By Patrick Kernan
WILKES-BARRE — The owner of the animal who attacked a 2-year-old boy at the Hollenback Dog Park in May has been charged for having illegal wolf hybrids, according to the state Game Commission.
David Cannon Jr., 54, of Plains Township, is facing two counts of unlawful acts related to exotic animal possession permits and one count of failure to safeguard the public from attack by exotic wildlife.
He faces a maximum total penalty of $1,500.
Cannon’s charges are the latest in a line of legal issues stemming from the incident. The dog — allegedly a Siberian Husky-wolf hybrid — mauled 2-year-old Hayden Davis as the boy reached through a fence
Two dogs, a male and a female, were seized from Cannon’s home Oct. 18. Game Commission wardens collected blood samples from the animals, submitting them to the Northeast Wildlife DNA Laboratory in East Stroudsburg for DNA testing.
The tests, the Game Commission says, shows the dogs are wolf hybrids. Wolves and wolf hybrids can be owned only by people who have an exotic wildlife possession permit, which the Game Commission says Cannon has never obtained.
Cannon previously admitted to other charges in the attack.
In September, he pleaded guilty to a summary count of unlawfully permitting an animal to injure a person. He was fined $197.39.
There have been a few other incidents involving the dogs.
Cannon pleaded guilty to a count for an “animal running at large” in 2015, but he was found not guilty of a summary charge in 2013 after his dogs allegedly mauled a chihuahua in 2012 at the same dog park.
The family of Hayden Davis has a lawsuit pending against Cannon, saying he had the legal duty to keep the dog restrained at the dog park and to train it to act properly.
The Davis family is seeking unspecified damages to cover the medical expenses and psychological effects of the attack.
According to the Game Commission, the animals are currently being housed at T&D’s Cats of the World wildlife refuge center in Snyder County.