It has now been
just a year since the rescue of the “Maryland
16”. These were 16 low content wolfdogs, confiscated
as part of an arrest made for breeding and selling wolfdogs
in Maryland, where wolfdogs are illegal. The account
of the confiscation and prosecution is quoted below,
courtesy of the shelter staff...
“On January 11,2007 our
office received a complaint about someone advertising
for sale "hybrid pups". Upon our arrival
we observed a NO TRESPASSING sign, at that time we
requested for a sheriffs deputy to accompany us onto
the property. Once on the property we found 11 adult
wolf dogs and 2 pups in what appeared to be an un
electrified fence. This fence was about chest high
to the adult woofers. The pups came out under the
bottom wire to drink water from the ditch. Upon our
observations the woofers were being fed whole chickens
from the owners chicken house, they had 1 five gallon
bucket of water for all these animals. The only type
of shelter these woofers had was a pile of wood, trees,
pieces of pallets, pieces of carpet and linoleum from
which they made a den. In the photo you see 3 wooden
doghouses but there was wire all around them, the
adults could not use these. the owner stated the doghouses
were for the pups not the adults, the wire was to
keep the adults out. There were three adults away
from the pack on chains in mud holes. One adult female
had her collar embedded in her neck. All three of
these woofers had no visible signs of water and the
only food we found were chicken carcases on the ground
covered in mud. All 16 animals were seized immediately
by officers Pruitt and Glover.
The charges filed against the
owner are as follows:
"The above named defendant was in possession
of 14 adult wolf dogs and 2 pups, as specified in
the Maryland Criminal Law Annotated Copy 2006 Edition,
specifies on page 10-621 section (B) Prohibited- A
person may not import into the state, offer for sale,
trade, barter, posses, breed, or exchange a live:
(6) hybrid of a member of the wolf family and a domestic
dog." The owner ran an ad in our local paper
which read as follows:"Hybrid Malamutes for sale
Upon judgement the owner was found
guilty of the above charges. Since all woofers were
placed the only thing we asked for was reimbursed
for our board and extra food and care for the woofers.
The judge ordered the owner to pay $2103.00 to Somerset
County Dog Control. He also ordered the owner not
to posses another "exotic" animal while
residing in Maryland and advised to check all local
and state laws in the future if he decides to move.”
was placed by Defenders of Wildlife to Ken Collings
of Wolfdog Rescue Resources, Inc. for help in placing
the 16 confiscated animals, 14 adults and two 3 month
old pups. The shelter would keep them as long as they
could, but if no help could be found, the dogs would
have to be euthanized. The shelter is small, and sixteen
of these large animals brought it close to capacity.
This ominous prospect looming the shelter staff, who
were getting more attached to these woofers by the day,
did what they could to buy them as much time as possible.
With the rescues and sanctuaries overflowing, placing
16 at once was a daunting task, further complicated
by the fact that very few of these animals had been
WRR posted an appeal
for help on yahoo group Wolfdogadoption, but responses
were disappointing as a result of the influx of rescues.
One pup was placed, as well as one of the adult females.
A New Jersey listmember responded with a home for the
other pup and got the disappointing news about the prospects
for the rest. In a last ditch effort to place the other
13, she sent out emails to all rescue, equine, and animal
lover friends about the remaining 13….and things
started to look up! These neglected animals stirred
hearts, and the emails were forwarded to friends of
friends across country and responses started coming
Woods Farm Inc. offered help, as did Spindletop
Clan and a number of private citizens looking to
adopt or help in some way.
This collective effort
on the parts of a large group of people, many of whom
had never met is what saved the lives of the “Maryland
16” and gave them hope. Slowly the exodus of the
16 from the shelter to their respective homes or temporary
housing commenced. Because of the budgetary constraints
at the shelter, all spay/neuter and veterinary costs
were absorbed by the receiving rescues, fosters and
adoptive homes. None of these animals had been spayed
or neutered and many suffered from worms and/or Lyme
disease. Nahmi, the alpha female suffered from tumors
and had two surgeries prior to crossing the rainbow
bridge. Alley had a chain embedded in her neck, which
was treated and resolved at the shelter.
Handsome and Alley
(who was the pet of the shelter) were flown to Spindletop
Rescue in TX; Cinnamon, Mocha, Whiteface, Pee Wee, Jr
and Mascara all went to Howling Woods Farm thanks to
the tireless efforts of Mike Hodanish. Eventually Pee
Wee, Jr and Mascara went on to adoptive homes and Cinnamon,
Mocha, and Whiteface made their way in the long car
ride to Loki Clan. Cherokee, Wooly, Nahmi and Lobo all
were adopted. One pup was adopted and flown to FL, the
other pup was adopted by the New Jersey WRR member,
who is also fostering Saige and Angel (and previously
story has a happy ending….but…it could just
as easily have gone the other way. The court case against
the breeder was resolved as detailed above, but with
no mention of cruelty charges, or restitution to the
rescues, fosters and adoptive homes who are caring for
Jr. & Peewee, renamed Casey
and Stella, are now living with a young married couple,
a teacher and a nurse, on a farm in northern New Jersey.
They stay in touch frequently and report that Casey
and Stella are doing well.
Lobo is happy in
his home in Southern NJ, with a new companion, along
with Tonka, who was also adopted from the MD shelter,
but not one of the original 16. Sadly, Nahmi was diagnosed
with advanced cancer and crossed the rainbow bridge
June 1, 2007 due to fears of rupturing tumors.
Handsome aka Handy
and Alley are doing wonderfully and actually are residing
at Spindletop Rescue in Texas. The rescue has moved
onto acreage where they now have horses, cows, goats,
etc., and the woofers are now part of the “security”
staff keeping coyotes away!
and Cinnamon are now rehomed at the Loki Clan Wolf Refuge
in Conway, New Hampshire. They were featured in Loki
Clan's last quarterly newsletter. The three are living
in a one acre enclosure with a young male wolfdog, and
Loki Clan's administrator, Fred, says they are getting
along very well. Whiteface in particular has become
very fond of Fred and runs up to the gate to greet him
every time he visits.
Foxy (now Spirit)
is happy in her southern NJ home, as are Saige and Angel.
Saige is now making great progress with his socialization
skills getting obedience and agility training, generously
donated by a local K-9 trainer…with possible progression
to SAR. It’s looking like these two fosters aren’t
going anywhere soon!!
Wooly and Cherokee
are both happy in their respective adoptive homes and
new companion animals. Both are house dogs now, and
while Wooly had a little harder time adjusting to indoor
life, it was nothing that a few hot dogs wouldn’t
Mascara is living
on a two acre estate in East Rutherford, NJ, where she
shares an enclosure with two wolfdogs and two pitbulls.
They are living with a young married couple...the husband
runs a restaurant and is a councilman for East Rutherford.
An update on
the other pup, Roxy, was unavailable.