Wolf-Hybrids / “Wolfdogs”
Contrary to popular belief, Ohio law specifically states that wolf-hybrid dogs are not considered exotic or dangerous wild animals.
These controversial pets (commonly known as “wolfdogs”) have been praised for their unusual loyalty and intelligence, and are legal to keep as pets in most areas of Ohio.
Legal Concerns For Wolf-Hybrids
While some claim that wolfdogs are naturally “wild” and unpredictable due to their feral ancestry, the most pressing legal concern for wolf-hybrid owners in Ohio is that their pet may be considered a “health hazard”. This is because the USDA has never designated a rabies vaccine as specifically approved for wolfdogs.
This means that even if a wolfdog is duly vaccinated, most health departments will consider the wolfdog a rabies risk. A wolfdog involved in a scratch or bite incident could be confiscated and euthanized for rabies testing, even if it is up to date on its rabies vaccinations.
Even though USDA Code of Federal Regulations Title 9 (CFR9), Section 113.209 indicates that rabies vaccines are tested and approved according to species, no vaccine has been “officially” approved yet. This places wolfdogs in serious danger of euthanasia in the event of a bite or scratch incident.
Falsely Identified Wolf Hybrids
It’s no secret that some pet owners claim their pet is part wolf even when no proof of that heredity exists. Pet owners usually don’t realize the consequences of making such a claim. Due to the state of rabies vaccine approval, claiming a dog is “part wolf,” acts or looks “like a wolf,” or even “howls like a wolf” can put a pet in grave danger in the event of a bite or scratch.
Defending Wolf-Hybrids From Unnecessary Euthanasia
Holland & Muirden has handled complaints from cities and health departments about rabies incidents. We have been successful at overturning euthanasia orders for these dogs. Our office has also battled claims that wolfdogs are “inherently” dangerous or vicious.
In most cases, education about these animals is severely lacking. To learn more about wolfdogs, please visit our friends My Pack of Wolves Sanctuary, a wolfdog rescue, sanctuary, and educational outlet located in Ohio.