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Family Fighting To Get Dog Back After Animal Control Decides He's A Wolf

A family in Colorado says their beloved pet was taken by Animal Control after he escaped from their yard. They went to retrieve him, only to be turned away. They were told by employees at the animal shelter that their dog was a wolf hybrid, and would have to be placed in a wolf sanctuary or euthanized. The pup's fate was in a DNA test.

The Abbato family rescued the dog, named Capone, nearly 10 years ago from an animal shelter. He was listed as a German shepherd mix. For years, Capone and his two 'furry brothers' grew up with the Abbato family kids, and everyone was happy.

A few months ago, Capone managed to hop the fence and escaped from the backyard. He was caught by Animal Control and brought to their shelter. When the family went to pick up the pup, the shelter refused to return him because they suspected he might be part wolf.

"They say he is a hybrid-wolf now and don't want to release (him) back to us because he is an exotic animal,” Ms. Abbato said.

The shelter workers said that the dog's mannerisms, behavior and physical characteristics look very wolf-like to them. If it's true, they will try to place Capone with a wolf sanctuary. If there is no space for him, he'll have to be put to sleep. The family is worried.

"I am 100 percent confident he is not a wolf, not a doubt in my mind," said Abbato.

The results of the DNA test confirmed that the family was right all along. Capone isn't a wolf. He has no wolf markers. Still, the shelter is not returning the animal. The family have had to go to court.

"I want everyone to know he is not a wolf at all," Abbato said. "We all knew it from the start."

Because Capone got out of the yard, the family faces more litigation for him running at large, being wild and aggressive. "Because of pending litigation, we have to wait for the judge to make the decision," said the mom.

The family is building a higher fence in hopes that Capone will return. "Poor guy. ... I don't know what he was going through in there, but I'm sure he'll be so excited to come home and see us and his furry brothers," Abbato said. "I just want him to come home now. It's time for him to come home."

The family is overwhelmed by the support they've gotten. Their GoFundMe campaign has raised nearly $7,000 to help pay for Capone's legal fees and the new fence. A petition for the Mayor of Aurora, Colorado and other city officials to let Capone come home has garnered more than 25,000 signatures.

"I don't understand. This dog has a loving, caring home. People who abuse dogs, leave them outside in 2-degree weather, how do they still have their dogs?" Abbato said.

Source: KDVR, KDVR
Photo: KDVR

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