The wolf-dog hybrid that was calling Philadelphia’s Pennypack Park home is settling into his new quarters at a sanctuary in Lititz.
Levi, now renamed Liberty, is believed to have been roaming Philadelphia from March until his capture by state wildlife officers on July 3. He was introduced to the news media Tuesday.
About 10 months old, he’ll live the rest of his life at the 22-acre Speedwell Forge Wolf Sanctuary, a private, nonprofit licensed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
The animal’s former owner, Kasey Lyons, came forward after seeing news reports about a wolf-like animal roaming the city park. He said he bought the dog for his girlfriend in Florida, and that they lost him during a visit to the park in March.
Lacking a permit for the hybrid — required in Pennsylvania — he agreed to relinquish ownership after Levi was captured.
Despite some health problems, sanctuary caretaker Darin Tompkins said of Liberty, “he’s actually doing very well.”
Sanctuary officials say, as a result of his four months of wandering, Liberty contracted Lyme disease, is at least 25 pounds underweight and also has bordatella.
Tompkins said Liberty will eventually be introduced to some of the 44 other wolves and hybrids at the sanctuary.
While he’s known to show his dog side — officials say he took dog toys from some homes in the park area before he was captured — he could become more wolfish when he starts living among others of his ilk.
“Liberty is used to humans, but he can’t trust them,” Tompkins said. “You can’t blame him.”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, hybrid, levi, liberty, lititz, pennsylvania, pennypack park, pets, philadelphia, sanctuary, Speedwell Forge Wolf Sanctuary, wolf
The wolfish-looking creature who lurked for months in Pennypack Park has been caught, and it is indeed Levi, a Malamute-wolf mix that escaped when his Florida owner was visiting Philadelphia earlier this year.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission said the wolf-dog hybrid was captured using hot dogs and foothold traps, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The animal is believed to be a wolf-Alaskan malamute mix that was purchased as a pet in Florida and escaped when his owners were visiting in March.
The wolf-dog attacked no one during that time.
About a week ago, Game Commission officials began trying to catch the canine at the park in Northeast Philadelphia park, using traps, nets, snare poles, sedative-laced hot dogs and tranquilizing darts.
On Monday night, wildlife agents set foothold traps, one of which went off around 3:15 a.m. today. They followed the dog’s yelps. The dog was briefly aggressive as it was being put in a cage, said Jerry Czech, of the game commission, but he soon calmed down.
“He laid there, unfazed, did not growl, kick, spit, anything,” Czech said.
The wolf hybrid was taken to the Wolf Sanctuary near Lititz in Lancaster County, a 22-acre woodland refuge for wolves and wolf-hybrids. Wolf-dog hybrids are legal in Pennsylvania only with a special permit.
He believes the animal is Levi, whose owner, Kasey Lyons, searched for him at the park after seeing reports about the mystery dog on Philly.com.
Lyons bought the dog for his then-fiancee for Valentine’s Day. While visiting from Florida, they let the animal off leash in the park and lost him.
Lyons, who has since broken up with his girlfriend and moved back to Philadelphia, could be fined for transporting and possessing a wolf-hybrid without a permit, but Czech said his cooperation with officials will be taken into account.
(Photo: Alejandro A. Alvarez / Philadelphia Inquirer)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alaskan malamute, animals, captured, caught, dog, dogs, game commission, hybrid, kasey lyons, levi, lititz, malamute, mix, pennsylvania, pennypack park, pets, philadelphia, trapped, wolf, wolf dog, wolf dog hybrid, wolf sanctuary
That wolf-like creature that state wildlife officials are trying to capture in Philadelphia’s Pennypack Park may be somebody’s pet.
Kasey Lyons, 21, says it looks a lot like Levi, the timber wolf-Alaskan malamute mix he bought in Florida on Valentine’s Day for his then-fiancee. (That’s him above in his street clothes.)
A month later, while visiting Lyons’ mother, the couple lost the dog in Pennypack Park. Lyons placed ads and put up posters, but to no avail, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Tuesday night, Lyons saw a photo of the animal (left) and a story about the mystery creature on Philly.com.
He says it looked just like Levi, whose name is the same as Lyons’ middle one.
On Wednesday evening, Lyons searched a section of Pennypack Park where the animal had been spotted repeatedly over several months, bringing along Levi’s old leash, and his other dog, Tiny, a Lab-bulldog mix.
Lyons was living in Florida when he got the hybrid pup. He and then-fiancee Brittany Hopkin were training Levi when, according to Lyons, she let him loose and the hybrid ran off.
The couple have since broken up. Lyons lives in Philadelphia now, and Hopkin has relocated to Georgia.
Still, he wants to find the dog and return him to her. In Pennsylvania, though, one needs a special permit to own a hybrid wolf-dog. While Lyons says he bought the dog legally, for $400, in Florida and has papers and receipts, he doesn’t hold a permit.
