Wolf-Hybrids at Sanctuary Killed, Owner Faces Charges

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Ohio's wild animal sanctuaries are in the news again. Last year Terry Thompson released all the exotic animals at his private zoo, and then committed suicide and most of the animals had to be shot. This time the deaths have been 17 wolf-hybrids.

Joanna Trejo, owner of the sanctuary, Wolfsong Ranch near Lore City, says that what has happened is really bad, a nightmare. But it is unsure as to where the truth lies. Neighbors of the ranch, Larry and Trenda Bethel, heard that the wolves were left without food or water, other neighbors told them the owners would be back soon. Days turned into weeks. Larry Bethel went to check on the wolves and was amazed at their condition. The wolves were left without food or water.

"That bothered me a little bit, so I went up there and saw that there wasn't any water up there and all their bellies were cut trying to get water in the containers," Bethel said.

Bethel called the dog warden. Guernsey County Dog Warden Kissy Moore said 17 wolf-dog hybrids at the sanctuary were put down by her recommendation and that of two veterinarians. Municipal Court Judge John Mark Nicholson ordered the sheriff's department to aid in the euthanizing of at least 17 of the wolves. The rest that were healthy were taken into custody.

According to their website, Wolfsong Ranch is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and study of predator and raptor species and is home to 126 animals. The sanctuary provides "a safe, healthy home for unwanted and abandoned wolves and wolf-dogs that have been bred in captivity and held privately as pets."

The charges currently against Trejo are three counts of cruelty to animals, three counts of cruelty to companion animals, and one count of cruelty to shelter animals. More charges from the sheriff's office are still expected to come. From CoshoctonTribune.com.