A free puppy may sound great in theory, but one Arizona man got more than he bargained for when his new pet behaved, um, rather interestingly. The young pup acted very nervously, needing constant companionship and peeing and pooping all over his owner’s car. That’s pretty run-of-the-mill for a puppy, but the dog also became quite the escape artist.
He’d dig under or jump over the fence to play with the neighbors’ German Shepherds, and when the owner installed a bigger barrier, the animal just chewed through it. Caught visiting next door, he didn’t respond to treats and avoided eye contact.
Soon the neighbors had enough, and brought the canine to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. Even before they entered the front door, their suspicions were confirmed. “I approached the couple and asked, ‘You know that isn’t a dog, right?’” Maureen O’Nell, the shelter’s former CEO, told The Dodo. “They responded, ‘we were wondering.’”
Neo is actually what’s called a “high content wolf dog,” meaning he’s an interbred mix of the two species, but his physical features, behavior and communication style align more closely with a wolf. Not only does Neo have a coarse coat and long legs, but he also acts exactly like pack animal. His urge to escape came from a natural need to find his family. Since many states restrict or ban wolf dog ownership, Neo needed a new home, and his owner agreed to give him up to special rescue center.
Now, Neo’s finally settled in at Wolf Connection, a wolf dog sanctuary in California. He loves playing with his new friends, joining the “nightly howl” and getting the occasional belly rub. While these wolf dogs definitely look like a lot of fun, don’t be tempted to adopt one of your own (even if it’s free). Not only is it usually illegal, but these unique canines do best with plenty of space and a pack of similar buddies, just like Neo.