Beware of The Big Bad Wolf

by K-Dean

According to the Humane Society of the United States, the wolfdog ranks sixth in the number of dog attack fatalities in the U.S..

A 50 year old woman was attacked and killed by a pack of nine wolf dogs that she had raised as pets.

Sandra Piovesan’s body was found by her daughter in a rectangular enclosure in her backyard which housed the wolf-hybrids. An autopsy, revealed the Westmoreland County woman suffered multiple soft tissue injuries and bled to death in the cage surrounded by her precious pets.

The enclosure was approximately the width of a three-lane road, and as long as her house. The area was divided into three sections, one for the wolf-dogs, one for her pair of Rottweilers, and another for wolf puppies. Officials said that because of the size of the pack, the wolf dogs needed approximately 50 to 100 square miles of space, no where near the size of the enclosure they lived in.

Most of the wolf-hybrids weighed about 70 to 100 pounds and ranged from seven to eight years old. None of the animals were neutered or spayed and the animals had produced several litters of pups. Humane officers wanted to destroy any offspring of the wolf-hybrids since the parents had attacked and killed a human, but couldn’t find out who had purchased any puppies from Piovesan.

Piovesan was not a member of the United States American Wolfdog Association, an organization which keeps track of the dogs that are bred and works to improve the breed. The organization has breeding records on dogs whose bloodlines go back at least four generations. The breed was created by mating wolves with dogs, generally Alaskan malamutes, German shepherds and Siberian huskies.

Piovesan had all of the animals licensed as dogs to avoid a confrontation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission. According to the commission’s website, there are 35 licensed facilities that are permitted to either possess, breed and sell wolves and wolf-hybrids in Pennsylvania. Piovesan’s kennel was not among the 35 facilities listed.

She provided her pets with a replica igloo, balls, tunnels and a plastic playhouse. She was seen on numerous occasions by neighbors in the cage feeding and playing with the wolf-hybrids. One wolf named Spirit, that she raised from a puppy lived in the house with her.

She fed the animals road kill and scarp meat she came across which often caused the neighborhood to smell bad. Neighbors generally complained more about Piovesan’s pets making too much noise and howling at night.

When the officers approached the pen, the dogs were excited, acting in a pack, and walking side to side along the fence. Humane officers initially euthanized seven of the wolf dogs and later found two more wandering around the enclosure.

Piovesan was part American Indian, and felt a special bond with wolves because they were part of her ethnic background. A longtime friend of Piovesan said that she was one with the pack and was considered the leader of the pack. It is possible that one of the wolves wanted to take over as leader, and killed Piovesan. A year prior to her death the animals began to turn on each other, and killed one of the older wolves.

Read more:

Wolf dogs killed owner, autopsy determines

Fatal Attractions – wolf dogs kill owner | You Tube

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