GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – The recent mauling death of an eight-day-old baby in Virginia is sparking debate on social media about whether it's safe to keep wolf-dog hybrids as pets.
The baby girl died after she was found bloodied in her crib at her Lee County home last week with the family's wolf-dog hybrid standing over her, according to published reports.
The pet was later removed from the home and euthanized.
News4Jax spoke with John Knight, an expert on the breed and owner of Big Oak Wolf Sanctuary in Green Cove Springs. His sanctuary cares for and rehabilitates wolves that are born in captivity or those that came from homes where they were abused, neglected or abandoned.
"It's tragic. I feel bad for them and the animal. People shouldn't own these animals, in my opinion," said Knight, adding that hybrid breeds require far more attention and care than the typical family dog and should not be treated as pets.
He said the wrong people are getting these animals for the wrong reasons.
"Unfortunately in this day and age, most people who get these animals, get them to be perceived as something special among their peers," said Knight. "In that stage in their life, it’s all about them and how they’re perceived, which means they can’t meet the needs of the animal."