Jerry Czech, a wildlife conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said the wolf-dog, once found, would have to be forfeited.
(Photos: Philadelphia Inquirer)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, capture, dog, dogs, fiancee, gift, hybrid, kasey lyons, levi, lost, malamute, mix, officials, park, pennypack, pets, philadelphia, trap, valentines day, wandering, wildlife, wolf
The animal, most likely a wolf hybrid that escaped or was abandoned, started showing up at the park about three months ago.
Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser said that, though the animal hasn’t attacked anyone, they are taking the situation seriously.
“Any animal that has wild instincts does have the potential to be aggressive,” he said.
Whether it’s a wolf-dog hybrid won’t be known for certain until DNA can be tested, he told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Feaser cautioned residents to stay away, and not to feed the creature.
Staff from the Wolf Sanctuary in Lititz, Pa., were also attempting to capture the creature, which “got a little wobbly” after eating a hot dog they provided, laced with tranquilizers. Whenever anyone got close though, the animal retreated into the woods.
Sharon Newman Ehrlich, a high school biology teacher who lives near the park and has seen the creature several times, said it seemed “very docile, not dangerous at all.”
When it approached her lhasa apso-poodle mix, all it did was take a sniff.
(Photo: Alejandro A. Alvarez / Philadelphia Inquirer)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, darts, dog, dogs, game commission, hybrid, pennsylvania, pennypack park, pets, philadelphia, tranquilizer, traps, wildlife, wolf, wolf dog, wolf dog hybrid, wolf sanctuary
A state judge granted a reprieve Tuesday to a wolf dog hybrid named Chief, sparing him the death penalty, but sentencing to a lifetime of employment at Louisiana State Prison in Angola.
The judge had earlier ordered the dog destroyed for aggressive behavior.
Judge James Best of 18th Judicial District Court released Chief to the custody of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections at the request of prison officials who want to use him to guard inmates.
Area residents testified before the judge last month that Chief frequently escaped from his owners’ property and “terrorized” them, according to The Advocate. Local law in Pointe Coupee Parish requires all dogs be confined to an owner’s property, or secured on a leash. After hearing from the witnesses, Best ordered the dog — who is part wolf, part German shepherd — to be euthanized.
Best said he was contacted by Angola Warden Burl Cain, who wanted to take Chief into custody for guard dog service at the 18,000-acre maximum security state prison.
“When we saw this dog in the paper, we thought it would be a shame to euthanize,” Deputy Warden Bruce Dodd said.
The state prison has developed a program in which wolf hybrids are deployed at night within perimeter fencing encircling the prison’s individual camps.
The program has helped the prison make do with fewer guards, many of whom have been released due to budget cuts.
The prison also breeds wolf hybrids for the program, Dodd said. More than a dozen are already on duty.
“We don’t want them to be vicious killers, but to be aggressive,” Dodd said. “They become a security measure.”
Chief’s previous owner, Vicky Smith, said she doubts the dog, who she purchased as a 5-week-old puppy for her son, would thrive in his new surroundings.
“He’s not going to do well without us. We’re his family,” she said. “I think he’s going to be really, really stressed. We keep him inside our air-conditioned home. I feed him oatmeal for breakfast. You think they’re going to feed him that?”
Despite witness testimony, Smith said, Chief is harmless and has never “bit or hurt anyone.”
“It’s not right what they’re doing. I was going to sell my house and move out of the parish to keep my dog. I want my dog back, but once he goes to Angola I don’t think I’ll get him.”
Parish officials said Chief was to be taken to Angola Wednesday.
“I’m just glad for the dog,” Judge Best said. “It’s a beautiful ending and the community got some relief. The dog is going to provide good service and be well taken care of.”
(Photo by Travis Spradling / The Advocate)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggressive, angola, animals, behavior, bruce dodd, budget, burl cain, chief, corrections, cutbacks, deputy warden, dogs, fence, german shepherd, guard, hybrid, james best, judge, louisiana, maximum security, mix, owner, penitentiary, perimeter, pets, pointe coupee parish, prison, prisoners, state, vicky smith, warden, wolf dog, wolf hybrid
Reports out of Namibia, on the southwest coast of Africa, say residents have been terrorized by a “bizarre pig-dog hybrid” with a doglike head and the body of pig.
That’s not him to the left — just the closest we could come.
For, unfortunately, there’s no photographic evidence — not even of the fuzzy, grainy, Chupacabra, Bigfoot sort — of the dog headed pig monster.
But legitimate news organizations, like MSNBC, and the Huffington Post, are reporting that the dog-pig hybrid (and no, dogs and pigs can’t successfully mate) have been spotted, chasing and attacking dogs, goats and other domestic animals.
