Man claims to own NE Philadelphia wolf-dog (PHOTOS)

Kasey Lyons

June 28, 2012 2:50:00 PM PDT
A man is claiming to be the owner of the wolf-dog that has been spotted recently in Northeast Philadelphia's Pennypack Park.

PHOTOS of the wolf-dog in Pennypack Park: WEBSITE VISITORS | WIRELESS VISITORS

Kasey Lyons said once he saw pictures of the animal online, he knew it was his missing wolf-hybrid "Levi."

"No doubt in my mind, that's Levi," Lyons said, saying he lost the animal as a puppy back in March.

Lyons and his Labrador-American Bulldog mix, "Tiny" ventured into the Pennypack Park on the 8600 block of Algon Avenue on Thursday afternoon to continue the search.

"My dog's an alpha male to him, so what I'm hoping is Levi will come out, notice him, cower, enough time to put leash on him," said Lyons.

Lyons was living in Florida when he bought Levi back in February. He and his then-fiancee were visiting his relatives in Northeast Philadelphia in March when, he says, she let him off the leash, and Levi took off.

The park was largely absent of the wandering wolf-dog, but one brief sighting was enough to convince Lyons that this animal and Levi are one in the same.

"His markings, the way he stands. He's got a unique stance," said Lyons.

Laws vary by state, but in Pennsylvania you need a permit to own a wolf-hybrid like this. If it turns out this is Levi, Lyons could face a summary ticket.

Lyons and Tiny were the primary search party out Thursday unlike earlier this week, but an officer from the Pennsylvania Game Commission explains there's a reason for that.

"At this point we're letting the animal get back into her routine because of the media attention and public here, it's too much commotion for her," said Jerry Czech of the Game Commission.

Whether the wolf-dog is indeed Levi has not been confirmed, but Lyons says if he is able to capture the hybrid, he will turn him over to authorities so the animal can go live at the wolf sanctuary.

He says he's more concerned about the animal's safety right now and will be back out searching again on Friday.