Family says sightings may be their pet

WELLSVILLE-An animal resembling a wolf which was sighted in the area of Mick Road near here could be a family pet.

Three separate sightings of the wolf-like animal took place last the weekend, according to Yellow Creek Township Trustee Kenny Biacco Jr., who said witnesses insisted what they saw was a wolf.

What people are seeing could indeed be a wolf or at least a wolf hybrid, according Rod Russell, owner of Bojangles Road House Blue’s in New Waterford, who believes there is a strong possibility the animal in question is his family’s beloved pet.

Russell’s 1-year-old wolf hybrid, Yukon, ran away March 30 from the family home in New Waterford. He was purchased about a year ago from a family friend who breeds hybrid wolves. Yukon is completely tame and very socialized, according to Russell, who says the pooch was a staple of his restaurant where he interacted with customers and their children.

“I want to get the word out that he is not dangerous-he’s a big puppy dog,” said Russell.

Reports from the weekend stated the wolf was sighted in a residential neighborhood and even on one resident’s porch, which would seem to be strange behavior for a wild animal and indicate the unidentified canine could be Russell’s domesticated pet.

“He’s not afraid of people,” Russell said.

The Russells, along with friends and family, have been searching faithfully for Yukon since he disappeared two months ago. They have been joined in their efforts by an ever-growing online coalition via Facebook. Russell said he has received a number of reports, some credible and some not, saying Yukon was seen in the Unity and East Palestine areas of the county. The family now is searching in the Wellsville area.

Russell asks that anyone who sees what they believe may be Yukon to not use force in apprehending him.

“We don’t want people to shoot him thinking he’s a wild animal,” he said.

Those with information of Yukon’s possible whereabouts are asked to call 330-846-0124 or visit the Bojangles Road House Blue’s Facebook page. There is a $500 reward for Yukon’s safe return.