Story last updated at 1:36 p.m. Thursday, May 9, 2002

New regs target wolf hybrids
When the Alaska Board of Game this winter put new teeth into existing laws that ban the possession or sale of wolves and wolf hybrids, it put Wolf Country U.S.A. into the endangered category.

The new regulations allow people to keep their hybrids, as long as the animals are spayed or neutered by July 1. Also, the wolf-dogs must have a microchip implanted under their skin that identifies them as such.

And they can't be sold, which puts Werner Schuster's 15-year-old business in jeopardy. He has raised dozens of wolf hybrids, but if he can't sell them, he can't stay in business.

"The only thing they've resolved is you can't advertise pups as wolf hybrids," he said. "From now on, (the animals) are all golden-eyed Alaskan huskies."

Department of Fish and Game officials responsible for enforcing the new regulations will "try to be as flexible and reasonable as possible," according to a letter the agency sent veterinarians in March. However, the department will pursue the goal of "ending the breeding, sale and ownership of hybrid wolves," the letter said.

Schuster said he is thinking about suing, even though he is 71 and living on limited income. "I don't need capital," he said. "I've got a lawyer who love animals." <> The Frontiersman