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23 Rutgers L.J. 633 (1991-1992)
The Hybrids Howl: Legislators Listen - These Animals Aren't Crying Wolf

handle is hein.journals/rutlj23 and id is 643 raw text is: THE HYBRIDS HOWL: LEGISLATORS LISTEN -
The new age of conservation in the 1990's has literally produced a new
breed of problems. Now, more than ever, Americans care about preserving
the environment. Although efforts to educate people on the state of our
environs have proven effective, one such effort - to dispel the myth of the
wolf as a big, bad predator - may have backfired. When one sees film
footage of a wolf living in the wild, one cannot help but admire the beauty,
mystique, and intelligence of such a creature.' Under the premise of the
Endangered Species Act of 1973,2 the Secretary of the Interior has listed
the wolf as a protected species3 and hence, one cannot own a pure wolf as a
pet.' In an effort to obtain the next best thing,5 people took to breeding
wolves with dogs, forming the controversial wolf-dog hybrids.'
Many real problems arise with the ownership of the hybrid as a pet:
their natural wolf instincts sometimes lead them to perceive small children
as prey, they cannot be vaccinated with an approved rabies shot, and they
hamper the efforts of naturalists to enhance the image of the wild wolf for
purposes of preservation.7 Owners create more problems when they
1. See DANCES WITH WOLVES (Orion Pictures 1991); WHITE FANG (Walt Disney
Pictures 1990).
2. 16 U.S.C. §§ 1531-44 (1988). Section 1533 requires the Secretary of the Interior to
compile all the species he has determined to be endangered or threatened in a list.
3. List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, 50 C.F.R. § 17.11 (h) (1991). The
gray wolf, canis lupus, whose historic range is holarctic, is endangered in the 48 contiguous
United States, excluding Minnesota, and Mexico. Id. In Minnesota, the gray wolf
population is threatened. Id. The red wolf, canis rufus, also a native to the south western
United States, is endangered across the entire country except in Dare, Tyrrell, Hyde, and
Washington Counties in North Carolina, where authorities released a nonessential
experimental population in the hopes of increasing the depleted numbers of these animals.
4. 16 U.S.C. § 1538 (1988). The act allows permits for scientific purposes under
§ 1539(a).
5. Betsy S. Siino, Wolf Hybrids, DOG FANCY, Jan. 1990, at 51, 53.
6. Canines constitute one of the rare groups in the animal kingdom whereby related
species can mate and produce fertile offspring. William Booth, Questioned Pedigree
Clouds Wolf Program; Conservation Law Won't Help Save a Hybrid, WASHINGTON POST,
June 24, 199 1, at A3. Similarly, a female horse and a male donkey, members of the same
equine group, can mate, but such a coupling only produces the infertile offspring known as
the mule. WEBSTER'S NEW WORLD DICTIONARY 934 (2d ed. 1984). Mating a male horse
and a female donkey produces a hinny. Id. at 664.
7. See infra section II.

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