DALLAS – Two wolf hybrids were seized in mid-October by the Pennsylvania Game Commission after the animals in May attacked a two-year-old child at the Wilkes-Barre Dog Park.
David Cannon Jr., 54, of Plains, faces two counts of unlawful acts related to exotic wildlife possession permits and one count of failure to safeguard the public from attack by exotic wildlife. Charges were filed by State Game Warden Phil White at the office of Magisterial District Judge Joseph D. Spagnuolo Jr., Plains, and carry a maximum total penalty of $1,500.
The two wolf hybrids – a male and a female – were seized during a search warrant executed on Oct. 18 at Cannon’s residence. Wolf hybrids are considered exotic wildlife under the PA Game and Wildlife Code.
Once Game Commission wardens were informed of the attack, they collected blood samples from the animals, which were submitted to the Northeast Wildlife DNA Laboratory, East Stroudsburg, for DNA testing. Results have now concluded both canines are wolf hybrids.
Wolves and wolf hybrids may be possessed by only persons who first obtain an exotic wildlife possession permit and follow strict guidelines related to animal care and public safety. Cannon is alleged to have never applied for an exotic wildlife possession permit.
Both animals have been transported to T&D Cats of the World wildlife refuge center in Snyder County. The facility is licensed by the Game Commission and the federal government to house and exhibit wildlife.
Game Commission wardens were assisted in the investigation by the Plains Township Police Department, Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office and Wilkes-Barre Animal Control.