May 07, 2021

Wolf hybrid involved in dog attack free of rabies

AUGUSTA – Mariah, a female wolf hybrid involved a week ago in an attack on two dogs in Exeter, was put to death Saturday as ordered last Friday by Judge Douglas A. Clapp.

Her brain was tested for rabies late Tuesday, and that test was negative, meaning the dog wasn’t rabid.

The dog was one of four wolf hybrids owned by Wayne and Sherry Doane of Old Colbath Road in Exeter, who on the morning of Oct. 30 burrowed under their fenced enclosure and then burrowed into a fenced enclosure next door, at the home of Royce Rollins.

One of Rollins’ dogs, a pit bull, was mauled and killed, and Rollins said he witnessed three of the wolf hybrids, including Mariah, chasing his Australian shepherd, which also had been mauled and was seriously injured.

Because there is no approved vaccine or quarantine time for the wolf hybrids to allow officials to observe rabies symptoms, Rollins asked for the destruction and testing of the four animals.

Judge Clapp, however, ruled last week that since only one of the wolf hybrids showed evidence of wounds or blood on its fur, the other three were bystanders and were to be spared. Clapp ordered Mariah killed by noon Saturday.

After the ruling, Rollins said he had no way of knowing which of the dogs were involved in the attack, and therefore he had to assume all four were.

Because he handled both his dead dog and his injured one, Rollins thought he was potentially exposed to rabies. That is why he and his mother, who also was exposed, will continue treatment for rabies.

Rollins began a series of rabies treatments Friday, receiving six shots in one visit; his 67-year-old mother, who also handled the dogs, began her series Saturday.

“She’s not doing well,” Rollins said Monday of his mother, Beaulah Bemis.

“The shots are making her sick.”

Rollins had a second series of shots Monday night.

Those shots will be followed by two more sessions a week apart.

His mother’s treatments also will continue, he said.

“I was not out to kill those dogs with the rabies law,” Rollins said Monday.

“I wanted those animals dead, I won’t deny that, but it was for my own and my mother’s protection.”

Rollins said, “I am not out to get the wolf-hybrid breed. After all, I had a pit bull, the type of dog with the most notorious reputation in the world.

“I could have lied and said I saw all four of those dogs biting my shepherd.

“After all, both my dogs had dozens of bite marks.”

But, he said, he chose to tell the truth.

“I believed the law, but clearly, in this case, the law did not protect me.”

According to Exeter animal control officer Katherine Ricker, the Doanes still face charges of keeping dangerous animals.

These offenses generally are punishable by a fine of $50 to $100, but could be as high as $1,000.

Rollins also said on Wednesday that he is proceeding with civil litigation against the Doanes.

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