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After 5 Weeks & DNA Testing, Capone Returns to his Family – with Stipulations

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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!

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  1. Avatar Of A.



    Why did it take 5 weeks to get a DNA test? My Ancestry can do it faster than that…Gee, I wonder what it would have come back as if they had done it? 50% German, 30% Alsatian, … He never jumped the fence before?

  2. Avatar Of Gail Marceaux

    Gail Marceaux


    The stipulations are patently absurd considering the fact that the DOG had never shown any signs of viciousness prior to being picked up by animal control and kept away from his family for over 5 weeks. I'm quite sure he wasn't treated as a DOG but as a "vicious wolf-hybrid" the entire time he was there. Luckily dogs live "in the now" so hopefully with a little time and patience he will get over any anxiety the stress of this has put on him. Putting a higher fence and getting current vaccinations are good ideas simply from a safety standpoint FOR THE DOG. Classes and such are a complete waste of time and reek of a power play by the city. This dog is over 10 years old and has never been a problem until these animal control goofs got their hands on him. If anyone should be going to class, it should be the animal control idiots who obviously mishandled this dog and definitely mishandled the entire situation especially after the DNA test proved them wrong. At that point they should have been apologizing to the family and to the dog and he should have been returned promptly.

  3. Avatar Of Dale Jordon

    Dale Jordon


    It is clear to me that it is the shelter staff is the aggressive party in this situation. Get over yourselves! Pathetic!

  4. Avatar Of Mary



    "Aggression" needs to be defined so he is not taken from them for something as simple and normal as barking at the mailman. I say leave that Podunk town!

  5. Avatar Of Amy Roberts

    Amy Roberts


    Way too harsh. In fact ridiculous. This council should be ashamed. The dog poses no risk. I'd fight these restrictions. Fence yeah, fair enough, he got out and he should be in his yard. The test is just way over the top.

  6. Avatar Of Kris Carte

    Kris Carte


    These stipulations are absurdly excessive. Would they do the same to a tall labradoodle? Nope.

  7. Avatar Of Elaine Elaine says:

    Why is he being labeled aggressive.? These conditions are far too excessive. Maybe 6 foot fence is ok but the rest is out of line.

  8. Avatar Of Cathy M

    Cathy M


    The stipulations absolutely are excessive. If the charges were dropped and fees waved, why are there ANY stipulations? I understand the charges for animal at large and not current rabies vaccination, but the stipulations speak more to the wild animal charges (that were dropped). Unfair.

  9. Avatar Of Eileen Eileen says:

    Ridiculous!! Even looking at him in the picture it's easy to see he's not any part wolf!!!!

  10. Avatar Of Ruthie Augustein

    Ruthie Augustein


    They were made to look like fools so they are taking it out on the dog. They need to clean house at that pound..too many egos running things!

  11. Avatar Of Tracy Blackwolf

    Tracy Blackwolf


    Yes. I find it excessive. However, my dog is a northern breed and scale a fence easily so he's never out alone and always on a very long leash. City's are becoming to far to the extreme when it comes to dogs anymore… dog guardians have to walk on eggshells. Just more of living in a police state.

  12. Avatar Of Mike



    The Aurora animal control authorities should be locked in an isolation cell for five weeks. No wonder that people do not trust law enforcement these days. I fear cops more than I do criminals.

  13. Avatar Of Tana Mccraw

    Tana McCraw


    Very excessive. This is a large dog. The 6ft fence should suffice. Wow.

  14. Avatar Of Edie



    Yes this is totally rediculous. It's nothingbmore than a power play!!

  15. Avatar Of Bizüne



    Poor baby. Crating him to answer the door will just make him more agressive.

  16. Avatar Of Joyce



    This is baloney. What did he do to make him labeled aggressive? I think they're just ticked off they lost the case and they look like fools. Well guess what? This makes you look like bigger fools than before…..

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