CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — The last three of eight wolf-dog hybrids have left the North Carolina animal shelter where they’ve stayed since last summer, an animal services official said.
The three wolfdogs left the Orange County shelter late Wednesday to head to an undisclosed nonprofit that specializes in humane placement of wolves and other at-risk animals, Animal Services spokesperson Tenille Fox told The News & Observer. The county previously said it might have to euthanize the canines that it couldn’t place.
Three of the animals moved Friday to a Wisconsin sanctuary, and two others that were littermates were transferred to a Colorado refuge last month. Animal Services says the hybrids can’t be safely walked or handled for care, making it difficult to find places that would take them.
“These types of transfers take an enormous amount of effort from everyone involved,” Animal Services Director Sandra Strong said in a news release. “We are so grateful to these amazing organizations that were able to give these wolfdogs the type of safe environment and enrichment they require.”
Eight wolfdogs — which are illegal to own in Orange County — were brought to the shelter in July and August after 12 animals got loose in the Cedar Grove community. The name of their owner hasn’t been released.
A ninth animal brought to the shelter turned out to be a German shepherd and has been adopted, Fox said. One wolfdog that wasn’t captured was hit by a car in November and died. The two remaining canines haven’t been seen and are presumed to have left the area.