher." Provisions include owner "demonstrates no less than one year of substantial practical experience (to consist of no less than 100 hours) plus successfully complete a written examination on the care, feeding, handling and husbandry of the species for which the permit is sought, or other species, within the same biological family ... which are substantially similar in size, characteristics, care and nutritional requirements to the species for which the permit is sought," is able to provide a proper diet, health care and exercise, caging meets minimum specifications and that the neighborhood setting is appropriate." There are yard, containment, housing and care requirements." Those animals that are 75% or more wolf must be permitted as Class II wildlife."
Private possession of wolves and Wolf Hybrids is prohibited in the state; they are defined as "Wild Animals." See OCGA §27-5-1 through §27-5-12, specifically §27-5-5(a).
"Wild animal" means any animal which is not wildlife and is not normally a domestic species in this state. This term specifically includes any hybrid or cross between any combination of a wild animal, wildlife, and a domestic animal. Offspring from all subsequent generations of such crosses or hybrids are wild animals.
28-5-4(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to import, transport, transfer, sell, purchase or possess any wild animal ... without first obtaining a wild animal license from the department... (b) Wild animal licenses will be issued only to persons engaged in the wholesale or retail wild animal business or persons exhibiting wild animals to the public."
"... except that any person possessing hybrid crosses between wolves and domestic animals on July 1, 1994 shall have until July 1, 1995 to apply for a fee-exempt permit to possess these animals as pets; provided, however, that the said hybrid is sexually neutered; provided, further, that it shall be unlawful to transfer possession or ownership of said hybrid without prior written approval from the department. Liability insurance shall not be mandatory for wolf hybrids possessed under this fee-exempt permit.
"Pursuant to Hawaii Administrative Rules, Chapter 4-71, the importation and possession of pure wolves and wolf hybrids are prohibited in the State of Hawaii."
"Any person who obtains or possesses a canine exhibiting primary wolf characteristics or who captures a wolf alive or possesses or obtains a wolf that was born or held in captivity for any purpose must apply for a license for each animal within three (3) days of possession, capture or commencement of captivity. Application for a license for each animal shall be made on a form prescribed by the Department and must be completed and returned to the Department within two (2) weeks. Applicants shall have each animal properly tattooed by a qualified veterinarian. The veterinarian shall certify that the animal has been tattooed on the license application." (See IDAPA 13.01.10).
The Illinois Dangerous Animals Act prohibits ownership or possession of wolves except for zoological parks, federally licensed exhibits, circuses, scientific or educational institutions, research laboratories, veterinary hospitals or animal refuges where they must be in an escape-proof enclosure. "There is no separate designation for the crossbred wolf/dog or coyote/dog mix, and as such are accepted as wolves if they are represented as wolf crossbreds." (sic).
"It is no defense to a violation of Section 2 that the person violating such section has attempted to domesticate the dangerous animal." Illinois Revised Statutes, Chapter 8, paragraph 242(2).
According to a representative of the State Veterinarian's office, revisions to the regulations would be considered if USDA were to approve existing rabies vaccines for use in wolves and Wolf Hybrids.
Under 312 IAC 11-1, a Class III wild animal permit is required for each individual purebred wolf and confinement and care requirements must be met. Additionally, a USDA permit must be possessed by the owner. Wolf Hybrids are not regulated by the state and do not require a permit.
Local, municipal or county officials should be contacted for relevant regulations/ordinances which would supersede state regulations. Regardless of percentage, Wolf Hybrids would be regulated by sections of Chapter 162, Iowa Code of Law and Iowa Administrative Code rules, Chapter 21-67 (which states "Dog, as that term is used in the rules, includes hybrid dog mixtures.") Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship licensed facilities (pounds, animal shelters, boarding and grooming kennels, commercial breeders, etc.) are inspected and license issuance/renewal is subject to compliance with relevant laws and rules. Under the Department of Natural Resources, owners of two or more purebred wolves must have a game breeder's permit. Their facilities are inspected and permits issued by the Department of Natural Resources."
"Wolf/wolf hybrids would be subject to the same entry requirements as dogs coming into Iowa from elsewhere. These state that the animal must be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, indicating apparent freedom from disease or exposure to infectious or contagious disease. No animals from rabies quarantined areas will be admitted. All animals 4 months of age and older must have been vaccinated for rabies within the past twelve months, with a vaccine and procedures recommended by the Compendium of Animal Rabies Control. Currently, the Compendium advises that hybrid animals be considered as wild animals and strongly discourages vaccination. There is no approved vaccine for use in wolves."
