Wolf hybrids are created when a wolf is bred with a dog. No overall breed standard exists in the United States, according to Oklahoma nonprofit organization The Wolf Is at the Door, Inc. Breeders are free to mate any wolf with any dog. The Federal Animal Welfare Act defines hybrids as domestic dogs and regulates them like any other dog, according to USDA veterinary medical officer Robert Willems. Many states, counties and cities restrict or prohibit ownership of wolf hybrids.
Some states treat wolf hybrids as domestic animals. As of August 2013, these are Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Some of these states have restrictions on the maximum percentage of wolf an animal may contain to be considered a hybrid, and some assume that an animal that looks like a wolf is a wolf rather than a hybrid. Contact your state wildlife agency to learn the laws that apply to your situation.
Several states define wolf hybrids as wild animals and restrict private ownership. Wolf hybrid ownership is restricted in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Virginia. Some states require permits, some set minimum standards for wolf hybrid enclosures, and some have strict rabies laws that could result in your pet's being destroyed if she bites someone. Check with your state for details.
Private ownership of wolf hybrids is illegal in some states. These are Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Wyoming. Zoos, educational institutions, circuses and other organizations are often exempt, but permits are not issued to private citizens.
County and City Laws
Even in states that treat wolf hybrids as domestic animals, counties and cities are permitted to set more stringent regulations or ban ownership of the animals altogether. County and city ordinances change frequently. Contact your local animal control office for up-to-date restrictions that apply to your potential pet.
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Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer specializing in disabled adventure travel. She spent 15 years working for Central Florida theme parks and frequently travels with her disabled father. Fritscher's work can be found in both print and online mediums, including VisualTravelTours.com. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Florida.