8.23.2007

Wolf-Dog as pet?

I'm currently in a debate with a professor of mine about the issue of exotic pets in North Carolina. I am pretty much 100% against private ownership of exotic animals- I think unqualified people looking for a cool accessory to show off to their friends end up having these animals more times than not. They get them, the kittens/pups/babies grow up and are too big to handle, then they end up living in substandard conditions with incorrect care, or they have to be sent off to a rescue group. They could also be exterminated. I think private ownership is a practice that should be banned in NC (we are one of nine states that has little to no regulation on the owning of exotic animals). A bill is in the NC Senate now which is looking to outlaw this practice. I wrote a whole paper on it this past semester. If you are that interested, let me know and I will send you the paper. Poor you. ha!

Anyway, one of the points of debate I am having with my professor is around the issue of Wolf-Dogs. These are mixed breed dogs with wolf in their lineage within the past five generations. Because there is no exotic animal bill in NC, these dogs are still legal here. They have been banned in many states. One of the organizations my prof is working with is called Full Moon Farm (http://www.fullmoonfarm.org/). If this NC Bill were passed, she would be out of business because she actually re-homes rescued animals. The Bill only allows sanctuaries to stay open if they do not breed and do not re-sell or re-place animals once in a rescue situation.

My prof thinks Full Moon is a great operation and a good middle-man for the wolf-dog situation. I am still sticking to my guns and thinking that people getting these dogs are still just getting them because they are "cool." They are part-wolf, man! I believe people don't get these dogs most of the time thinking - you know, I could really be an excellent protector of this animals. It would be great for this animal's well being if it were with someone like me. I believe that most people think, "How awesome would this be?? I could have a wolf - sure, I can take care of it fine - but man, it will be awesome." I'm sorry - I just have a problem with that.

With all of that being said, go look at the website and let me know your thoughts. Should individuals be able to have "wolf-dogs"? I'm really interested in what people have to say about this!

13 comments:

Grant Baker said...

I haven't had a good debate in a while so here goes.......couldn't the same be said for any other type of animal? I lived in the neighborhood where the dog of preference was large and intimidating...........and neglected, which sadly posed a risk to everyone in the community.

Growing up in the sticks (Wyoming) I had the pleasure of getting to know several wolf mixes (and a couple full breeds) that were cared for by proud and loving owners. This is certainly not the case for all owners of course but the same could be said for any other breed of dog or species of animal. Personally, I'm more concerned with large breed domestic animals that are abused and neglected, which is epidemic in this country.

M said...

I agree - this argument could totally go for larger breeds of "regular" dogs. It can quickly turn into a slippery slope. And the issue of ill treated, neglected animals adds to this, as those animals may be more likely to cause human harm.

Check out this nonprofit doing great work in Durham http://unchainourdogs.blogspot.com/. They may not have updated their blog in a while, but a few friends are active in this group and go around building fences and checking in on dogs every weekend!

Meredith said...

http://www.unchaindogs.net

shameless self-promotion :-)

M said...

Excellent - thank you, Meredith! I figured there was something more recent out there. Hey, I'm trying to give you plugs when I can!!!

B said...

I think that our elected officials should not spend their time managing our choices of pets. If they prefer ignoring larger societal problems, they should consider figuring out what to do about all the unwanted (and abused) pets rather than whether or not one should be allowed to create wild cross-breeds!

"I am pretty much 100% against private ownership of exotic animals"

Would you consider a bearded dragon an exotic pet? How about a raven, a box turtle, or a pot bellied pig? Or only domestic cats and dogs intermixed with their wild counterparts?

M said...

B - I have to totally disagree with the statement "public officials should not spend their time managing our choices of pets." In fact, I believe the exact opposite. Although you may not see animals as a "societal problem," take a look at the costs of animal control operations in the State of NC - do you have any idea what that money could fund for people if we were able to get our pet issues under control? So many people think that animal issues are far removed from people issues. The fact is that they are completely intertwined. With the millions of dollars spent on picking up, housing and euthanizing the stray animals in our state, if our elected officials put more regulation on how one could treat, house and keep pets, we could reduce the management of "unwanted" populations. That money could fund a myriad of social projects, 100% human, that I assume you would support.

