NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Locals along with Newport News Animal Control officials are searching for a pet — but this isn’t your average dog.
Officials are concerned because it resembles a wolf.
The owner tells officials that Sirius is a malamute mix, but resembles a wolf, and he’s been missing for a week.
Their biggest worry is that someone will mistake him for a wild animal.
Ashley Wian says she was driving early Monday around 3 a.m near Mercury Boulevard when she saw the dog.
“I see it. I’m pretty sure that’s a dog, but it looks like a wolf, but it looks like a coyote. I wasn’t sure. I was like come here, he came right up to the car window. I gave him some Greek yogurt,” Wian explained.
Wian says she was worried about putting the strange dog in her car so she called animal control when they opened, but he was gone by then.
Wian and a few other locals have been keeping track off the sightings.
“He’s following railroad tracks from downtown to uptown in wooden areas, so of course you’re going to see that at nighttime, you’re going to assume it’s a wild animal,” she said.
Newport News Superintendent of Animal Welfare, Wayne Gilbert, says they’ve received several calls about the dog this week.
“On Tuesday afternoon we got a call for a similar type dog near Nettles and Oyster Point and at that point one of our officers did see the animal and if you look at pictures it certainly has some characteristics of a wolf/canine hybrid dog,” Gilbert said.
Videos and pictures have been circulating on Facebook of people thinking it’s a wolf, so he’s worried someone may drive past the dog or try to harm it because of its appearance.
“Of course the big thing right now is let’s try to get this dog caught, let’s get it off the street, so that we can see that it’s taken care of and that it’s in good health,” said Gilbert.
Gilbert says they were familiar with the canine.
Back in March he says they received complaints of the dog barking and the owner providing inadequate care.
He says people called in saying it was kept outside without proper shelter and water.
“I don’t want someone to hurt him thinking it’s not someone’s pet”
Officials say they haven’t had any reports of the dog being aggressive.
They’re asking anyone who sees him to call animal control.
Outside of the ongoing inadequate care investigation, they say there are pending charges against the owner for not having a city license for the dog and letting it stray off her property.