The city's Animal Services Department alleges Capone, shown here, is a wolf-hybrid. The canine's owners assert the dog is a shepherd-mix. Photo provided courtesy of Tracy Abbato.
AURORA | An Aurora family that’s been trying to get its pet back from animal control officers says DNA tests show the dog is not a wolf hybrid.
City officials, who ordered the tests, said they couldn’t comment on the status of the blood tests, citing the pending litigation.
“We can’t comment about the DNA test because that’s part of the ongoing court case,” city spokesman Michael Bryant said Monday.
Bryant said that because the DNA tests are only related to one of the five charges facing the animal’s owners, Tracy Abbato and Tito Serrano, “everything is proceeding toward the hearing on this Wednesday.
“All we can say is that there are five charges pending and the ancestry is related to only one of those charges,” Bryant said.
A court hearing and in the case is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in Aurora Municipal Court.
The five formal charges are: owning an aggressive or dangerous animal, owning a wild, exotic or dangerous animal, having an animal run at-large, keeping an animal without proper registration tags and keeping an animal without rabies inoculation. Serrano’s attorney, Aaron Acker, formally entered a not guilty plea on all charges.
Aurora Animal Control picked up the Abbato family pet last month after it escaped from the yard. Officials classified the animal, named Capone, as being part wolf and refused to return him to the family.
But Abbato told Denver station KDVR-TV that tests showed their pet doesn’t have any wolf in him.
The animal has been held for weeks and will have to wait at least a few days longer before going home, the family told TV reporters.