New Law Prohibits Future Ownership of Wolf Hybrids in Maine

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Department of Agriculture are reminding owners that there are new laws in place regarding the possession of wolf hybrids.

According to a new law enacted in June, future ownership of wolf hybrids is prohibited unless a person holds a valid permit to possess wildlife in captivity issued by MDIFW. These animals would need to be maintained under wildlife in captivity standards currently held by MDIFW. The law further requires wolf hybrid owners to license their animals in the town where they reside, as well as requiring that those animals be vaccinated for rabies and permanently identified. An added provision to the law calls for all currently licensed wolf hybrids to be neutered.

The legislation was developed after legislators had heard testimony that the keeping of wolf hybrids posed concerns for public safety and that the current regulation of wolf hybrid kennels did not provide adequate safeguards.

Maine law defines a wolf hybrid as “a mammal that is the offspring of the reproduction between a species of wild canid or wild canid hybrid and a domestic dog or wild canid hybrid. "Wolf hybrid" includes a mammal that is represented by its owner to be a wolf hybrid, coyote hybrid, coydog or any other kind of wild canid hybrid.

The Department of Agriculture has been charged with maintaining a list of persons who currently own licensed wolf hybrids and with updating this list on an annual basis to account for animals which have died or been transferred to another person. The new law requires the owner of a wolf hybrid to report the death of that animal to the Department within 30 days. Furthermore, it requires an owner to report the transfer of a wolf hybrid to the Department within 10 days.

The Department of Agriculture will be communicating these changes to town clerks since the towns will play an integral role in reporting licensed wolf hybrids to the Department. For further information please contact Don Hoenig, VMD, State Veterinarian, Maine Department of Agriculture at (207) 287-7615 or via E-Mail at


Retired2hunt's picture

  I totally agree with the


I totally agree with the sound law here on licensing and knowing of any transfer of ownership of these animals.  While it is a hybrid a person does not know exactly what genes are passed along - including the wildness of a wolf.  I don't see any need for a person to own a hybrid wolf dog.  The law correctly grandfather's in the current owners and includes the ability for communicating any transfer of ownership change.  This law will better protect the public in the future.  The neuter requirement will ensure future generations of these hybrids are held in check.


numbnutz's picture

I was at a customers house a

I was at a customers house a year or two ago and he was permitted by the state to house a treat wolfs and hybrid wolfs. When I was there I was able to spend some time with a full blooded timber wolf. It was domesticated and was friendly. I was a bit intimidated at first but after spending a little bit of time with it I was more comfortable. It acted more like a dog and was very friendly. It fallowed me around the house like a normal dog and just wanted me to pet it. I can see the importance for not allowing ownership of these animals. They are still wild animals and could turn in a second. I think it's a good idea to keep them in the wild or with train profesinals.