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Capone, the senior Shepherd-mix owned by the Abbato family in Aurora, Colorado, has finally been allowed to return home to his family – but not without a few stipulations.
Animal Control officials in Aurora, Colorado seized Capone on February 24th after he jumped over a fence and escaped from his backyard. The shelter refused to return him to the family that has loved him for the last decade because, they said, he looked like a wolf-hybrid. A few days ago, DNA test results proved what his owners say they’ve known all along – their dog is not a wolf.
On Wednesday, after nearly 5 weeks of isolation in the shelter, Capone was finally released back into his family’s care. The charges of keeping an aggressive animal and keeping an exotic/wild animal were dropped. The $1,000 fine was suspended and several hundred dollars in impound fees were waived.
Now, the family must make a few changes or risk losing him again. Until the family replaces their 4′ chain link fence with a 6′ tall privacy fence, Capone must be contained inside the home unless he’s on a 6′ leash being held by an adult. He must be confined to another room or inside a crate before the family answers their front door. The Abbato family must enroll in behavior modification training with him. And, if he is ever found to be aggressive in the future, he must be turned over to the city.
Charges of having an animal at large and not having current rabies and county license stood.
Although these stipulations seem excessive – the city was mistaken in their determination that Capone was a wolf hybrid and held the dog in isolation, without any human touch, not even from his family, for nearly 5 weeks -for a dog that simply escaped his yard, the Abbato family are willing to do everything the city asks. They’re just happy to have their family member back home.
Do you think the stipulations are excessive? Weigh in with a comment below!