Sunday, April 27, 2014

Once again, wolf-dogs in the news

Back in 2009 I first heard of so called "wolf-dogs" a hybrid dog breed that had apparently gained some popularity in some parts of the country.  See here.  I wondered whether a wolf-dog would be considered a "wild" or "domesticated" for purposes of strict liability in tort law.  More recently, the issue came back when I first heard of domesticated foxes (here).

Now, just days before I am due to start discussing strict liability for injuries caused by animals in my Torts class, I see that wolf-dogs are back in the news.  A short article in Smithsonian magazine reports that "a surplus of unwanted wolf-dogs—hybrids that are more domesticated than wild wolves but less tame than dogs—is overwhelming authorities in New Hampshire."  Apparently, owning a wolf-dog is illegal in the state, but no one seems to be making sure that law is upheld. (Interestingly, the subtitle of the article is "Are they domesticated pets or wild animals?", the very question I have asked in  2009 when I first hear of them).

I have not seen any reported cases of injuries caused by these types of dogs, so please e-mail me if you know of any.

The Smithsonian article links to a longer article on New Hampshire Public Radio

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