ASPCA Assists Forest County Sheriff’s Department in Wisconsin Animal Cruelty Case Involving Wolf-dog Hybrids

More than 40 animals seized, transported to ASPCA emergency shelter
March 17, 2017

Crandon, Wis.—At the request of the Forest County Sheriff’s Department, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is assisting with the removal, transport and sheltering of 30 wolf-dog hybrids and 14 horses from a property involved in an animal cruelty investigation in Crandon, Wis., approximately 26 miles east of Rhinelander. The ASPCA is also assisting with evidence collection, forensic exams, veterinary care, and medical triage of animals on scene.

The owner was arrested on cruelty-related charges, and other charges are expected to follow. The arrests and seizure are the result of an investigation that began after local authorities received numerous complaints from local residents about the owner breeding wolf-dog hybrids on her property and animals frequently escaping, posing a public safety risk.

A wolf-dog hybrid is part dog and part wolf—the result of breeding a wolf with a domestic dog. Most wolf-dog hybrids are extremely timid and unpredictable, making them generally unsuitable and potentially dangerous pets.

Upon arriving at the scenes, members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team found wolf-dog hybrids living in deplorable conditions, many kept on chains without access to proper food or water and suffering from various untreated medical conditions. Some were found running loose on the property. Responders also discovered horses who appeared to be suffering from neglect and malnutrition. Deceased animals were also found on the property.

“We’ve been concerned about these neglected animals for quite some time,” said Sheriff John Dennee with the Forest County Sheriff’s Department. “We wanted to make sure this case was handled properly and we cannot thank the ASPCA enough for their expertise and assistance in this investigation.”

“We’re stepping in because the basic mental, social and physical needs of these animals are not being fulfilled and they are suffering from a very poor quality of life,” said Tim Rickey, vice president of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “Our immediate goal is to remove these animals over the next few days and provide much-needed medical care and treatment at our emergency shelter.”

The ASPCA will continue to work through the weekend, establishing humane traps to capture loose wolf-dog hybrids and transport them to an emergency shelter at an undisclosed location. The ASPCA will provide daily care, behavioral evaluations and enrichment for these animals until disposition is determined by the court. The Wisconsin Horse Alliance is assisting the ASPCA with the removal of animals in this case.

In Wisconsin, individuals who own wolf-dog hybrids are required to obtain a license and meet minimum requirements for animal care, confinement, reporting and record keeping. However these regulations are largely unenforced.