An unlicensed Michigan wildlife “rehabilitation center” is being shut down amid the owner’s 2-year-old granddaughter losing her arm to a wolf dog.
According to LOCAL12 News in Michigan, officials are removing an alarming amount of wildlife from an unlicensed facility. Three coyotes, six to a full dozen red foxes, and others were within the rehabilitation center in West Bloomfield. The facility is also the host to over 40 dogs that are part of an illegal crossbreeding program with wolves.
The operation, known as “Howling Timbers”, has been shut down by state conservation officers. Amid the raid, officials became aware of an incident involving the owner’s granddaughter. The girl of just two years of age lost her arm to one of the unlicensed wolf-dog hybrids. State officials, understandably, are furious.
Illegal wolf dog hybrid bites off toddler’s arm
Of the 47 illegal crossbreeds, a pen of two specific individuals may be the cause of the incident. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the girl put her arm into the cage with the two large hybrids. She then went to pet the “dogs”, and lost her arm.
“No person should be allowed near those dogs,” clarifies a furious Anna Cullen. Cullen is a conservation officer for the state, and could not believe what she and her colleagues have found.
“It’s not fair to this child who lost an arm. We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of anyone who may encounter any animal at Howling Timbers. Including the health and safety of all the animals at the facility.”
Apparently, Michigan State revoked the owner’s wildlife rehabilitation license a decade ago in 2010. Since then, owner Brenda Pearson has been operating illegally – until now.
In an additional interview with the Associated Press, Pearson claims her granddaughter put her hand into an enclosure. From there, she went to grab one of the wolf dog’s collars.
“We ran over and picked her up and her arm was missing from the elbow down,” Pearson remarks. Pearson also bares scars from her illegal work.
The toddler underwent immediate surgery on her arm. State officials, however, are furious the child was ever in the facility – let alone near these animals – in the first place.
Hybrids known to be extremely aggressive
While some hybrids show more domestic-like behavior, wolf dogs should not be pets. When a dog breeds with a wolf, breeders are reintroducing – oftentimes illegally – wild genes, instincts, and temperament back into the canine.
These hybrids are far more likely to bite and/or attack humans, as is the case with 2-year-old Pearson.
As a result, her grandmother will be denied any attempt to regain her wildlife rehabilitation license.
[H/T LOCAL12 News]