Neighbors concerned about wolfdog in north Indianapolis neighborhood

"Tyconee," a wolf/malamute mix, has escaped several times from her owner's yard.
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Dog bites in Indiana cost one insurer $108 million in claims last year. Most of the incidents involved children and pets they knew.

Now, a Washington Township homeowner is sounding the alarm in his neighborhood over a suspected wolfdog, frequently on the loose.

Home video shows an Indianapolis Animal Control officer jostling with what's described as a wolfdog that's made yet another escape, even though it was tethered and fenced in the owner's backyard.

"The animal is an escape artist. Can't keep it inside her fence," said a neighbor living near a white fury wolf hybrid.

Since November 2012, the city has had six reports of the wolf/malamute mix on the loose in a Washington Township neighborhood, just off Hoover Road.

Some neighbors are fed up.

Several tell 13 Investigates they've had to capture "Tyconee," the alleged wolfdog, themselves.

Only one neighbor would speak on camera and asked that his face and name not be used.

"I see this ending violently, and I see it ending bad and me leaving in handcuffs and I don't like that because you tell people, you tell people, you tell people and this is what you get. This is what you get," the neighbor said, pointing to portions of the fence that were sagging.

Indiana law says owners of wolfdogs must have a six-foot fence. The fence holding Tyconee is clearly not that tall. In addition, it is not made out of anymore than what some would call fishing wire or net. It's a material some neighbors would only trust to keep rabbits out of their gardens.

"It's not the animal in this case, it's the owner. It's absolutely the owner," the neighbor emphasized. "If you're going to have an animal like that, you need to step up and do what's required and keep others safe and I'm not safe in my own yard."

It's not just the children in the neighborhood the neighbors worry about. They're also concerned about the dog getting hurt.

As Eyewitness News cameras rolled, Tyconee's owner came out to untangle the dog's cable from around a swing set, but the owner refused to talk with us about the growing concerns.

"What concerns me the most is the other people don't know. When that animal is running around this neighborhood, they have no idea what they're dealing with," said the anonymous neighbor.

Back to the home video of the animal control officer trying to corral the dog on the wrong side of the fence, neighbors say if the dog had landed just a few feet shorter and gotten caught in the fencing, the results could have been disastrous.

Dan Shackle, chief at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, told 13 Investigates the city is taking progressive action. During its last visit April 18, the owner got a $50 fine for allowing the dog to roam.

Shackle says there is some dispute over the specific breed and has asked his officers to make a clear determination. Neighbors say they have no problem with a wolf hybrid, so long as it's well kept and contained.

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