By Pius Aghadiuno Published 03/21/2017 09:11:00 | Views: 4207

Employees at an animal shelter in Colorado said they will not release a dog captured by Animal Control officers after he jumped his family's fence because they suspect it is a wolf-hybrid.

Since it is illegal to own one in the city, it could mean a death sentence for the 11-year-old family dog, named Capone

The Abbato family said "He is our family member and we don't have him with us. We miss him so much," says Tracy Abbato, Capone's owner.

Now, they're holding him until a DNA test from the University of California-Davis proves he's not part wolf.

"One thing we need to know is what the DNA test is going to show. I think the statute is pretty vague. It does not pass constitutional muster," Acker said.
Questions about city statute

If the test confirms that Capone is part wolf he would have to be relocated to a wolf sanctuary or euthanized, if they can't place him.

Capone's owners also face five charges including a dog running at large and keeping a wild, exotic or dangerous animal.

The family's lawyer said the city's law doesn't state what percentage of wolf makes a dog a wolf.

"A lot of dogs could have two percent wolf in them. So what constitutes an actual wolf? Will they start pricking my beagle and finding whether it is a hybrid animal that should be terminated?" he questioned.

George Stapleton, a national wolf-dog advocate, has studied wolf-dogs for 23 years. He said the broad city statute also concerns him.

"I understand the animal (Capone) could test with wolf in it. But so could any dog, any dog. All dogs came from wolves. So when we talk about this we have to be specific," he said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to pay for legal and shelter impound fees along with a higher fence.

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By Pius Aghadiuno 03/21/2017 09:11:00

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