A wolfdog named Nova was found and safely reunited with her owner after escaping her enclosure in Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma City Police Department (OKCPD) shared the reunion story in a Facebook post on Sept. 13.
Officers had gone out to search for Nova after residents called in to say they thought they saw a wolf roaming the streets, a spokesperson for the department told Fox News Digital.
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“The [wolfdog] was friendly and was a pet,” the OKCPD wrote. “It was returned to its owner.”
On Facebook, the department wrote that Nova “was spotted near a daycare in the area of N. Hefner & Penn” that Tuesday morning.
“When officers arrived they learned that our partners at The Village Police Department recently had a report of a resident who lost their pet…an 85% wolf and 15% Alaskan Malamute mix,” the OKCPD continued.
Four photographs uploaded with the post show Nova has fur that ranges between black, brown and gray. She also has amber eyes and appears to be large.
The OKCPD credited Sgt. Logan Stanley with finding Nova. He reportedly worked with Nova’s owner to get the “very cordial Canis lupus to join him in his squad car and pose for selfies,” according to the Facebook post.
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The department also said Nova’s demeanor was “more like a cuddly puppy” than a “big bad wolf.”
Nova’s owner, Dani Brumley, thanked both the Oklahoma City Police Department and The Village Police Department for their help, under the Facebook post.
“It’s been a terrifying 24hrs and now she gets to have a much needed bath and nap, thanks in large part to them and The Village community,” Brumley wrote in the comments section. “Words cannot express how thankful I am!”
Nova left her enclosure on Monday after a fence panel fell off in Brumley’s backyard, according to a public Facebook post written by Brumley.
Brumley said she wasn’t home when it happened, and neighbors had reported seeing Nova near The Village area.
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“She’s super timid so she doesn’t usually approach other people unless she knows them,” Brumley wrote early Tuesday morning.
A resident who lives in the village commented that she tried to coax Nova to settle down in her backyard, but the wolfdog left by the time she got back to her with drinking water.
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Brumley updated her post and shared that Nova has been found and reunited with her canine “best friend,” an emotional support Australian shepherd named Trevor.
Nova is “a little over three years old” and she measures 5’5″ when standing on her hind legs, Brumley told Fox News Digital.
Brumley added that Nova’s waist height when she stands on all fours and her weight fluctuates over time, but it’s usually more than 70 pounds.
Nova is the second wolfdog Brumley has owned, and she adopted the dog at five weeks from someone who had a litter of puppies in Midwest City, Brumley said.
“After my previous wolfdog Sasha passed away from lymphoma at 10 years old, we were completely heartbroken,” Brumley said. “Raising Nova has definitely a lot different from raising a domesticated dog or even a low content wolfdog, like Sasha.”
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Brumley said Nova had to be “desensitized” to loud noises, including kids, babies, dogs and cats. She added that rough-play has been completely avoided for Nova and while she can get nervous in new settings, Brumley said Nova has a soft spot for small dogs and children.
“The main thing I think people should know about wolfdogs is that they’re not for everyone and those wanting one should definitely do their research beforehand,” Brumley told Fox News Digital. “They are as destructive as they are absolutely beautiful.”
Wolves and dogs are interfertile and when the two animals mate, they create a wolf-dog hybrid, according to the International Wolf Center – a Minnesota-based wolf research and education organization.
The International Wolf Center reports that wolfdog ownership is a “contentious issue” in the U.S. because legislation varies by state due to the unpredictable nature of a new hybrid.
“The reality is that there is an animal with a genetic stew that includes contributions from a line of dogs that has been domesticated over the centuries compiled with a contribution of an animal that has not,” the center wrote, while noting that a wolfdog’s appearance and behavior are inconsistent and incalculable.
Wolves and wolfdogs are considered exotic animals, according to Oklahoma City’s Code of Ordinances.
The city’s codes don’t typically allow exotic animal ownership, but exemptions exist for people who have written consent from abutting landowners, have received federal and state permits and licenses, have registered their animal with the city and have met other requirements listed in the Code of Ordinances.
Brumley told Fox News Digital that she always advises others to look up their city and state ordinances on wolfdog ownership.
“Some do strictly prohibit wolfdogs, while others allow for mixes under a certain percentage,” Brumley said. “I always make sure to check dog park and vet guidelines as well before taking Nova anywhere.”
Brumley noted that most landlords have wolfdogs listed as a banned breed and veterinarians can choose to refuse service, so it’s important to check these factors before owning.
“Finding a vet with wolfdog experience is very difficult,” Brumley said. “[Nova’s] vet decides based off of temperament and, aside from getting the other dogs to howl with her, Nova’s always been a good patient.”
Other wolfdog ownership details that Brumley thinks people should know about is that these members of the dog family require a lot of training because they’re not “naturally people-pleasing animals.” She also said they’re generally not good for home defense because of their shier nature when compared to domesticated guard dogs.
Wolfdog diets tend to “need a good balance of raw meat and regular dog food” and their backyard enclosures “have to be extremely fortified” with jump- and dig-proof features, according to Brumley.
“I can’t stress the research part enough because far too many people get wolfdogs because of the way they look,” Brumley said. “[Then] they end up in shelters or sanctuaries after the humans realize they took on too much.”
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