RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Members of a group of eight wolf-dog hybrids at a North Carolina animal shelter could be euthanized unless a suitable home can be found for them, officials said Thursday.

Officials have found a home at a sanctuary for several of the dogs but have not located a suitable place for several others, Tenille Fox, a spokesperson for Orange County Animal Services, told The News & Observer.

If the county cannot locate an organization to take the canines, the hybrids that remain will likely have to be euthanized, Fox said.

The hybrids are believed to be part German shepherd and arrived at the shelter in July and August 2021 after they escaped from an enclosure near Hillsborough. The shelter is about five miles north of Chapel Hill. In August a board-certified veterinarian confirmed that their genetic information was consistent with wolf-dog cross breeding.

According to the news release, the vet has a background in zoo medicine and agreed to the placement plan. The shelter didn’t allow the animals to be adopted because it said it would be dangerous to place them with someone who doesn’t have experience with hybrids, The News & Observer reported.

The dogs also cannot remain at the shelter because it would deny them “an acceptable long-term quality of life,” and would not be in line with “good animal welfare practices,” Director of Orange County Animal Services Dr. Sandra Strong said, according to The News & Observer.

“Sadly, these dogs were never properly socialized as pets,” Strong said in a news release. “They are not able to be safely walked on a leash, and they cannot easily be handled for care or effective social interaction.”

A veterinary behaviorist who evaluated the canines in December said that confining them to a shelter long-term would be stressful and inhumane, Fox said.

One of the hybrids that remained in the wild was found dead off N.C. 86 in Hillsborough in November and officials determined it had been hit by a car. According to Fox, two of the hybrids remain unaccounted for and have not been seen recently. They have likely left the area or died, she told The News & Observer.

The county has reached out to multiple sanctuaries and rescues but most have not had either the room to house them, or the resources to care for them. It is illegal to own the hybrids in Orange County and there is no approved rabies vaccine for them.