I copied this from the Press-Enterprise Newspaper
Hybrid Wolves Attack and Kill Mini-Horse on Ranch Near Riverside
Published: 4/15/2011 08:11 PM
Riverside County Animal Services officials are searching for one of two wolf-dog hybrids that killed and ate part of a miniature stallion in his corral at the Bar H Ranch near Lake Mathews on Thursday.
The two wolf-dogs were shot by a ranch hand about an hour after the attack, but one was able to escape, and animal officials have set a cage trap to capture it. A third wolf-dog hybrid also was seen in the area Friday. All three appeared to have collars that lacked license tags. It was unclear whether they got out from their yard or were dumped near Lake Mathews, a rural area south of Riverside. Their owner has not been identified.
Ranch owner Chris Herron said he had just brought the 6-year-old horse, named Bojangles, home from Oklahoma. Minis can be 34-38 inches high at the shoulder. "The poor little thing was chewed to death. It probably died of pain and shock," said Susan Garlinghouse, a veterinarian who was at the ranch Thursday. She boards horses there.
Lynne Glazer, an animal photographer, was also present when the attack was discovered. When she got to the corral, she said she saw one wolf-dog hybrid lounging near the corral and the other eating Bojangles. The ranch hand shot the lounging dog to death and wounded the second. The injured dog fled, was tracked down and shot again, and then fled again, Glazer said.
Wolf-dog hybrids are dogs that have been bred with wolves or wolf mixes. Detractors describe them as being wild and unpredictable, but supporters say they are good around people. Fifteen wolf-dog hybrids were involved in fatal attacks on people from 1979-1996, according to a report on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Glazer said one of the dogs approached her and sniffed her. That lack of fear of humans makes them dangerous, she said, especially to children who might not recognize the danger. "They didn't object to our proximity to their kill," Glazer said Friday.
Garlinghouse, who owns the Montclair practice All Creatures Animal Hospital, definitively identified the animals Friday as wolf-dog hybrids. She called the practice of breeding a wild wolf and a domesticated dog "a very bad idea." "Every wolf hybrid I have been associated with is a poorly adjusted, neurotic animal. They are forced into living in an environment that is against their genetic instincts," Garlinghouse said Friday.
Edye Marin, a Northern California wolf hybrid breeder, said Friday the animals don't deserve a bad reputation. Owners love wolf hybrids and she makes sure the ones she breeds are comfortable around people, Marin said. "My feedback from customers so far, 'This is the best animal I have ever owned. This is the smartest I have ever owned,'" Marin said. Still, she said, dogs by their nature are hunters, and owners must take responsibility.
Some states, such as California, prohibit first-generation -- direct offspring of a wolf and a dog -- hybrids. California allowed them by permit if they were born on or before Feb. 4, 1988, but it is unlikely any would still be alive today. But California law does not require a permit for the offspring of first-generation hybrids, although local governments are allowed to require permits for the animals or prohibit them.
Riverside County Animal Services spokesman John Welsh said that if the wolf-dog that attacked Bojangles were caught, the owner could be cited for violating leash laws and be required to pay impound fees. If the wolf-dog were found to have previously attacked people or animals, it could be euthanized. Animal Services only performs necropsies on animals that attack humans, Welsh added. Welsh said he didn't have a report of previous problems with animals of this description. A neighbor of Herron, however, reported seeing two similar-looking dogs Wednesday that she thought were interested in eating her newborn foal. Animal owners have a right to protect their property, Welsh said, so Herron's ranch hand won't be cited for shooting the wolf-dogs.
Herron had arranged a $5,000 trade to acquire Bojangles as a gift for his girlfriend, Blayne Chenoweth. It cost $1,500 in fuel to drive him back from Oklahoma, Herron said. "It was just a little pet," he said. "I have miniature donkeys also, and I thought it was a nice little addition to the mini herd." He said a bull he owned was killed by a predator about a year ago. "I'm just going to start shooting everything that's out there," Herron said. "It might be a Labrador. I can't take the chance anymore."