Search continues for wolf-German Shepherd hybrid dogs in Orange County

First, a zebra cobra escaped. Now, wolf-German Shepherd hybrid dogs are on the loose in Orange County.

"These dogs aren't wild," said Orange County Animal Services spokesperson Tenille Fox. "So we don't want to instill any irrational fear."

Animal control officials released an announcement Monday afternoon that said four of the dogs were on the loose in the Cedar Grove neighborhood, which is near the Person County line.

The dogs escaped from an enclosure on a private residence. The exact location and the homeowner's identity has not been released.

These particular types of hybrid dogs are not legal to have as domestic pets.

The animal control facility is in possession of eight of the dogs so far and there are four dogs still on the loose "to the best of my knowledge," Fox told ABC11 by phone.

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There has yet to be any confirmation that the dogs have attacked any humans, pets, or livestock; however, it is believed they can act aggressively if and when confronted by people.

Officials set up several traps with food around the Cedar Grove neighborhood in an effort to catch the dogs.

Shirley and Bob Carroll are keeping their eyes open.

"I'm concerned. I'm concerned. You don't know where they're going to be. Or how far they go. Or how fast, you know they're going to be fast."

Karen McAdams' family has had a farm in the area since 1885 and protecting her animals is among her top priorities.

"It can be a problem for neighbors, people's horses, kids, my livestock," she said.

Over at NC State, Dr. Tara Harrison is a professor of zoo and exotic animals.

She recommends you keep your distance if you spot one.

"It's the same as if you saw a dog that you did not know you should not go running up to it, especially if it's loose," she said. "They're probably going to be more scared of you than the other way around. And so they're probably going to try to avoid you."

Fox encourages the public to refrain from attempting to approach or feed the dogs if they are seen. Instead, if a dog is seen, residents are asked to call Orange County Animal Control at 919-942-7387, option 1.

"If the public does feed or interfere, it will severely hinder efforts to safely capture the dogs," said Fox.

"If you were to be bitten by them, you would need to seek medical attention and likely get post rabies exposure prophylaxis," Harrison said.

Once captured, the dogs will not be up for adoption or fostering -- which can make their placement challenging.

"It is highly unlikely that they will ever be made available that way," Fox said.

Given the proximity to Person County, officials from both counties will be in contact should the dogs cross county lines.
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