Wolf-dog hybrid on the loose for days in California finally found, reunited with owner

A days-long search for a large wolf-dog hybrid that got loose in California recently has come to a happy conclusion, as the animal is back safe with its owners.

The large wolfdog had been on the run since Wednesday, prompting concern and an extensive search by the police in the North Bay region of California.

According to KTVU, there were 30-40 reported sightings. While there were no incidents of the wolfdog being aggressive, authorities did not know what threat the animal posed and didn’t know if it had an owner.

The Sebastopol Police Department put out an alert, along with a photo of the hybrid walking down the highway, urging people to contact law enforcement but not approach the animal.

Through social media, authorities learned that the wolfdog was not a stray but belonged to an owner from Santa Rosa; the escaped wolfdog’s name is “Shadow.”

The owner joined the effort to capture Shadow and bring him home safe and sound, bringing along his two pet huskies.

But Shadow was in “flight mode,” and evaded multiple attempts to capture him. Authorities took precautions to look out for his safety: North Bay Animal Services Executive Director Mark Scott told KTVU that they closed down the highway out of fear that the wolfdog would get struck.

After multiple failed attempts, the owner, an animal care officer and a good samaritan were finally able to corner Shadow on Monday, calming him down enough to get a leash on him.

Everyone was thrilled by the happy conclusion to the story — most of all Shadow’s owner, who in photos is seen on the ground hugging his wayward pet:

May be an image of 1 person and dog
North Bay Animal Services/Facebook
“A big shoutout and THANK YOU to the vigilant community members who reported sightings of Shadow,” North Bay Animal Services wrote on Facebook. “Your alertness and cooperation made all the difference in bringing Shadow back to where he belongs.”

“This beautiful reunion shows the incredible impact we can achieve when we all work together for the well-being of our four-legged friends. Thank you for being a part of this incredible community that cares for its animals.”

What a happy ending! We’re so glad Shadow is home safe and sound!

Please share this story! ❤️


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One Comment

  1. In California as with most states following federal code 9 CFR Section 1.1, a wolf hybrid is legally a first generation cross – the offspring of a pure wolf and some other type of canine. A wolfdog is a slang term that means recent wolf ancestry and is not a legal term like wolf hybrid. A wolfdog may or may not be a wolf hybrid depending on the breeding but a wolf hybrid always requires a wolf for one parent. California prohibits wolf hybrids, first generation crosses, but is legal for all other wolfdogs. For the dog’s safety, it is important to know the difference between a wolf hybrid and wolfdogs.

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