It’s a noble thing to adopt an animal in need, but sometimes the best intentions can lead to a difficult situation. Taking in a homeless creature usually means you have no idea where it came from, and you could end up with more than you bargained for…
When a Humane Society worker saw a couple walk up with their dog, Neo, she knew right away that something was off. It wasn’t exactly the way he looked, but the way he behaved — the canine seemed skittish and was avoiding human interaction. She wasn’t sure how to broach the subject, but finally, she had ask them if they knew what Neo really was…
When a Tuscon, Arizona, man saw a sign on the house that said “Free dog,” he decided to knock on the door. The moment he saw the puppy’s big amber eyes and perky little ears, he knew he had to adopt the little guy.
The puppy — whom he named Neo — turned out to be a bigger handful than he had bargained for. Neo was often very skittish, difficult to house train, and demanded the man’s attention all the time, which was difficult because he was a student who also worked full time.
When the man was out of the house, he would leave Neo in the backyard, but the puppy refused to stay put. The pup would dig his way out or jump the fence to get into the neighbor’s yard and play with their dogs. His owner built a higher fence, but Neo soon chewed through it.
What Neo’s owner didn’t realize yet was that Neo wasn’t a dog, but a wolf dog. To make matters worse, he was high-content, meaning that genetically, Neo was more wolf than dog. His amber eyes and lanky body were reminiscent of a wolf’s, but it was his behavior that was the bigger giveaway.
Neo wasn’t interested in interacting with people besides his owner, but his wolf-like desire to find his pack meant he was always visiting the neighbor’s dogs. At first the neighbors tolerated Neo’s visits, but he began to become a nuisance, and one day they decided they’d had enough…
The neighbors threw Neo on a leash and drove him to the Humane Society. They hoped that the shelter would be able to hold him until they worked out something with the owner to get the canine’s behavior under control.
A worker who was standing outside the building when they arrived saw Neo and instantly knew that he was no dog. His long, lanky body was one clue, but what struck her most was the way he nervously avoided human interaction.
She asked the perplexed-looking owners if they knew that wasn’t a dog on their leash, and they admitted that they’d had their suspicions. The Humane Society looked into Arizona’s wolf dog ownership laws and found that in order to legally own one, you needed to have a special permit that was difficult to obtain.
They decided to get in touch with Wolf Connection, a California wolf dog rescue and sanctuary, to see if they could take Neo. Luckily there was space, so all the Humane Society had to do was get in touch with Neo’s original owner…
After talking it over, he decided to give up Neo, realizing the wolf dog would never truly adjust to his life in Tuscon.
Neo was in great physical shape when he arrived at the sanctuary, but the workers still tried to keep him isolated until their veterinarian could give him medical clearance to be around the other wolves and wolf dogs.
However, Neo was as eager as ever to find his pack, and he quickly managed to escape the isolated kennel. He immediately went to the alpha female Maya’s territory to try and make friends.
On his very first night at the sanctuary, he joined the evening wolf howl that occurs when the workers leave for the day. It seemed that Neo had finally found his place!
Watch Neo’s arrival at the Wolf Connection sanctuary!
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It would be pretty shocking to discover that the puppy you adopted is really closer to a wolf than a dog! Luckily, it seems like everything worked out well for Neo in the end.
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