And there were none.
The last three of eight wolf hybrid dogs at the Orange County Animal Shelter have found a home at an undisclosed nonprofit group that specializes in the humane placement of wolves and other at-risk animals.
Twelve German Shepherd Wolf Hybrids were roaming the Cedar Grove community in northern Orange County, North Carolina, in July 2021, which are illegal to have in Orange County.
Eight hybrids were captured and brought to the Orange County Animal shelter in July and August 2021. A ninth animal captured turned out to be a German Shepherd and was adopted out through the shelter.
A female wolf dog eluded capture but was hit by a car and died in November. The two other wolf dogs were not caught, haven’t been seen, and are presumed to have left the county.
Two littermates went to Wolfwood Refuge in Colorado, and three of the wolf dogs found a home at the Hereos and Hybrids sanctuary in Wisconsin.
The Orange County Animal Services staff worked tirelessly for months to properly place these animals and avoid euthanization.
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German Shepherd Wolf Hybrids Need Rehoming
Finding homes for abandoned dogs can be challenging, but rehoming wolfdogs with a good fit takes placement to another level.
In July of 2021, nine German Shepherd Wolf Hybrids were roaming loose in Orange County, North Carolina.
It was unknown how much human interaction the hybrids had, and the public was instructed not to confront the dogs or try to capture them.
In August 2021, Orange County Animal Services reported nine of about a dozen German shepherd Wolf hybrids had been captured. The dogs escaped an enclosure in the Cedar Grove area of Orange County.
Orange County Animal Services captured the dogs with no injuries to the animals or the public.
Finding permanent homes for the German Shepherd Wolf Hybrid dogs has been difficult. The dogs are not legal pets, are not socialized, and there is no approved rabies vaccine for them, so they cannot be adopted out to families.
Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) reached out to numerous organizations and experts from all over the United States.
Multiple sanctuaries contacted OCAS to check on the wolfdogs, but most have not assisted with placement due to being full.
OCAS has also reached out to many appropriate rescues, but none of those organizations have been equipped to take on large-breed animals that need extensive socialization.
New Homes Found but More Needed
Last month, January 2022, the department rehomed two of the German Shepherd wolfdogs, 11-month-olds Taalai and Taa, with the WolfWood Refuge in Colorado.
On Friday, February 11, 2022, OCAS was happy to announce three more were rehomed with Heroes and Hybrids, a sanctuary in Wisconsin.
“This has been a long journey, and we are elated to find appropriate placement for these animals,” said Dr. Sandra Strong, Director of Animal Services, in a release. “These types of transfers take an enormous amount of effort from everyone involved. We are so grateful to these amazing organizations that were able to give these wolfdogs the type of safe environment and enrichment they require. After caring for them daily for many months and working so hard to find placement, it means everything for us to see them move on to a wonderful new chapter in their lives.”
The county said the remaining wolfdogs cannot continue to stay in the shelter. It said shelter housing does not provide acceptable long-term quality of life and is not in line with good animal welfare practices.
The county said it was working to finalize placement plans for the remaining wolfdogs.
The Orange County Animal Services Department should be applauded for taking in these hybrids, taking the time, and doing a lot of work to see them appropriately rehomed.
Another shout out to the sanctuaries willing to care and provide for these wolfdogs.
Organizations qualified to help with the remaining wolfdogs, don’t hesitate to contact the Orange County Animal Services Department at firstname.lastname@example.org