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Family Battles Animal Control to Get Their Dog Back (with UPDATE!)
Photo: GoFundMe/Get-Capone-Home

A Colorado family is battling for their right to have their dog back after the Aurora Animal Control claimed he was a wolf hybrid and refused to return him.

The Abbato family of Aurora, Colorado is putting out a plea for help. Their dog hopped over the fence on February 24th, got picked up by animal control, and his return home has been refused based on the facility’s suspicion that he is actually a wolf hybrid.

10-year old Capone has lived with the Abbato family for almost all his life. The family rescued him from the Adams County Animal Shelter, who had labeled him as a German Shepherd mix.

Now, the Aurora County Animal Control center claims Capone is part-wolf, and due to laws around exotic animals, they are refusing to return him to his family. He is being held until the results of his DNA test come back.

If the test comes back positive for wolf DNA, Capone will either be transferred to a wolf sanctuary, or euthanized if there isn’t room there for him.

The Aurora Animal Control facility claims that Capone must be part wolf due to his appearance, mannerisms, and behavior.

But the family and their veterinarian claim this couldn’t possibly be true.

Until the results of the test come back, Capone is being forced to stay at the shelter, away from his family and the only home he’s ever known. His family misses him and is having a very difficult time dealing with this distressing situation.

The shelter claims that they can’t even adopt Capone out if he turns out to be part wolf, because so many cities have similar laws banning the ownership of exotic or “hybrid” animals.

Owner Tracy Abbato expressed confusion and dismay over the situation, wondering how neglectful and abusive owners can have their dogs but Capone is not allowed to return to his family who loves him.

The family hired a lawyer and set up a GoFundMe Page to help raise the money needed to fight for Capone.

Tracy Abbato is facing possible violations of keeping an aggressive animal, keeping an exotic pet, and animals running at large.

UPDATE: After 5 weeks of waiting for the results of the DNA test, last night the Abbato family announced they had just gotten the results.

According to the DNA test, conducted by UC David, Capone is not at all a wolf!

While the family is beyond relieved to hear the results, they still do not have a date confirmed for when they can welcome Capone back home due to pending litigation. The judge will make that decision this Wednesday.

Tracy Abbato said she was shocked by how many people from all around the world reached out to her family in support.

More than 22,000 people signed the Change.org petition and more than $6,000 was raised on the family’s GoFundMe page.

Capone’s story received reporting by TIME, FOX News, and the Daily Mail.

SOURCEKDVR
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Cody has worked and volunteered with rescue animals her entire life. She worked as a veterinary assistant and technician in shelters, rescues, boarding facilities, doggy daycares and animal hospitals in New York and Chicago throughout her teens and twenties, and now resides as a pet foster mom in Upstate New York.