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Wildlife help topics


It is illegal to keep or sell a wolf as a pet in B.C. Some dogs are sold as wolf-dog hybrids for thousands of dollars, but they are really just dogs and have little to no wild wolf in them.

The BC SPCA is opposed to keeping, breeding and importing wolf-dog hybrids as pets.

Cross-breeding a wolf and dog counteracts 12,000 years of domestication. These animals are difficult to train and contain, and often show aggression toward other animals and humans.

Wolf-dogs already kept as pets should be spayed/neutered, fully vaccinated, contained in secure runs or pens, and muzzled when not contained. These animals need a high level of care that is difficult to achieve, and they do not make good pets.

Read our position on wolf-dog hybrids.

Photo by John E. Marriott

Under provincial and federal law, it is illegal to keep a wild animal, as designated under the BC Wildlife Act, as a pet. Very rarely, the provincial government issues permits for the personal possession of wild animals.

The BC SPCA does not support keeping wild or exotic animals as pets due to their unique physical and emotional needs. Both types of animals – those found wild in Canada and those exotic in Canada but wild to other countries – will suffer in care because of their specialized needs.

Under provincial law, it is illegal to keep certain dangerous exotic animals like tigers, primates or crocodiles as pets. Many cities also have exotic animal bylaws that make it illegal to keep some or all exotic pets. Check with your local municipality for a list of banned exotic animals.

Read more about exotic animals and the law.

If you are concerned about someone owning a wild or exotic animal illegally, please contact our Provincial Call Centre at 1-855-622-7722.

Wild northern pygmy owl hunting in snowy weather sitting on a wood post with a dead prey
Photo credit: Tania Simpson
Photo by Tony Pace