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Author Topic:   Westmoreland woman found dead in wolf pen

Posts: 5356
From: Bisbee, Arizona
Registered: May 2002

posted July 18, 2006 06:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pidaua     Edit/Delete Message
This is why people should always respect and understand the nature of an Animal- especially one crossed with a wild animal.

By Paul Peirce, Jennifer Reeger and Liz Zemba
Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Humane agents warned a Westmoreland County woman it was only a matter of time before the wolf hybrids she kept as pets turned on her.
Authorities are trying to determine if the pets attacked and killed Sandra L. Piovesan, whose body was found mauled in the fenced pen where the hybrids were housed on her Salem Township property.

Cyril Wecht and Associates is conducting an autopsy to determine if Piovesan, 50, was stricken by a medical problem or was killed by what authorities described as wolf hybrids, also known as wolf dogs.

Piovesan, who lived alone, had raised and bred wolf hybrids for several years, sometimes drawing complaints from neighbors to township and state officials.

"Everybody told her this would happen, but she just wouldn't listen," said Action for Animals Humane Society Officer Elaine Gower. "She was a very likable person, but she was just delusional about their danger, and totally misguided."

Wolves in the wild fear people because humans are their only predators, said James Paulson, outreach coordinator with Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in New Mexico. But wolf hybrids are more dangerous than wild wolves because they don't fear humans, Gower said.

Piovesan's daughter, Crystal, found her mother's body when she went to the home yesterday morning after Piovesan failed to meet her for breakfast.

State police Trooper Brian Gross said Piovesan's body was mauled "pretty bad" by the hybrids.

Gross said humane officers tranquilized the six animals before troopers shot and killed them.

"When we approached the pen, the wolves were excited, acting in a pack, walking side to side along the (8-foot-high) fence," Gross said.

He said troopers spoke with Piovesan's family before putting down the animals to protect those who retrieved the body.

Family and friends said Piovesan adored her exotic pets and always went into the pen to feed them.

She sometimes kept nearly a dozen wolf hybrids and occasionally invited visitors inside the pen to see them. She built a playground with tunnels and climbing stations for the animals.

Wolf hybrids do not make good pets, experts say.

Gretchen Fieser, spokeswoman with the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, said the agency does not put up wolf hybrids for adoption because they are aggressive. Wolf hybrids dropped off at the shelter are euthanized.

Lee Neslar, executive director of the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, said keeping wolf hybrids in packs heightens the danger because each animal is constantly vying for dominance.

"She loved those wolves just like pets. She told me she was part American Indian, and she told me it was part of her ethnic background," said Brian Gallagher, a longtime friend who has a theory about what happened.

"They were all one pack ... including Sandra, who was considered the leader of the pack. I think one of them may have wanted to take over as leader of the pack," Gallagher said.

John Smith, a law enforcement supervisor for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said the agency had investigated some complaints about the animals but could do nothing about them.

According to the county treasurer's office, Piovesan had licensed the wolf hybrids as mixed-breed dogs.

"When they're licensed as dogs it's not our jurisdiction," Smith said.

Gower said there were indications the animals were wolves, but humane agents were not able to positively identify them.

"We had heard rumors she was selling or placing puppies, and she did call them wolves. But we could never prove it because no one (who bought the animals) ever complained."

She said Piovesan was cited once for failing to have the wolf hybrids vaccinated for rabies.

The animals began to turn on one another last year.

"They had killed one of the older wolves," Gower said. "It was a big enclosure, but they were stressed out and crowded, for wolf hybrids. There wasn't enough room, and they were attacking one another."

Ed Gieselman, a former Salem Township supervisor who owns a business near Piovesan's home, said he never had any problems with the animals, which were well-contained and only howled when emergency sirens sounded. Gieselman said Piovesan fed the hybrids roadkill.


The horrible thing is that those animals did not ask to be created and yet because of her insistance on keeping a hybrid breed going and due to her death, they were all killed.

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Posts: 3
From: Burlington, ND, US
Registered: Jun 2006

posted August 12, 2006 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stigmata     Edit/Delete Message
Very true.... It was unfortunate enough to beghin with but when I read that they had them all killed, I was angry--it is in their nature. They could have easily tranquilized them and released them into the wild and hoped for the best, but they absolutely should NOT have killed them. They deserved no punishment for doing such a thing as it was onlt a matter of time before their animal instincts kicked in.

Rather, SHE should have been slapped, for being so naive about wild animals.

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Posts: 2633
From: California
Registered: Oct 2001

posted August 12, 2006 10:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nephthys     Edit/Delete Message
Pidaua ~ Wow! It's too bad people have to learn the hard way. You know, I really believe that the breed Siberian Husky is part wolf ~ they are SO INDEPENDANT. They look like wolves. If you let one free, they will take off. They have such an independant nature and don't like to be restrained.

Stigmata~ COOL username! Welcome to LindaLand!

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Posts: 23717
From: Columbus, GA USA
Registered: Nov 2000

posted August 13, 2006 11:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message

"There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things." "I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." Lewis Carroll

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Posts: 5356
From: Bisbee, Arizona
Registered: May 2002

posted August 24, 2006 06:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pidaua     Edit/Delete Message

It would have been cruel to let them go into the wild. The dogs have a dual nature- Wolf in some instincts and a dog in other ways.

They are used to humans and being cared for- they were not killed because they were too wolf life, they were killed because they turned on the leader of their pack- basically humans are not their enemy nor do they fear them.

Wolves in the wild know to stay away from humans but a Wolf hybrid that is raised around humans will seek them out for comfort. What kind of death would they be asking for if they came across a person or family and were mistaken for a rabid dog / wolf?

I just wish people would stop breeding wolf hybrids with dogs. In some cases it seems to go well, yet if they become inbred one will no doubt be pure wolf after a few generations.

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Posts: 767
Registered: Mar 2006

posted August 25, 2006 02:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverstone     Edit/Delete Message

The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.- Robert Frost~

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