Aurora Animal Services told to stave off any plans to euthanize suspected wolf-hybrid

On Thursday, members of the Colorado Legislature asked the Aurora Animal Services to turn over records of a family’s German shepherd dog suspected to be a wolf-hybrid and to stave off any plans to euthanize the dog named Capone. State Senator Tim Neville and state Representatives Steve Lebsock, Jovan Melton, and Joann Ginal sent a letter to the shelter expressing their concerns about the impoundment of Tracy Abbato’s dog, taken into custody on February 24, after he was found roaming the neighborhood without a collar.

According to the Colorado Statesman, the lawmakers stated they have been contacted by many concerned constituents about Capone’s future, which has prompted them to submit a Colorado Opens Records Act request to the city for “all correspondence regarding Capone and his owners.”

“We do not want the pet euthanized until we have a chance to review all the facts in this investigation,” the letter stated. “Can we really determine based on DNA if this is a wolf-dog hybrid?, Representative Melton asked. “This dog has never demonstrated any violent behavior, plays well with the family’s other dog, plays well with their kids. I understand public safety, but we should be looking at the whole picture.”

“There’s a question about fairness vs. public safety,” Melton added. “We should look at this on a case-by-case basis.”

Capone’s plight has drawn national attention, as advocates continue to insist that the 11-year-old-dog belongs back with his family. Tracy Abbato, the owner of eleven-year-old Capone, rescued the dog from the Adams County Animal Shelter a decade ago, where he was classified as a German shepherd mix; Capone’s veterinarian agrees with his breed description. And according to animal expert Suzanne Hetts, a certified animal behaviorist and president of Littleton’s Animal Behavior Associates, there is no way to tell whether an animal is a dog or a wolf-hybrid based on behavior – which was the reason animal control officers gave as their reason to keep Capone when he was impounded.

The family’s attorney states Aurora’s ordinance does not specify what constitutes a hybrid, although the State of Colorado specifies an animal is regarded as domestic if it contains just a trace of non-wild ancestry. Meanwhile, Capone remains at the shelter, and the family is only allowed to visit just a few minutes daily with their dog. An Aurora judge continued a hearing for a week until March 22 to allow the family’s attorney to review the case. Tracy is facing five charges which includes; owning a wild, exotic or dangerous animal, letting an animal run at large, failure to obtain a pet license, owning an aggressive or dangerous animal and failing to have a current rabies vaccination.

Read the previous article about Capone here.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

    • ellen cottone
      ellen cottone says:

      They took it to a higher leval. They quickly relized there was no reasoning with the Shelter kill police. they took it to their senator.and the people won Because he has proved hiimself beyond reproch that he is a good dog.
      laws dont mean anything. a living creature hangs in the balance

      Reply
  1. Kathleen Drude
    Kathleen Drude says:

    This is so beyond ridiculous! This dog as all dogs are descended from wolves! The fact that this dog has done nothing to warrant what is happening begs the question what has that supposed animal control person got against the family? This is a pet not a vicious animal in any sense of the word! Time to to send Capone home where he belongs!

    Reply
  2. Peggy Schuetz
    Peggy Schuetz says:

    Seriously, what is the matter with these control freak people, give them a little authority and they abuse, abuse, abuse. They adopted the dog 10 years ago from a shelter!!!!! One time it gets out and some little person decides to play god with an animals life, and a whole family. Then, they blackmail, and bully, further abusing their “power”, with all manor of fines, and punishments, on an already traumatized family. A family who doesn’t abuse, neglect, they aren’t criminals, why aren’t these individuals going after the person’s who starve, beat, torture, and are criminals to animals! I hope the Senator and representatives, who’ve stepped in, fine the Aurora Animal Services for overstepping, bullying a family, and torturing a innocent animal, by keeping it locked away from the family. It’s been proven animals are traumatized by being in shelters away from their families, they shut down. It’s horrible what these people are getting away with. Release this dog!

    Reply
  3. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    My greatest hope is that the total jackass idiot who started this may someday soon be behind bars or paying through the nose in a civil suit!!!! This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard of in a long, long time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get a fricking life!!!!

