Reminder: The selected responses presented below are a reflection of the collaborative effort of Hybrid Wolf Mailing List aka. Wolfdoglist members to share opinions / information about wolf x dogs, responsible "ownership" and breeding practices. This FAQ is not a scientific or veterinary resource. Some responses have been edited for brevity.
Wolfdog FAQ - Question # 7
What do I do when I can no longer keep my wolfdog ?
But, if the situation is such that a new permanent home absolutely must be found for the animal, please know that the same rules apply as for dogs. If the animal is mentally unstable or has serious aggression problems which have been evaluated by a professional and found to be beyond help, please don't "pass the buck". If the critter could potentially be a danger to itself or others, and there are no therapies to assist in dealing with the problems, please consider euthanasia.
Check out the contract you signed when you bought your wolfdog. Does the contract stipulate that should you ever have a problem with the animal, the breeder will take back the wolfdog ? Honor your contract if this is the case. Good, reputable breeders are concerned first and foremost about the health, safety and wellbeing of the animal they had produced, and will take back the wolfdog no matter what. But, be sure that the breeder will make every attempt to find an appropriate new home for the wolfdog. Some disreputable breeders will take the animal back, only to use the critter to churn out litters, or re-sell the animal to others unprepared for 'ownership'. Ask questions !
Consider contacting your local Animal Control agency (determine legal status of wolfdogs in your area first, some agencies may not be able to help due to legal concerns). And also Wolf 'Hybrid' / Wolfdog Rescue Facilities. Contact addresses are available in The Wolf Dunn's Resources Listing, and direct links to some facilities online are at The Wolf Dunn's Links Page. Most facilities which are USDA/APHIS licensed and inspected are filled to the brim and may not be able to take in your wolfdog.
If the Wolf / Wolfdog Rescue Facility agrees to take in your wolfdog, visit the grounds in person to determine if the animals are kept in a humane manner. If distance is an issue, ask them to send you photos of their enclosures including existing rescue animals, and the exact location of where your wolfdog would be housed. Plus, you might want to know if your animal would be a permanent sanctuary resident or later adopted out. Preferably, you will want this sancturay to be licensed and inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). For starters, see the Pet Action League's listing of Animal Trade Businesses Governed By The Animal Welfare Act. If the organization or individual operating the rescue facility is not licensed, ask why not. Read up on what the requirements are, at APHIS' Animal Care Home Page.
And, most importantly know that a true "rescue" does not chain up, sell or breed wolfdogs for sale. If you are told they breed wolves for reintroduction purposes, ask them what program/study they are affiliated with or have them provide proof their breeding claims are true. Never allow them to intimidate you, simply for asking questions. You are concerned about the animals wellbeing and their objectives as an organization. Monetary donations may or may not be required, but are highly appreciated.
If the facilities are full, ask them for referrals to wolfdog rescue networks, and also for suggestions on what to look for in a new potential 'owner' for your animal. Some will suggest you screen-out the undesireables, and determine who could provide excellent care for your animal in particular. Some of the qualifications can include someone who has previously successfully raised a wolfdog of equal or greater wolf content range (ask to see photos/video), well into older adulthood. Or, someone who currently 'owns' a wolfdog of equal or greater wolf content range than your animal and has an adequate enclosure, plus knowledge and experience of what 'ownership' entails. Find out if their town / county / state has any bans or restrictions on the books regarding wolf 'hybrids'.
Definately have your wolfdog spay / neutered before "giving the animal up". And, ask why the individual wants to adopt your wolfdog. As with any animal, the potential is there that your critter could be aquired by a disreputable breeder and abused by scumbags who are only out to make a quick buck off the sale of pups, and care not at all for your animal's long-term health or where those pups will end up. Avoid all this; have your animal spay / neutered !
Demand to see where exactly your wolfdog would be kept, and determine if the enclosure/fenced area is sufficient to safely contain your wolfdog. What works for their animal, may not necessarily be what's best for yours. Use your best judgement based on experience. Typically, wolfdogs require 6-8 foot tall chainlink fencing with top angles-in to prevent jumping over, and electrified hotwire or trenching at the bottom to prevent digging out.
Know your animal's tolerances. Prepare the new 'owner' for all aspects of your wolfdog's individuality. Be open and honest about your animal's previous experiences in living with you. And, most importantly, ask questions and be comfortable in surrendering 'ownership'. Ensure your wolfdog is going to the best long-term situation possible.
Lastly, DO NOT assume that just because your animal has some recent wolf inheritance that it could survive "in the wild". DO NOT abandon your animal. See Wolfdog FAQ #8, "If you release a wolfdog into the wild, will its instincts allow it to survive ?" for more information.
In collaboration, Julie & Gudrun.
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