Imagine your dog escapes, the city finds him, and then they tell you he might get euthanized. That's what the Abbato family in Aurora, Colorado is going through right now.
They adopted their dog, Capone, from the county animal shelter over 10 years ago, and he has been nothing but a loving pet. The shelter classified him as a German Shepherd mix.
Capone is a family member,” Abbato said. “We’ve had him for 10 years. He has grown up with my kids. It’s devastating.”
So what happened? Why is Capone's future so up in the air?
Capone got out of the family yard recently, and the local authorities received a complaint that he was acting aggressively.
When the Abbato family went to get Capone from the shelter, they were denied his release.
"They say he is a hybrid-wolf now and don't want to release (him) back to us because he is an exotic animal,” Abbato said.
City spokesman, Michael Bryant, says “Aurora Animal Services ordered a DNA test after its experts observed the animal’s behavior, mannerisms and physical characteristics and believed them to be consistent with those of a wolf hybrid."
If the test comes back positive, Capone will not be allowed to return home. Owning a hybrid dog in Auroro is illegal. Capone would become property of the city.
“If a judge grants ownership to Aurora Animal Services, the primary goal would be to locate a sanctuary that specializes in such animals and can provide the animal with a new home,” Bryant said. “Euthanasia is considered a last resort.”
"It's hard for me. It's hard for my kids. He's a family member. We've had him for almost 10 years. We miss him," Abbato said. "I am 100 percent confident he is not a wolf, not a doubt in my mind."
In addition to losing their dog, the Abbato family is now facing violations of animal running at large, keeping an aggressive animal and keeping an exotic/wild animal.
I think the charges should be dropped, seeing as they adopted Capone from the county shelter and were told he was a German Shepherd. It's not their fault if they were given wrong information.
What do you think?