Officials Urge Caution After Possible Wolf Hybrid Spotted in Northern California

UPDATE: Sebastopol Wolfdog Found and Returned to Owner

Shadow the wolfdog, who made headlines after it was seen running on a road near Sebastopol, has been found and safely reunited with its family. The dog, who is a wolf hybrid, put the community on edge as officials urged the public to stay away from the dog not knowing its origin.

As it turned out, the dog was a local pet who is friendly with both dogs and humans.

“A big shoutout and THANK YOU to the vigilant community members who reported sightings of Shadow,” wrote the North Bay Animal Services on social media. “Your alertness and cooperation made all the difference in bringing Shadow back to where he belongs.”

Original article:

Photo: Sebastopol Police Department

Authorities in Sebastopol are urging residents to exercise caution following a reported sighting of a wolf hybrid on the eastern outskirts of the city on Sunday morning.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, a witness observed the animal walking in the vicinity of the Highway 12 bridge, heading south. The sighting prompted immediate action by law enforcement agencies.

Personnel from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Sebastopol police, California Highway Patrol, and North Bay Animal Services initiated a search for the wolf hybrid. The animal is described as being dark gray or black with distinctive yellow eyes.

In light of this sighting, local authorities are advising residents not to approach the animal if encountered. Instead, individuals are encouraged to take note of the direction in which the animal is moving and promptly contact law enforcement.

Wolf hybrids, which result from the breeding of a wolf with a domestic dog, are subject to specific regulations. Owning first-generation wolf hybrids is prohibited under Fish and Wildlife Department regulations. While no state permit is necessary to possess the descendants of first-generation wolf hybrids, it’s important to note that certain municipalities and counties may have their own restrictions or permit requirements in place.

For those who spot the wolf hybrid, two primary contact options are available: call 911 for immediate assistance or reach out to the Sebastopol police at 707-829-4400. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife can also be contacted at 707-428-2002, while North Bay Animal Services can be reached at 707-762-6227.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


  1. This is quite an over-reaction concerning this “possible” wolf or first-gen wolf hybrid. Big assumtion. It could just be a lost pet and you have made it a target through your fear-mongering. I never see such alarm raised over packs of coyotes.

    1. Yes, a typical over reaction centered around a “potentially dangerous” animal. The same hysteria that arises when a bobcat is reported as a mt lion or a brown coated black bear is reported as a grizzly.

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