After reaching into a kennel containing two hybrid wolves Monday, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office reported a 3-year-old boy was attacked by the animals and later had one of his arms amputated.
Immediately following the incident, the boy was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment, leaving the boy in stable condition after was nursing supervisors are calling a “traumatic arm amputation.”
“The child had sustained serious injury to one of his hands and forearm. The child was a resident at this home where two wolf hybrids were maintained by the family within fenced kennel,” the sheriff’s office told Q13 News.
The family, known to Thurston County officials for their wolf-dog breeding practices, have come under investigation numerous times for breeding full wolves. State law in Washington requires that all wolf-dogs being kept or bred can only contain a maximum of 98 percent wolf DNA.
Wendy Spencer, who runs a sanctuary for animals such as these at Wolf Haven International, says this is a growing concern as the demand for these hybrid animals is growing, making for a lucrative business for breeders.
“A lot of times what happens, people think they are going to get the best of both worlds but often they end up with the worst traits, they end up with a predator who is not afraid of humans and that is a really dangerous combination,” Spencer told Q13 News.
Her organization has acquired three animals from the family’s breeding business and has stated that two of those animals are 100 percent wolves. She also remains under the impression that the female animal that was removed from the facility following the attack will turn out also to be a wolf.
Spencer’s organization and many others are now rallying to change associated laws surrounding wolf breeding within Washington State.
“It’s really tragic because it could’ve been prevented,” said Spencer.