New sighting of wolfdog made near Parksville as efforts to catch it intensify: ‘It’s difficult’

The wolfdog is pictured on Feb. 15, 2024.

Surrounded by squawking crows and looking both ways to check its surroundings on a rural trail near Parksville Thursday, a feared wolfdog looked itself like the frightened one.

But its reputation precedes it. The animal has attacked several dogs while they were out walking with their owners, and even killed a French bulldog. Still, Russell Lomas offered to show CHEK News the wolfdog in a whole new light, escorted by his big dog, Bee.

“They’ve been chasing each other around for months now. Pretty soon you’ll see Bee coming back and Wolfy will be right behind him,” Lomas told CHEK News on Thursday, as his dog ran ahead.

“I mean that is 100 per cent not wolf behaviour.”

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Bee the dog is pictured staring at the wolfdog. Feb. 15, 2024. (CHEK News)

Lomas urges people to keep their dogs away as officials have advised. But he wanted to show that the animal isn’t beyond help. That is, if there is only one, said Lomas.

“People have said they suspect as many as three of them around here. And no good can come of that,” said Lomas.

The wolfdog first turned up in the Parksville area in early September when people reported seeing it being dumped out of a van. Since then, it has attacked at least seven dogs and grown its range to over 300 acres, spanning from Errington to Qualicum Beach.

“We’ve had this dog in our yard. We’ve seen it spread all the way from Coombs to Whiskey Creek and in areas in between,” said MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, Adam Walker.

“It’s difficult. I mean, early on the volunteers and trying to track this animal tried to gain its trust and unfortunately that trust was lost. He’s skittish, he doesn’t want to go anywhere near a trap, doesn’t want to go anywhere near people. But we see that impact when people are with their pets,” he said.

So efforts by animal control and volunteers are intensifying to try to catch it, and Lomas is worried.

“I think someone is probably going to shoot him. We’ve got a bunch of ignorant people around here sneaking around with guns, playing hunters and ‘Oh I’m going to shoot a wolf.’

But animal control and FLED volunteers are trying to get to the wolfdog first, and trap the so far untrappable animal to relocate him to a wolfdog sanctuary in Alberta before the animal hurts another dog, or a human hurts him.

Skye Ryan

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