"Any person possessing (a wolf) must have a possession permit. (K.A.R. 115-20-4). There is no charge for the permit." Proof of purchase or receipt is required. A game breeders permit is required to engage in the business of raising and selling wolves. The possession of such animals shall be subject to all federal and state laws, and regulations and to all local ordinances." Wolf Hybrids are not considered to be wild animals and are not regulated by the Department of Wildlife.
"Pursuant to KRS 150.183 and 301 KAR 2:081, wolves cannot be imported, transported, possessed or sold, except for certain educational, scientific, or research purposes approved by the commissioner."
KRS Chap. 65, § 3 reads: "(1) A county, city, urban-county, or charter county may regulate or prohibit the holding of wildlife that have been identified by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources as inherently dangerous to human health and safety. (1) The department has declared the following species of wildlife to be inherently dangerous to human health and safety and shall establish procedures for denying a transportation permit for said wildlife ... wolf or wolf hybrids over 25% wolf." This law took effect in July 1998.
Informally, it was explained that it is basically up to the local government, not the DFWR, to decide if they will allow or prohibit possession of such animals within their jurisdiction but if a person applied for a permit to import a wolf or wolf hybrid into an illegal county or municipality, DFWR would deny the permit.
"No person shall possess within the State of Louisiana any of the following species or its subspecies of live wild quadrupeds, domesticated or otherwise:... Red wolf, Gray wolf."
The prohibition against wolf-dog hybrids expired January 1, 1997; however, "persons are cautioned that local ordinances or other state regulations may prohibit possession of these animals."
"An animal which appears indistinguishable from a wolf, or is in any way represented to be a wolf may be considered to be a wolf in the absence of bonafide documentation to the contrary."
Under Title 7, § 3907, 12-C of the Animal Laws of the State of Maine, "Dog means a member of the genus and species known as Canis familiaris or any canine, regardless of generation, resulting from the interbreeding of a member of Canis familiaris with a wolf hybrid as defined in subsection 30." A separate definition, however, reads "Wolf hybrid means a mammal that is the offspring of the reproduction between a species of wild canid or wild canid hybrid and a domestic dog or wild canid hybrid. Wolf hybrid includes a mammal that is represented by its owner to be a wolf hybrid, coyote hybrid, coydog or any other kind of wild canid hybrid."
"A dog or wolf hybrid must be licensed by its owner or keeper in accordance with the laws of this State." "If a person applying for a license declares that the dog is a wolf hybrid, a municipal clerk may issue a license without proof that the dog has been immunized against rabies. In accordance with Subsection 5, the license issued for the dog must state that the dog is a wolf hybrid."
Effective May 10, 2001, Sec. 1.7 MRSA §3911-A, abandonment of a Wolf Hybrid constitutes a civil violation. "For the purposes of this section, "abandon" means to desert. For enforcement purposes, a Wolf Hybrid is abandoned if the animal is found a distance of more than 5 miles from the premises of the owner and is not under the control of any person."
Sec. 2.7 MRSA §3921-A makes provisions for the permanent identification of Wolf Hybrids through tattooing, placement of a microchip under the animal's skin or any other method determined by the commissioner as adequately providing a permanent means of identification on the body of the animal." It was the opinion of the State Veterinarian that the method to be used would be by tattoo.
Under the provisions of 22 MRSA Human Services, Sec. 1313-A, however, "If an undomesticated animal or a domesticated ferret or domesticated wolf hybrid bites a person, an animal control officer, a local health officer, or a game warden may immediately kill or order killed that animal without destroying the head ... The owner of a ... domesticated wolf hybrid shall pay transportation and testing costs for that animal."
Chapter 251 lists the following definitions: "Suspected Rabid Animal: (3) Any domesticated mammal which has bitten a human or domesticated animal." "Stray or owned wildlife hybrids must be euthanized regardless of vaccination status."
"A person or incorporated or unincorporated organization may not harbor or move within Maryland any live ... wolves ... or hybrids, for which there is no U.S.D.A. certified vaccine against rabies."
"No person shall possess, sell, trade, breed, import, export or release a wild canid hybrid or wild felid hybrid, except as otherwise provided by rules and regulations of the division. Any mammal which is the offspring of the reproduction between any species of wild canid or hybrid wild canid and a domestic dog or hybrid wild canid, or is represented by its owner to be a wolf hybrid, coyote hybrid, coy dog or any other kind of wild canid hybrid .... shall be considered to be wild animals and subject to the provisions of this chapter."
