HOLMBERG: Idaho mountain man needs help catching his wolf

Posted at 7:24 PM, Feb 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-27 00:22:45-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- Meet Robert Clanton of Idaho, kin to the OK Corral crew, former postal worker, Marine Corps veteran, elk hunter and wild man, bristling with pistols. It’s right there on his calling card: “Not always right. Always armed.”

He says he’s “99 percent sure” the so-called White Wolf of Chesterfield is his beloved Dooley, a wolf hybrid who slipped away almost four years ago while visiting relatives here. He’s come a huntin’ for his baby and has been making serious tracks in some of the quite-civilized neighborhoods of southwest Chesterfield, as much as a sensation as the roaming white hound that so many have seen.

For the past week he’s been talking to folks who have seen the elusive but quite bold hound that has even been coming on people’s porches to get a bite to eat. He’s networking with the Chesterfield Animal Control folk, who have been good sports about the elusive creature that has them playing Wile E. Coyote.

But they’re ready to see the end of the frequent calls, close encounters and near misses. Animal control officers are armed with tranquilizer darts and have asked the neighbors where the dog has been spotted if they can open fire on their property. They’ve put out a bear trap, baited with canned pet food.

Clanton added the socks he wore driving from Idaho to the trap, hoping it would strike a chord with what he believes is his oversized lapdog.

He got involved after one of his Chesterfield relatives saw our initial report and remembered the lost hybrid.

A state game specialist has called into the doubt the hound’s wolf genes, but seeing is believing, and many of those who have seen the long-distance loper close up tell CBS-6 that it certainly looks bigger, rangier and much more wolflike than your average dog. And a vet specializing in wolf hybrids says it can take a DNA test to tell for sure.

Clanton asks anyone who sees the wolf-dog to call animal control or call him on his cell phone, 208-283-9780. He wants you to know that his Dooley was gentle, but he doesn’t know what he’s been through in the past few years, and what he may do if cornered.

So be careful out there!