Ultimately, it becomes obvious that even under the most ideal circumstances wild animals belong in the wilderness – not in cages. Yet as you read this, there exists nearly 500,000 captive wolves and hybrids in the United States alone. There are only an estimated 4,000 wild wolves in the contiguous US today. The 100-fold difference dramatically illustrates the effect our American culture has had on this predator. Sadly, this disparity will not soon disappear. Wild wolves are making a slow comeback, but they are facing great political hurdles. While wild wolves have to fight for every pup born and every winter survived, the number of captive wolves and hybrids is rising. Thanks to our seemingly insatiable need to feel a connection with the same wilderness we are destroying (whether through domination, control or ownership), litters of captive wolves and hybrids are bred every year. Each puppy born in a cage to delight us, must life a "half-life" behind bars. We can be their friends, companions and even saviors, but in the end, we are still their captors. When will we learn to stop playing God and take responsibility for the lives that we create? Eighty-percent of the estimated 250,000 wolf hybrid puppies sold this spring alone will not live to see their second year of life. Those that die will, unfortunately, only be replaced by an even greater number of puppies for sale next year. We need to ask ourselves important questions, so that in time we, as a society, can come to grips with this problem.
Please if you are considering buying a wolf hybrid puppy, think of the consequences and whether or not you are prepared for them. Consider instead, buying a domestic dog, possibly a northern breed such as the husky or malamute, or taking in someone else's hybrid that they can no longer keep. If you already own a hybrid, please spay or vasectomize the animal. Don't knowingly contribute to the growing surplus of unwanted hybrids. With determination, a little insight into what or whom you are dealing with, and a lot of sturdy fencing, most owners can provide a home for their wolf or wolf hybrid, but as equal, intelligent, independent friends, not pets.