Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pack Of Pet Wolf Hybrids Kill Owner

Humane agents warned a Westmoreland County woman it was only a matter of time before the wolf hybrids she kept as pets turned on her.

Authorities are trying to determine if the pets attacked and killed Sandra L. Piovesan, whose body was found mauled in the fenced pen where the hybrids were housed on her Salem Township property.

Lee Neslar, executive director of the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, said keeping wolf hybrids in packs heightens the danger because each animal is constantly vying for dominance.

"She loved those wolves just like pets. She told me she was part American Indian, and she told me it was part of her ethnic background," said Brian Gallagher, a longtime friend who has a theory about what happened.

"They were all one pack ... including Sandra, who was considered the leader of the pack. I think one of them may have wanted to take over as leader of the pack," Gallagher said.

I’m not completely against owning wolf hybrids or even wild animals. The problem is that you are dealing with a wild animal, even if it is part domesticated dog, and you had better know what you are doing. This isn’t a game. You are dealing with the raw forces of nature, and those forces can get you injured or killed.

This is why we domesticated dogs. Domestication is a good thing. Domestication makes dogs useful companions and workers. Wild animals really aren’t good pets for almost anyone. If you have a wolf, coyote, or dingo hybrid, you really should have a better reason for owning one than because you are "part American Indian".

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