As for the exotic pet question, I would consider those animals (all you listed) exotic pets. In fact, the bearded dragon was on the list of proposed banned animals until the reptile lobby was able to get them off the list. They were placed on the list due to possible salmonella risks associated with reptiles. It may seem silly, but with the growth of super-bacteria due to humans' ever increasing resistance to antibiotics, in the future, this could be a very large problem. When it comes to crows, I have issue with caged birds - period. As for the pigs - those poor guys have been one of the biggest losers when it comes to exotic pets. Surging in popularity in the 90s, any people purchased the cute little piglets to turn them out once the animals reached full size. It is very similar to the tiger cub/400 lb tiger issue. The purpose of these laws is to not only protect people but to make sure animals are given the best life possible - not treated as a "thing" to have while one wants to enjoy it.

Any further thoughts? Thanks so much for your comments - let's keep this discussion going!

Grant Baker said...

I definetely agree that our elected officials should spend their time considering our pet choices! In fact, I wish they'd do more. Of course I wish they'd do more to further the rights of children, end senseless wars, encourage unity, end poverty, etc. The sad fact is, our elected officials are pretty useless at managing anything. Therefore it's up to non-profits and animal lovers in general to encourage ethical pet ownership. The most lasting changes in our country are not at the hands of our government leaders, they are at the hands of ordinary civilians that have simply had enough.

Anonymous said...

“Paternalist prohibitions and restrictions flatly tell the individual: 'You are not competent to choose fully; we must circumscribe your choice.'”

Daniel B. Klein

Anonymous said...

I agree on some of these animals. Such as tigers and large animals like that. Bt as far as a wolf dog I haveone and she acts like a regular dog. I spend alot of time with her. She can sit, shake your hand, lay ...etc.She is a big baby. I believe that if you treat an animal right , they will treat you right. People say we are having a problem with lot of animals reproducing to many litters. Well if you know anything about wolf dogs they can only reproduce once a year.Not 3 or 4 times a year like most animals. if yo seen her you would think she was a husky.I dont care wht people think. I did my home work when I got her and I know how I have to take care of her. I love my dog and wouldnt traid her for the world...anonymous

Anonymous said...

i have 2 wolf dogs, they have never been aggressive, my neighbors huskey attacked my son left him with 239 stiches ,animal control kept this dog under coratine for 10 days and i have to pay the hosptail bill

M said...

I think it is also relative to say who treats a dog "right." What one person thinks is "right," another thinks is substandard. Just something else to consider.

Anonymous said...

Treating a dog right, and treating a wolf, or wolf-dog right can be completely different, due to the nature of the animal. If the wolf-dog takes the nature and temperament of the wolf, the animal needs more time, definitely cannot be left alone for long periods, and needs a lot of space.

bstang said...

you need more education.all dogs come from gray wolves except coyotes,jackels.red wolf, and the dingo.thesae animals make wonderful companions and to say no one should own them is ridiculous.a wolf is no more dangerous than ANY other type or breed of dog .they just have special requirements JUST like any other dog. you need to spend your time helping not creating unessary problems. alaska kills wolves on site stateing there a menace .this is crazy. to say there is no room in alaska for men and wolves is retarded. if there is no room in alaska where there is less then one person per square mile then where? spend your time helping the ones that need it.remeber a wolf and a lab a genetically the same yet more people are injured from labs in a single year then wolves/wolfdogs.educate people then only the educated ,committed ones will own them. most breeders wont sell there animals to an uneducated person anyway, and the ones that will are 90% of the time selling dogs that dont have ANY RECENT wolf liniage in them.aka siberian huskys,malumutes. know your facts first!