"All existing pet hybrids will be 'grandfathered' but they must be registered with the (Department of Fisheries and Wildlife) by July 1, 1994. Although these existing pets are grandfathered, they may not be bred .... hybrids obtained after April 10, 1994 are unlawful and subject to the enforcement provisions of the state's wildlife laws (MGL 131)." "Applications for the permit require two photographs of the animal to be registered.
"Wild wolves in Michigan are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act and under the State's Natural Resources and Enviromental Protection Act, Part 365. Thus, they cannot be "taken" or possessed in the state.
Possession, importation or breeding of wolf-dog crosses is prohibited in the state. Any wolf-dog crosses existing prior to the effective date of this regulation require an annual permit, sterilization, permanent implanted identification and rigid containment and transportation facilities. Owners must also post specific warning signs informing people of the presence of a dangerous wolf-dog. Permitting and prosecution is to be handled by the local jurisdiction in which the animal is located.
"Minnesota does not currently regulate Wolf Hybrids, although they may be prohibited by local ordinances in some areas. However, if a Wolf Hybrid bears close resemblance to a "pure" wolf, the owner may be required to show proof that the animal is legally maintained and that it is a Hybrid. Pure wolves may not be taken from the wild, may only be obtained from properly licensed breeders and require a permit for their possession."
"State law prohibits the release of wolf-dog hybrids into the wild and prohibits the release of captive gray wolves except by permit from the Department of Natural Resources."
"It is unlawful for any person to import, transfer, sell, purchase or possess any wild animal classified as inherently dangerous by law or regulation unless that person holds a permit or is exempt from holding a permit." A permit is required for each animal possessed.
"The following wild animals are classified as animals inherently dangerous to humans ... wolves, jackals and dingos; all species, including crosses between wolves and domestic animals."
A person must obtain a permit before that person takes possession of a wild animal ... Prior to the issuance of a permit, the applicant must provide proof of liability insurance in the amount of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) for each wild animal up to a maximum of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00). Each permitted animal shall be individually identified by the use of an injectable microchip transponder to be supplied by DWFP. Permittee must provide and maintain all health records of each permitted animal, including health certificates, records of immunizations and vaccinations and any other documentary evidence pertaining to the health and welfare of the permitted animal. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Public Notice Number 3523 also contains minimum containment provisions.
"Class II wildlife (which includes wolves and wolf-hybrids) can only be held under provisions of a Class II wildlife breeder permit or evidence of exemption. There are minimum containment specifications and recordkeeping requirements"
Cities, towns and counties may establish ordinances further restricting or prohibiting ownership of class II wildlife, with approval of the department
"Wolves and certain other predators are required to be tattooed and records of the same maintained by the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. If any wolf ... that is held in captivity or that escapes from captivity causes any damage to the personal property of another person, compensation for such damage must be paid by the person holding or who held the animal in captivity." The regulations define "wolf" as "any canine which is one-half or more wolf. All 50% or greater crosses and pure wolves are required to be tattooed and registered."
"The statute prohibits possession of wolves in the state. Wolf Hybrids are not regulated by the Game and Parks Commission. But a Wolf Hybrid which looks like a wolf may be determined to be a wolf." See Code 37 statute 477, Laws of the State of Nebraska.
NAC 503.140: A Division of Wildlife license or permit is not required to import or possess (wolves). However, other state agencies or local (county/city) entities may have special regulations or ordinances regarding their ownership. Wolf Hybrids are not regulated at a state level.
New Hampshire
Purebred wolves require Category 5 permits from the Fish and Game Department. "Possession of wolves is restricted to federally and state licensed Wildlife Exhibitors. Possession of a wolf as a pet is not permitted."
Chapter 466-A:2 "The provisions of RSA 466, RSA 436:99-109 and RSA 644.8 shall apply to wolf hybrids, except as modified by the provisions of this chapter."
466-A:3 Prohibitions: "No person shall sell or resell, offer for sale or resale or release or cause to be released or cause to be released a wolf hybrid in the state of New Hampshire, except as provided in paragraph II, II-a or II-b."
II-a. A person may import a wolf hybrid provided the wolf hybrid is spayed or neutered and has proper documentation of the spay or neutering.
II-b. A person may bring a wolf hybrid into the state temporarily for competitive events.
