Hybrid Wolves May Be Banned
Wolf-hybrids may be a lot harder to own in Maine in the future. Last week the legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee decided the animals should be banned in the state and significantly strengthened a wolf-hybrid bill sponsored by Senator David Trahan.
Trahan’s LD 11, An Act Regulating the Keeping of Wolf Hybrids, would have changed the registration requirement for a wolf hybrid kennel to a licensing requirement. It directed the Department of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Resources to consult with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on potential threats to wildlife and public safety prior to issuing a license. And it provided for the conditional licensure of kennels that were previously registered.
At the bill’s hearing, Trahan presented alarming testimony about these dangerous animals and distributed a lengthy list of children attacked and killed by wolf-hybrids.
Trahan reported that Merritt Clifton, contributing editor to Animal People, one of the largest internet websites committed to animal welfare, maintains a log of dog attack deaths and maiming in the U.S. and Canada.
Clifton reported, “Every one of the wolf hybrid attacks… seem to have been predatory. Only four of the fatality victims were older than age seven. The first adult fatality was killed in the presence of her two young sons, whom she was apparently trying to protect. The second was killed while trying to protect her dog. Most of the victims were killed very quickly. Some never knew the wolf hybrid was present. Some may never have known what hit them. Some were killed right in front of parents, who had no time to react.”
Here are just a few horrible wolf hybrid attacks on children from Trahan’s list. A 4-year-old boy in Fort Walton Beach, Florida was killed by a neighbor’s recently acquired wolf hybrid that had been featured as “pet of the week,” at the local animal shelter from which it was adopted.
A two-year-old in East Orange, New Jersey, sleeping in his crib, was killed and partially consumed by the family’s wolf hybrid.
Four children in Cedar Rapids, Iowa were attacked, and one seriously wounded, by a hybrid that escaped his pen and traveled to a local school playground during recess.
A twelve-year old in Rothbury, Michigan required 7 hours of surgery to repair the damage caused by a neighbor’s hybrid that broke his chain and attacked the child while she was waiting for the school bus.
A four-week-old child in Anchorage, Alaska was killed when the child’s mother held him out to the family’s wolf hybrid and the animal grabbed the infant by the head.
The legislature’s ACF Committee obviously took the threat posed by wolf-hybrids seriously. Senator Trahan called last Friday to report how pleased he is that the committee acted decisively on this bill.
The unanimous committee recommendation includes: 1) a ban on ownership of wolf hybrids, with current owners grandfathered; 2) a ban on breeding of wolf hybrids; and 3) a change in the definition of wolf hybrids making them “wild animals.”
Current law defines them as domestic animals and subject to the same licensing requirements as dogs.
“The committee acted swiftly,” Trahan told me, “not even holding a work session on the bill. I was shocked that the committee acted so aggressively, and very pleased.”
If enacted by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Paul LePage, Maine citizens will be put on notice that wolf hybrids are not pets, they are dangerous animals that don’t belong around children or anyone else.
And the only places they will be allowed are animal parks with appropriate state and federal permits that are very difficult and expensive to procure and maintain.