WALDOBORO, Maine — A wolf-canine hybrid whose fate was in peril last week has been returned to her original owner, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Department spokesman Doug Rafferty said Wednesday that Mia, an animal who had been held since last week at a veterinary clinic in Brunswick, was returned to her original owner Tuesday. Mia was captured early last week by Waldoboro police after she had killed some chickens. Under state law, Mia was transferred to an animal hospital where her fate was either to be adopted or eventually euthanized.

Though some details were unclear, Rafferty said a Waldoboro woman came forward earlier this week to claim the animal. Rafferty said the woman had satisfied the state’s requirements for keeping a wolf hybrid.

“She was alerted to the fact that Mia was [at the animal hospital] and she called us and reapplied to get her permit back,” said Rafferty. “She has satisfied any requirements that we may have, and the animal shelter has, and the town of Waldoboro has. The bottom line is that the situation is over and is resolved.”

Rafferty and Waldoboro Police Chief Bill Labombarde said Wednesday the woman had given Mia to another man, who in turn gave the dog to a second woman on Saturday, June 30. The dog then promptly escaped by breaking through a screened window and was at large for about three days until it was captured in a Havahart trap.

Labombarde said his department continues to investigate the situation because the manner in which Mia was given to the second woman could be a breach of state law, which strictly governs the ownership and transfer of wolf hybrids.

James Connolly, wildlife director for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, could not be reached Wednesday because he was out of state on department business, said Rafferty.

The situation surrounding Mia marked the first time the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has had to deal with the issue of wolf hybrids since last year when the Legislature passed a new law concerning them. IF&W took over licensing functions from the Department of Agriculture as of July 1 of this year.

Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.