III. Any person possessing a wolf hybrid shall keep accurate licensing and vaccination records, as required by RSA 466-A:2 and neutering records, as provided in RSA 466-A-3, II-a, which shall be available for inspection by an animal control officer or law enforcement officer.
There are additional requirements for permittees to keep accurate licensing and vaccination records, to have the animal vaccinated against rabies and sign an affidavit acknowledging the owner knows the vaccine is experimental and absolving the veterinarian and manufacturer of any liability should the hybrid subsequently contract rabies. There are also requirements pertaining to adequate containment.
New Jersey
"Wolf Hybrids are not regulated in the State of New Jersey. Wolves are regulated as potentially dangerous species and are not allowed to be possessed as pets." In addition, "no permit shall be issued for the possession of any species designated as endangered by the U.S. Department of the Interior or the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection."
New Mexico
"Except as otherwise provided in the Wildlife Conservation Act (17-2-37 - 17-2-46 NMSA 1978), it is unlawful for any person to take, possess, transport, export, sell or offer for sale, or ship any threatened or endangered species or subspecies, or any restricted species. The Department may authorize such activities by permit, for scientific or educational purposes, for propagation in captivity." The gray wolf (Canis lupus) is listed as an endangered species in New Mexico. "Wolf Hybrids do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Game & Fish."
New York
"Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) Section 11-05335 and Regulations NYCRR Part 182. Briefly, the wolf is regulated as an endangered species in New York. Licenses are issued only for scientific, exhibition or education purposes provided the licensee has an Animal Welfare Permit from the USDA. Licenses are not issued to possess a wolf as a "pet."
ECL Section 11-0511 and Regulations 6 NYCRR Part 180.1. Briefly, a wolf-hybrid is defined as "dangerous wildlife" in New York. A license is required to import, possess, transport or export a wolf-hybrid. Licenses are only issued for scientific, educational or exhibition purposes provided that the licensee has an Animal Welfare Permit from USDA. Licenses are not issued to possess a wolf-hybrid as a "pet." Part 180.1 further describes certain prohibited animals as "any animal, the overall appearance of which makes it difficult or impossible to distinguish it from a wolf (Canis lupus) or coyote (Canis latrans)."
North Carolina
"Possession of eastern timber wolves or red wolves (100% purebred stock) would require a wildlife captivity license, which may be obtained by written request to the Division of Wildlife Management for a captivity application and then by following the application procedure. The Commission does not recognize wolf-hybrids as wild animals."
North Dakota
"Wolves and Wolf Hybrids are presently classified as Category 4 Nontraditional Livestock by the North Dakota Board of Animal Health. The definition of Category 4 animals includes "those species that are considered inherently or environmentally dangerous, including bears, wolves, wolf hybrids, primates, lions, tigers and cats." Wolf hybrid "means any animal that is any part wolf."
Under Chapter 48-12-82, minimum requirements of secure containment must be met for all wolves or wolf hybrids possessed. Health certificates and a permit are required for importation. Category 4 animals "may not be imported from an area that is quarantined for rabies unless approved by the State veterinarian."
"Any wolf or wolf hybrid that is in the presence of persons other than the owner, handler or immediate family must be under the direct control and supervision of the owner or handler at all times."
"The Ohio Division of Wildlife has no regulations concerning the sale or possession of wolves or Wolf Hybrids in Ohio. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has authority on dealing with wolves in Ohio. The wolf hybrid is classified as a dog and is covered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (Chapter 955 Dogs)."
A wolf/dog hybrid is considered a domestic animal and not wildlife. A non-commercial breeder's license is not required to own a single pure wolf; however, the animal must be purchased from a commercial breeder and a sales receipt must be kept to prove origin. If two or more animals are owned, then a non-commercial breeder's license must be purchased. If two or more wolves are owned and bred for resale, then a commercial breeder's license must be purchased. Pure wolves are also regulated by the federal agencies.
"Oregon law requires the owners of exotic animals (which includes wolves) in Oregon to have a permit for each species of exotic they hold.
"As of January 1, 1999, the Oregon Department of Agriculture no longer regulates the keeping of wolf-dog hybrids. Control of these animals has been returned to local jurisdictions" which may promulgate their own regulations.
"Wolf-dog hybrids do fit under dog control ordinances with one exception: there is no rabies vaccine currently licensed for use in wolf-dog hybrids. A hybrid may be vaccinated at the discretion of the owner and the veterinarian; this is extra-label use of the vaccine. However, if the animal bites a person, it will be treated as a wild, unvaccinated animal in accordance with the Compendium of Animal Rabies Control. Until a rabies vaccine is licensed for use in wolf hybrids, provision must be made to exclude them from the rabies requirement in local licensing laws."
