Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wolf runs loose in Newark for hours

Owner says he didn't know his pet wasn't permitted

Jan. 20, 2012  |  
Dan Woolever plays with his pet wolf, Shadow, at their Newark home Friday.
Dan Woolever plays with his pet wolf, Shadow, at their Newark home Friday. / Zach Gray/The Advocate
NEWARK — The owner of a wolf that got loose in Newark said he didn’t know his pet wasn’t permitted in the city when he moved here six months ago.
Dan Woolever said he purchased Shadow, the Canadian tundra wolf, from Ottawa, Ohio, because he wanted a loyal pet. The nearly 7-year-old animal is good with people, including Woolever’s young grandchildren, he added.

“A lot of people are misled about wolves,” Woolever said.

Shadow got loose at about 9 p.m. Thursday when the wolf saw a cat and jerked away from Woolever’s friend on Oakwood Avenue.

The missing wolf was reported to Newark police at 9:30 a.m. Friday. Officers launched a three-and-a-half hour search and notified area schools of the possibly aggressive animal, Newark police Sgt. Scott Snow said.

Shadow was found on the 400 block of New Haven Avenue shortly before 1 p.m. Friday.

On Tuesday, Newark Animal Control Officer Toby Wills investigated a report of possible animal cruelty after someone saw the animal outside without shelter. When he arrived, Wills learned the animal is a wolf, which is not permitted in Newark, Snow said.

“I didn’t know,” Woolever said.

Woolever said his beloved watchdog enjoys chasing cats and eating chicken nuggets like other pets.

“He’s an overgrown baby,” he said.

Woolever picked up Shadow on Friday afternoon and removed him from the city. Woolever said he was thankful to the officers who helped find his pet and the dog warden who housed him.

No one was cited Friday, but the situation is under investigation, Snow said.