Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Home found for wolf hybrid, puppies

Animals to be sent later this week to southwestern Montana


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Six black puppies nurse from their mother, a wolf hybrid, a few weeks ago at the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley. Now almost 5 weeks old, puppies and mother will be sent later this week to a foster home in the Bitterroot Valley of southwestern Montana through arrangements made by the animal shelter and Wolfdog Rescue Resources. The animals were taken to the shelter after they were removed from underneath a porch on Feb. 20 from the Weyyakin area of Sun Valley. Photo by David N. Seelig

A happy ending seems in store for a wolf hybrid and her six puppies that were removed last month from under a porch in the Weyyakin area of Sun Valley.

Sometime later this week, mom and pups will be moved to a foster home in the Bitterroot Valley of southwestern Montana. Arrangements for relocating the animals were made by the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley, which has housed mom and pups for the past month, and Wolfdog Rescue Resources, a national organization dedicated to finding suitable homes for wolf hybrids.

"I think it's going to work out well for everyone," said JoAnne Dixon, executive director of the animal shelter.

Mom and puppies found themselves in the care of the animal shelter after they were removed from underneath a porch on Feb. 20. The mother had been hanging out in the area for a month or so but was reportedly acting aggressive to regular dogs in the area after she gave birth to a littler of six.

Arrangements were still being made on Tuesday for transportation of the animals. "We're just trying to get all the particulars worked out," Dixon said.

Lora Pechy, who describes herself as a "volunteer foster individual," will be caring for the animals until the puppies are old enough to be adopted out. But before that, mom and puppies will be spayed or neutered to prevent further spread of wolf hybrids, which are typically unsuitable as pets in more urban environments.

Pechy said the mission of Wolfdog Rescue Resources is to discourage breeding of wolf-dog crosses but to protect and find homes for those that already exist.

"These are very special animals that are sometimes displaced," Pechy said. "The homes are screened very, very carefully to make sure that they go to a responsible owner."

Pechy credited Kim Kahl, of the rescue organization, of making most of the arrangements for transporting the animals to the Bitterroot Valley.

"She was a key player in getting this together, and then she contacted me and we were able to put together the finishing touches" she said.

Pechy said the rescue organization learned about the plight of the animals through stories in the Idaho Mountain Express.

Dixon said mother and puppies have done well at the animal shelter. The pups still had their eyes closed when they arrived but they are now about five weeks old.

"It's not going to be cheap for us to move them, so anyone who would like to help get them moved, we would appreciate a donation," she said.

The animal shelter can be contacted at 788-4351.

Dixon said she is relieved that placement has been found for the animals. Plus, the animal shelter needs the space.

"We had overpopulation already," Dixon said. "Anyone looking for a puppy, we have more than we can handle, so come on down."




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