The State Veterinarian's office suggests that local animal control ordinances include the following: "Animals declared by the owner to be wolf-dog hybrids will be licensed under dog control ordinances but will be exempt from the requirement for rabies vaccination. In the event that a rabies vaccine becomes licensed for use in wolf-dog hybrids, this exemption will be withdrawn. All other animal control regulations apply."
Wolves and Wolf Hybrids may be possessed if they are purchased or received from any lawful sources from within or without the state and if the owner first secures an Exotic Wildlife Possession Permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Game Commission. Inspection by the Commission is required to insure that minimum requirements for secure and humane housing conditions are met. Minimum pen requirements for a single animal are "15' length by 8' width by 6' height covered at the top to prevent escape. For a pair, double the cage length. For each additional animal - after 2 add 10' to the cage length. A secluded den area 4'W x 4'L is required for a single animal."
"Records shall be maintained of acquisitions and disposals of exotic wildlife as well as exotic wildlife born on the premises. Records shall be in ink, written in English and include the full name and address of the person with whom a transaction is conducted. Records shall be available for inspection by Commission personnel at reasonable hours. Entries shall be made on the day of transaction."
Rhode Island
"No person shall import into, receive, or possess in this state a native animal, exotic animal, a member of a target species or a hybrid, unless in possession of a current permit issued by the Director pursuant to these regulations."
"A permit to import into, receive or possess in this state native wildlife and hybrids thereof ... shall be restricted to Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, United States Department of Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (AAZA) approved, zoos and research institutes or other USDA approved facilities upon a determination by the Commissioner the permit is involved in a bona fide experiment or project. A permittee is required to conform with all applicable Federal, State and local requirements for licensure certification or permit.
Prior inspection of the facilities in which the animal(s) will be held is mandatory. "Animals approved for importation/possession under permit shall not be used for breeding purposes without prior notification of, and approval by, the department as per Part 1 of Rule 8. Such approval shall be indicated on the permit issued."
South Carolina
"It is unlawful to sell live wolves or coyotes within the state or to ship or import live wolves or coyotes into this state, except for exhibition or scientific purposes upon approval of the department... A person may not have a live wolf or coyote in his possession without a wildlife captivity license issued by the department." The 1995 response indicated that: "It is illegal to import a wolf or Wolf Hybrid that is 25% or more wolf. There is no regulation against possession of a Wolf Hybrid if purchased within the state. Wildlife Commission policy considers them 'potentially dangerous' ... "No carnivores which are normally not domesticated may be sold as a pet in this state. Such carnivores shall include animals known to be reservoirs of rabies, such as wolves ..."
"The (Wildlife Resources) Commission does not recognize wolf-hybrids as wild animals."
South Dakota
"A permit from the South Dakota Animal Industry Board is required to import nondomestic animals. In addition, a permit as described in Section 12:68:18:03.03 is required to possess in South Dakota any nondomestic mammal, or any of its hybrids listed in this section." (All nondomestic members of the family Canidae, which also includes hybrids). Annual application is required. All animals in this category must be permanently identified by either legible tattoo or ear tag, or by electronic means.
"No wolves may be possessed without a permit, from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which includes very rigid pen specifications. Permits are issued only to zoos, circuses, and commercial propagators. Wolves are considered to be Class I wildlife. Wolf Hybrids of any percentage are not regulated by the Agency and are classified as Class III animals."
Under Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, Section 63.102, "No person may possess, transport, receive or release a live wolf in this state." Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 62, Subchapter F prohibits a person from killing or attempting to injure a dangerous wild animal, including wolves or wolf hybrids, that are held in captivity or released from captivity for the purpose of being killed. It is also a violation to conduct, promote, assist or advertise a "canned hunt."
Wolf Hybrids are not regulated at the state level; however, some counties and municipalities have local regulations regarding these animals.
No permits are required by the Division of Wildlife Resources for Wolf Hybrids. They are considered to be domestic dogs. Local ordinances may vary from locality to locality. Pure wolves and any other species listed as threatened or endangered, "may not be imported or possessed without first obtaining a certificate of registration from the division, a federal permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and an entry permit number from the Department of Agriculture."
"It is unlawful for any person to bring into the State of Vermont any live wild bird or animal ... unless, upon application in writing therefor, the person obtains a permit to do so." The definition of "Wild Animals" include "the family Canidae, any hybrids with domestic dogs."