One Namibian official, regional councilor Andreas Mundjindi, was quoted in Informante newspaper as saying, “This is an alien animal that the people have not seen before.” It seems to appear out of nowhere, he added. “We don’t have a forest here, only bushes. So, this must be black magic at play.”
Some villagers suspect the animal belongs to a reputed witch doctor in the area.
The piece on MSNBC — from the website Life’s Little Mysteries — says it’s not the first time unusual animals have been spotted in rural parts of Namibia. In July 2009 concerns arose over unknown creatures reportedly sucking the blood out of livestock, including nearly two dozen goats.
Nobody ever saw them though, and those who tried to track their footprints said they mysteriously stopped, as if the animal had vanished, or been beamed up, or spontaneously combusted.
Is it black magic, or just yellow journalism?
Only the dog headed pig monster knows.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: africa, alien, animal, animals, attacking, beast, black magic, body, chasing, chupacabra, creature, dog, dog headed pig monster, dogs, head, hybrid, legends, monster, mystery, myths, namibia, news media, pets, photographs, pig, reports, terror, yellow journalism
Encountered: At Washington Park, in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Make that chocolate milk that you haven’t quite finished stirring.
His fluffy, curly coat, in varying hues of silvery-brown, made me wonder why he was named Burger, and not Milkshake.
It was only around his eyes that you could clearly distinguish one of the breeds within — a chocolate Lab.
Burger was the first chocolate Labradoodle I’ve met, and I found myself coveting not just his hair color, but his aura — at once distinguished and goofy.
That’s what I want to be when I grow up.
You can find all our Roadside Encounters here.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, animals, burger, chocolate, chocolate labradoodle, dog, dogs, encounter, hybrid, lab, labrador, mix, north carolina, pets, poodly, road trip, roadside, roadside encounters, travels with ace, washington park, winston-salem
The man who came up with the Labradoodle — and, in the process, fueled the “designer dog” trend — now says he regrets what he started.
Wally Conran, 81, first bred a Labrador retriever with a poodle while he was manager of the puppy program at the Royal Institute of the Blind — in an attempt to provide a non-allergenic guide dog to a blind man in Hawaii.
The puppies were supposed to have the best traits of both dogs: the affable, controllable nature of the Labrador, and the curly, non-shedding coat of the poodle.
“But now when people ask me, ‘Did you breed the first one’, I have to say, ‘Yes, I did, but it’s not something I’m proud of’,'” Conran told The Australian. “”I wish I could turn the clock back.”
The Labradoodle is considered by many to be the the first of the so-called “designer dogs” — hybrids that fetch purebred prices and, in some cases, outsell pedigreed dogs (most of whom at one time were mutts or hybrids as well).
Some pet shops report designer dogs like Labradoodles, spoodles, schnoodles, cavoodles, moodles, groodles and roodles are being pumped out at high volume across the nation to meet demand.
“I’m not at all proud of my involvement in it,” Conran said. “But the genie’s out of the bottle, and you can’t put it back.”
His dismay isn’t shared by breeders of the curly-haired cross-breeds, who say Conran came up with a winner — a family-oriented, non-shedding dog of happy temperament.
The Labradoodle, like most so-called purebred breeds, may someday be officially recognized as such by kennel clubs. The Australian Labradoodle Association hopes the dog will be deemed a breed by the Australian National Kennel Council, though it notes the process could take as long as 20 years.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, australia, blind, breeds, cross, designer dog, dogs, doodles, guide, hybrid, labradoodle, mixed breeds, news, ohmidog!, pets, purebreds, regret, royal institute of the blind, wally conran
A six-inch wide piece of steel pipe had sat in Kay Simmons backyard in Colorado for a long time, but only this week did her wolf-dog hybrid, Marina, decide, for reasons unknown, to stick her head in it.
The 3-year-old dog is recovering from cuts, scrapes and bruises after spending more than seven hours Tuesday with her skull wedged in the 8-foot-long pipe.
“It was a pretty terrible day,” Simmons, 73, told the Boulder Daily Camera Wednesday before leaving to pick up her pet from the veterinarian.
On Friday, though the Daily Camera reported that Simmons has had a lot of terrible days:
She has a lengthy history of animal violations, and last year authorities killed five of her wolf-dogs after they attacked neighborhood pets, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Simmons, who lives on the Boulder County side of the border with Jefferson County, has at least four open “animal violation” cases in Jefferson County, into which her wolf hybrids sometimes wander.
“She has the largest file in the office,” said Camille Paczosa, animal control officer and supervisor.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has taken more than 50 complaints about Simmons’ wolf-dogs and charged her dozens of times since 1985. The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office has taken at least 16 reports of “dangerous animals at large” and similar violations since 1986.