    Reply
  4. Leslie Nolan
    Leslie Nolan says:

    Hopefully with the interest of the legislature this gets sorted out sooner rather than later. Can’t believe this is happening. Seems like they are intent in throwing the book at the family. Why? Need a rabies titer–not a vaccine in a dog of that age.

    Reply
  5. ellen cottone
    ellen cottone says:

    He is out of danger.Nothing bad can happen to him now. He is saved. Because he is a good boy.
    People took it to social media. They stood up.Now a politian has stepped in and got him away from that kangaroo court of a shelter and aligned his name to it. He did his home work. And he interviened.

    This dog has friends in high places.

    Reply
  6. Susan M. Bissell
    Susan M. Bissell says:

    Please, keep us posted on how Capone’s plight and what his out come is. I hope and pray the family gets to keep Capone. He is 11 years old, how much longer will he live (I lost my husky mix at 10 years old) he is a big dog that doesn’t have a lot of years left. Why can’t he live out his years with the loving family he has had all his life? Why is he considered a threat, he get along with the family other pets and children? This is just stupid! I truly hope Capone gets a reprieve and gets to finish out his golden years with his loving family.

    Reply
  7. Helen
    Helen says:

    Obviously the politicians and the expertise of Suzanne Hetts is commenting the ACO was basically FULL O SHIT!!!!!!

    Reply
  8. debor33
    debor33 says:

    If they have had Capone that long, give Jim back to the owners…he hasn’t hurt anyone or anything and adopted him based on the shelters discription…no harm, no foul….they have grown to love him and he is part of their family…..let them get him caught up on his shots & get his tags & send him home, please.

    Reply
  9. Tammy
    Tammy says:

    So sad. This beautiful dog has no idea why he’s not with his family! He’s been for 10 years, no problems, fine her for the violations of no license and no rabies shot and move on!!!

    Reply
  10. Janie Ledergerber
    Janie Ledergerber says:

    The woman got the dog from an animal shelter. They can’t seriously charge her with ownin a wild, exotic or da forgeries animal if she got it from a shelter and was told it is a shepherd mix. She is not an expert on dogs o a breeder. She adopted a dog based on what the shelter people told her. As to “allowing” the dog to roam at large–he probably got loose without their knowledge. The vet can provide information as to whether the dog had a rabies vaccine and the city can verify his licence. Most, if not all, of their charges are a joke. I guess there is a possibility that his licence and rabies tags are not current but that would just make her look like an irresponsible dog owner. This is so absurd. Loose dogs are picked up every day and returned to their guardians without incident. It is terrible to do this to a dog and his family.

    Reply
  11. Nancy Raymond
    Nancy Raymond says:

    For 10 years Capone was a German Shepherd mix, now all of a sudden he becomes a wolf hybrid – all Capone did was inadvertently get out. Sweet Jesus – release Capone back to his family – Capone is no danger to anyone and never has been. SEND HIM HOME!

    Reply
  12. ellen cottone
    ellen cottone says:

    I Have a Dream,
    That one day my little dog friends caught in this perdiciment,
    Will be judged not on the color of a Dubious DNA Test of an Anciant Ancestor,
    But on the Content of his Charater.

    Reply
  13. maxiemom
    maxiemom says:

    It does do a lot of good to contact your legislators in cases like this, and yes, it helps when the rest of the country, and even the world, is watching. They’ll often respond, though not always. Hopefully this will put common sense into things on the part of the authorities and sent Capone back to the family where he belongs.

    Reply
  14. Stephen Dodge
    Stephen Dodge says:

    They are wrong, the Vet states in legal documents it’s a German Shepherd Mix that’s what it is. DNA testing will prove nothing as dogs are descendants of the wolf families. I am a retired Animal Control Supervisor and Texas has the same laws, so I know what I am speaking about. Seems this agency wants attention for some reason and I find that pathetic.

    Reply
  15. Debbie Dearmore
    Debbie Dearmore says:

    WTC who did they think they are. Give them their dog back to them. The people in aurora. Colo need to step up and protest this. You talking about being fair the county is full of shit. I believe everyone here on Facebook as well as many others would agree. GIve them their dog back! !!!!!!!!! Stand up for capon and his family. !!!!!!

    Reply

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