Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Colorado: DNA test shows Aurora dog not a wolf, despite animal control belief

COLORADO -- Tracy Abbato says DNA results show her dog Capone is not part wolf as Aurora Animal Control suspected.

“The results came back NEGATIVE. Not an ounce of wolf,” Abbato told Denver7.

City of Aurora spokesman Michael Bryant said he couldn’t comment on the DNA test because Capone is mired in an ongoing legal case. Capone will remain at the Aurora Animal Shelter until a court can determine whether he goes home.

The dog’s owners were charged with keeping a wild, exotic or dangerous animal, which was related to suspicion the dog was a wolf hybrid.

While a DNA test might have proven that Capone is 100 percent dog, his owners still face charges of keeping an aggressive or dangerous animal, allowing him to roam at large, failure to obtain an animal license and failing to make sure the dog had a rabies vaccine.

Tito Serrano, who co-owns the dog with Abbato, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, Bryant said.

Bryant said the dog was picked up because it was running at large and acting aggressively. Animal Control ordered the DNA test after the department’s animal experts observed his physical characteristics and believed them to be consistent with those of a wolf hybrid.

If the tests had determined the dog was a wolf hybrid, it would not have been returned to the family because Aurora city ordinance prohibits exotic animals.

A disposition hearing scheduled for Aurora Municipal Court at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday could decide if the dog goes home or remains at the shelter pending a trial that would be set at a later date. The hearing will determine whether public safety can be assured if Capone is returned home, Bryant said.

If not, the court could order Capone surrendered to Animal Services. Bryant said it is too early to predict whether that would lead to the dog being euthanized.

(The Denver Post - March 20, 2017)


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