A gentle, big dog at the Sacramento city animal shelter that experts say has a bit of wolf in him may be sent to a sanctuary in Southern California.
"We had him evaluated by a wolf organization called Never Cry Wolf," said Gina Knepp, shelter manager. "He is on the low spectrum, less than 25 percent wolf. So he does have wolf in him, according to the experts. How much? We don't know without DNA testing."
Knepp said she has never encountered such a hybrid dog in her tenure with the city animal shelter.
The dog was recently found wandering the street around 58th Street and 21st Avenue near Tahoe Park. Weighing about 100 pounds, the dog is a bit underweight for his frame, Knepp said.
While numerous breeders for dog-wolf hybrids can be found online, it is illegal to possess a first-generation dog and wolf hybrid in California without a permit, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Permits are not granted to own such animals as pets, but for other uses, such as educational purposes.
The state does not require a permit for hybrids that are second generation and beyond.
Knepp said it is hoped that the dog found to be part wolf at the city animal shelter will go to Wolf Connection, a sanctuary that has 26 similar animals.
Troubled youths are helped at the ranch by caring for and connecting with wolves and wolf dogs.
"With the help of the animals, young men and women reconnect with nature, learn to be of service by responsibly caring for another being," states the group's website. "The animals help them focus on their impulses, feelings and emotions in a constructive way."
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, California Highway Patrol officers shot two dogs running loose in Carmichael after receiving a report of wolves chasing deer in the area, the agency said.
The CHP received a call about 10:50 p.m. Tuesday that two dogs were attacking a deer in the Carmichael area. No dogs were initially found, but a badly injured deer was located and later euthanized at the scene.
At 11:40 p.m., another report came in regarding two "wolves" running in nearby neighborhoods near Homesweet Way and California Avenue, said Dutton. An officer found the animals, which were actually dogs, on Fair Oaks Boulevard, south of Marconi Avenue, CHP spokesman Officer Lizz Dutton said.
The officer tried to "make contact with them but the dogs turned aggressively and began to advance toward him," Dutton said. The officer retreated to the safety of his patrol car.
The officer noted that one of the dogs was covered in blood and requested animal control assistance, but they were not immediately able to respond, Dutton said.
The officer followed the animals and was eventually joined by another CHP unit. As the dogs moved through neighborhoods, officers advised residents to stay in their cars.
"The dogs were running around everywhere," said Dutton. "Based on what the officers had seen, and, out of concern for public safety, they decided they would discharge their weapons at the dogs. They did that."
Both dogs fled, one of them struck by a patrol car as the animal ran. The other went to a porch area where it was trapped.
Animal control took both dogs away. Neither of the dogs had collars or tags, Dutton said.
A Sacramento County spokeswoman said that one of the dogs was already dead when brought to the animal control shelter. The second dog was brought to the shelter wounded and taken to a vet who had to euthanize it due to injuries.
Sacramento's Fox40 television station reported that a man who claimed to be the owner of the dogs said they were Siberian huskies.
Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079. Follow him on Twitter @Lindelofnews.