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Animal rescuer questions reports wolf dog in Coombs area has been killed

Rumours are circulating that the animal, believed to have attacked dogs, has been shot and killed
Coombs wolf-dog THUMB
A wolf-dog hybrid on the loose west of Parksville. VIA VAUGHAN ROBERTS

Unconfirmed reports are circulating that a wolf dog believed to have attacked dogs in the Coombs area has been shot and killed.

Gary Shade, spokesman for Find Lost and Escaped Dogs Vancouver Island (FLED), who was part of an unsuccessful earlier attempt to capture the wolf-dog in a trap with bait, said he’s not convinced the wolf dog is dead.

“I’m sure if some guy shot it, he would have taken a picture of it to show everybody.”

The wolf-dog was last seen about three weeks ago, Shade said Monday.

A woman in the area had been regularly feeding the wolf dog, dubbed WD-40 for its ability to evade capture, but quit after being harassed about it, Shade said.

An Alberta wolf-dog sanctuary had agreed to take the animal if it was captured.

No one from Coast Animal Control Services — contracted by the Regional District of Nanaimo and the lead agency on the wolf-dog — was available for comment on Monday.

Shade has speculated that there may be more than one wolf dog in the area because separate photos show a darker-coloured animal and a lighter one.

The animal is estimated to be about 54 kilograms. Some have speculated that it was dumped from a truck and abandoned in the fall of 2023.

Area residents are divided on the wolf dog, with some believing it should be shot after reported attacks on dogs, while others want to protect it.

Someone may have seen the wolf dog but not reported it, fearing that a report would attract hunters, Shade said.

The appearance of the wolf dog has made some residents worried about walking their dogs in the woods. Two domestic dogs were injured in encounters with the animal.

In November, owners of a French bulldog said it was attacked by the animal, which grabbed the small dog, broke its collar and raced off. The pet dog was not seen again.

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