Section 3581 requires that "all dogs or wolf-hybrids more than six months old to be registered, numbered, described and licensed on a form approved by the commissioner provided by the clerk of municipality wherein the animal is kept." "Until the commissioner approves a rabies vaccine for use on wolf-hybrids, these animals shall be vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the commissioner for domestic dogs and a veterinarian innoculating a wolf-hybrid in accordance with this section shall not be liable for the failure of rabies vaccine to protect an animal from rabies nor for any adverse reaction that may be attributable to the vaccination."
"Since there is no approved pre-exposure rabies vaccine for wolf hybrids, until the commissioner finds and approves a rabies vaccine, any wolf hybrid which bites or otherwise exposes a human, pet or domestic animal to rabies shall immediately be destroyed and its head shall be sent to the state department of health for the purpose of testing its brain tissue for the presence of the disease."
"Pure wolves are not allowed entrance into the state for private ownership. Hybrid wolves are no longer regulated by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, but per a mandate signed into law amending Chapter 918 of the Code of Virginia, "Any county, city or town may, by ordinance, establish a permit system to ensure the adequate confinement and responsible ownership of hybrid canines. Such ordinances may include requirements pertaining to: (i) the term and expiration of the permit, (ii) the number of hybrid canines that may be owned by a permittee, (iii) identification tags or tattooing of the animal, (iv) where the animal may be kept, (v) handling of the animal while not on the property of the owner, and (vi) information required to be provided when applying for a permit, such as the sex, color, height, vaccination records, length, or identifying marks of the hybrid canine. The ordinance shall not require that hybrid canines be disposed of by the owner unless the owner fails or refuses to obtain or renew any required permit or violates a provision of the ordinance or any other law pertaining to the responsible ownership of the hybrid canine. The locality may impose a permit fee to cover the cost of the permitting system."
Under 3.1-796;8, "As used in this article; 'adequate confinement' means that, while on the property of its owner and not under the direct supervision and control of the owner or custodian, a hybrid canine shall be confined in a humane manner in a securely enclosed and locked structure of sufficient height and design to (i) prevent the animal's escape; or if the hybrid canine is determined to be a dangerous dog pursuant to 3.1-796.93;1, the structure shall prevent direct contact with any person or animal not authorized by the owner to be in direct contact with the hybrid canine, and (ii) provide a minimum of 100 square feet of floor space for each adult animal. Tethering of a hybrid canine not under the direct supervision and control of the owner or custodian shall not be considered adequate confinement."
"Hybrid canine means any animal which at any time has been or is permitted, registered, licensed, advertised or otherwise described or represented as a hybrid canine, wolf or coyote by its owner to a licensed veterinarian, law-enforcement officer, animal control officer, humane investigator, official of the Department of Health, or State Veterinarian's representative."
Sections 3.1-796.126:10 and 3.1-796.126;11 provide that any canine hybrid which has committed depredations on livestock or poultry may be immediately killed by anyone witnessing such depredations, and also provide for remuneration of the livestock or poultry owner.
"The wolf, Canis lupus, has been classified as an endangered species by the Fish and Wildlife Commission. Private ownership of a wolf requires proof of legal acquisition, health certificate, proper holding facilities. Wolf Hybrids are not classified as wildlife and therefore do not fall within the regulatory authority of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. This does not mean that local jurisdictions may not regulate or prohibit the possession of these animals. Additionally, other state or local agencies may have regulations that apply to the importation or possession of wolves or wolf hybrids. King County, for example, prohibits the possession of Wolf Hybrids and wolves."
West Virginia
"The importation of any species of wildlife into West Virginia is governed by a Wildlife Importation permit. These permits have been denied in recent years for wolves and other potentially dangerous wildlife due to some bad experiences in the past. Wolf Hybrids with more than 1% dog in their lineage are treated as dogs and therefor would not be under the jurisdiction of the Fish and Game Department; however, importation is not allowed."
"Pure wolves are illegal except by permit for zoological, educational or scientific purposes or propagation for preservation purposes. Hybrids are not regulated." Owners should, however, keep an eye out for proposals for change which might be submitted for public comment during the coming year.
Chapter 10, Section 5 (a)(ii), Wyoming Game and Fish Commission rules states: "Wolves (Canis lupus), wolf hybrids, and/or wolf/dog hybrids may not be imported or sold in the state of Wyoming."
The Wildlife Education and Research Foundation
PO Box 1423, Gallup NM 87305
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