Animal control takes family’s dog, suspects that he is a wolf. Family insists on DNA test

The loyal Capone has been a part of the Abbato family for over ten years. The Abbato family from Aurora, Colorado found themselves amidst an issue with Aurora Animal Control, who suspected that Capone was a part wolf because of his behavior. Animal Control then took their dog based on this suspicion, even though Capone never showed aggressive traits.

The family rescued Capone a little over a decade ago from the Adams County Animal Shelter and he has been classified a German Shepherd mix, something the city clearly didn’t agree with. The family mentions that their vet fully believes Capone is a German Shepherd, but to no avail.

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The whole incident was a tough pill to swallow for the family, especially for the 11-year old Ciara.

“It’s been real painful,” she said.

The animal control services encountered Capone after he jumped a fence, something he hasn’t done in a long time.

“Our German shepherd, Capone, got out Feb. 24. He jumped the fence. It’s the first time in the seven years we’ve lived here,” owner Tracy Abbato said.

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When Tracy tried to pick up Capone later in the day, she was denied and she was told that she couldn’t take him home.

“They say he is a hybrid-wolf now and don’t want to release (him) back to us because he is an exotic animal,” she said.

The city then scheduled a DNA test. If it indeed confirmed Capone was part wolf, they threatened to put him down or transfer him to a wolf sanctuary. The city of Aurora has a ban on hybrids of wolves and dogs.

“I don’t understand. This dog has a loving, caring home. People who abuse dogs, leave them outside in 2-degree weather, how do they still have their dogs?” Tracy wondered.

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The woman was faced with charges such as “animal running at large”, “keeping an aggressive animal” and “keeping an exotic/wild animal”.

Luckily, this story does have a happy ending for the Abatto family and Capone.

After five weeks of residing in a shelter and five weeks in court, Tracy finally was allowed to take the dog home with her.

Even though the DNA test confirmed that Capone wasn’t part wolf, the city was still concerned about his behavior.

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There were strict conditions regarding his release such as adult supervision and building a privacy fence, but the most important thing for the Abatto family that he could finally return home, where he belongs.

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Jonathan Maes
Jonathan Maes is a contributing writer at Shareably. He is based out of Belgium and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.

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