One neighbor said he’s glad the animal is OK, but he finds it “ironic, if not insulting,” that the Sheriff’s Office and firefighters spent so much time and money “to save one of these animals but let the documented hazard to humans go on for almost 15 years.”
Simmons told authorities this week that one of her dogs started “making a racket” about noon Tuesday. When she went outside she found Marina squirming to free herself from the pipe.
Nearly 20 people from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, the Coal Creek Fire Department and the Boulder Emergency Squad tried to free her, using everything from vegetable oil to a spatula. Finally, one of the firefighters — who also works as a plumber — used a pipe saw to cut off most of the steel, leaving just one foot of pipe covering the dog’s head. That allowed crews to transport her safely to the veterinary clinic.
Once at the clinic, a “grinding tool” was used to cut a triangle out of the pipe. When Marina was finally freed from the pipe she “sprang up” and appeared to be fine. She’s expected to make a full recovery.
But Wednesday’s feel-good story took a turn later in the week.
Steve McAdoo, who has lived near Simmons for about six years, told the Daily Camera he’s afraid for his 3- and 5-year-old children’s lives after four of Simmons’ wolf-dogs “ripped to shreds and almost killed” his 35-pound spaniel, Molly, in August.
After the attack on that same night, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the wolf-dogs attacked other animals and caused property damage. As a result, the Sheriff’s Office killed five of the hybrids.
“Two weeks later, she got five more,” McAdoo said. “And she’s been doing this for years.”
In August 2003, Jefferson County animal control officers took three of Simmons’ wolf-dogs and charged her with having a dangerous dog. In 2000, authorities took a report of a dog being killed by wolves in that area, but they were unable to identify the wolves that attacked, according to Jefferson County officials.
(Photo: Paul Aiken/Boulder Daily Camera)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, animals, boulder, boulder county, boulder daily camera, colorado, complaints, cut, dog, dogs, emergency, fire department, freed, head, hybrid, jefferson county, kay simmons, killed, marina, pets, pipe, recovery, rescued, saved, saw, sheriff, steel, stuck, video, wolf, wolf hybrid
Seldom, if ever, has so much weight been put on a single family’s choice of dog.
And seldom if ever has getting a dog – normally a personal and joyful affair — become such a public exercise in risk management and political correctness.
At first it was a simple campaign promise to his daughters, Sasha and Malia, that they’d get a dog after the election — only slightly complicated by the need for that dog, in deference to Malia’s allergies, to be hypo-allergenic, if there even really is such a thing.
Now there’s talk that the Obama’s eagerly anticipated choice of dog breed, or hybrid — Newsweek magazine’s April 13 issue says to expect some developments within the week — could lead not just to a surge in purchases of whatever breed they choose, but could cause a boom to the puppy mill industry as well.
The logic, as outlined by Newsweek, goes this way: If the Obamas get a Labradoodle — even a rescued Labradoodle — it will spark an increase in demand for the hybrid, and since most hybrids are bred by puppy millers, they’ll start churning them out to meet the demand, or in anticipation of it.
If the Obamas get a Portugese water dog — the other choice they’ve mentioned — the same thing would happen because not a lot of that breed can be found in shelters or rescue.
In other words, Obama can’t win. The fear is any breed, or hybrid, the First Family picks could have a “101 Dalmatians” effect: a sudden burst in popularity that breeders will try to capitalize on it by mass-producing similar dogs.
Even with Obama’s popularity, I think the fear is being slightly overstated — and I can’t think of any precedent for a president’s choice of dog leading to mass purchasing of the breed. I don’t think the presidency of younger Bush led to a surge in Scotties, anymore than the popularity of beagles was boosted by Lyndon B. Johnson. (History buffs, please correct me if I am wrong.)
Then again, with the Obamas, there are cute kids involved, and photo ops and, I’m sure, a media onslaught of tremendous proportions once the dog arrives, if how much coverage the issue (or non-issue if you prefer) has already gotten is any indication.
All this is another good argument for what was my personal preference, and really the only politically correct choice – a shelter mutt. That way, the only copycat surge would be in the number of people going to their shelters to adopt dogs that already exist and need homes.
Of course, that was before I decided it was none of my business – that, ideally, a family’s choice of dog should be left up to that family, not pundits, political pressure, or internet polls. Has any other president been held to this level of scrutiny — or any scrutiny at all — regarding his choice of dog? (Note to future presidential candidates: Get a dog before you start your campaign.)
Dogs may be man’s best friend, but I’m not sure, at this particular moment, if they’re Obama’s.
(Photo: Posters by Shepard Fairey)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 8th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barack, breeders, breeds, choice, decision, dog, dogs, first dog, first family, hybrid, hypo-allergenic, labradoodle, malia, mutt, obama, pets, portugese water dog, president, presidents, pressure, puppy mills, sasha, white house