AD Main Menu

Wolf Country owner pleads guilty, gets fine and probation

Alaska Wildlife Troopers served a search warrant on Wolf Country USA on Thursday, June 16, 2011, testing the DNA of dozens of suspected wolves and wolf hybrids, which is illegal to own or sell in Alaska except under certain conditions. Troopers say they also are investigating reports of attacks on children and animals by wolf hybrids thought to have been born at the roadside attraction north of Palmer.
STEPH ANDERSON / Anchorage Daily News
Dakota, one of Shuster's wolves, was tested by Alaska Wildlife Troopers who served a search warrant on Wolf Country USA in Palmer on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Troopers tested the DNA of dozens of suspected wolves and wolf hybrids, which is illegal to own or sell in Alaska except under certain conditions. Troopers say they also are investigating reports of attacks on children and animals by wolf hybrids thought to have been born at the roadside attraction north of Palmer.
STEPH ANDERSON / Anchorage Daily News
State trooper Bret Ledford carries wolf and wolf hybrid DNA samplings to his SUV from Wolf Country USA in Palmer on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Alaska Wildlife Troopers served a search warrant on the property, testing the DNA of dozens of suspected wolves and wolf hybrids, which is illegal to own or sell in Alaska except under certain conditions. Troopers say they also are investigating reports of attacks on children and animals by wolf hybrids thought to have been born at the roadside attraction north of Palmer.
STEPH ANDERSON / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Wildlife Troopers served a search warrant on Wolf Country USA on Thursday, June 16, 2011, testing the DNA of dozens of suspected wolves and wolf hybrids, which is illegal to own or sell in Alaska except under certain conditions. Troopers say they also are investigating reports of attacks on children and animals by wolf hybrids thought to have been born at the roadside attraction north of Palmer.
STEPH ANDERSON / Anchorage Daily News
Ichiban, one of Shuster's wolves, was tested by Alaska Wildlife Troopers who served a search warrant on Wolf Country USA in Palmer on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Troopers tested the DNA of dozens of suspected wolves and wolf hybrids, which is illegal to own or sell in Alaska except under certain conditions. Troopers say they also are investigating reports of attacks on children and animals by wolf hybrids thought to have been born at the roadside attraction north of Palmer.
STEPH ANDERSON / Anchorage Daily News
Werner Shuster, owner of Wolf Country USA in Palmer, discusses his supposed breeding of illegal wolves and wolf hybrids on Thursday, June 16, 2011. "There's no such thing as 100 percent wolf. It's what you call 'em that makes it illegal," Shuster said. Alaska Wildlife Troopers served a search warrant on the property, testing the DNA of dozens of suspected wolves and wolf hybrids, which is illegal to own or sell in Alaska except under certain conditions. Troopers say they also are investigating reports of attacks on children and animals by wolf hybrids thought to have been born at the roadside attraction north of Palmer.
STEPH ANDERSON / Anchorage Daily News
Klondike, one of Shuster's wolves, was tested by Alaska Wildlife Troopers who served a search warrant on Wolf Country USA in Palmer on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Troopers tested the DNA of dozens of suspected wolves and wolf hybrids, which is illegal to own or sell in Alaska except under certain conditions. Troopers say they also are investigating reports of attacks on children and animals by wolf hybrids thought to have been born at the roadside attraction north of Palmer.
STEPH ANDERSON / Anchorage Daily News
Werner Shuster, left, owner of Wolf Country USA in Palmer, discusses with trooper Lt. Bernard Chastain about Shuster's supposed breeding of illegal wolves and wolf hybrids on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Alaska Wildlife Troopers served a search warrant on the property, testing the DNA of dozens of suspected wolves and wolf hybrids, which is illegal to own or sell in Alaska except under certain conditions. Troopers say they also are investigating reports of attacks on children and animals by wolf hybrids thought to have been born at the roadside attraction north of Palmer.
STEPH ANDERSON / Anchorage Daily News
DNA samplings from the Alaska Wildlife Troopers' testing sits in the front seat of an SUV after the troopers served a search warrant on Wolf Country USA on Thursday, June 16, 2011.
STEPH ANDERSON / Anchorage Daily News
Tourists can "adopt a wolf" for a week by paying $10. Alaska Wildlife Troopers served a search warrant on Wolf Country USA on Thursday, June 16, 2011, testing the DNA of dozens of suspected wolves and wolf hybrids, which is illegal to own or sell in Alaska except under certain conditions. Troopers say they also are investigating reports of attacks on children and animals by wolf hybrids thought to have been born at the roadside attraction north of Palmer.
STEPH ANDERSON / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Wildlife Troopers served a search warrant on Wolf Country USA on Thursday, June 16, 2011, testing the DNA of dozens of suspected wolves and wolf hybrids, which is illegal to own or sell in Alaska except under certain conditions. Troopers say they also are investigating reports of attacks on children and animals by wolf hybrids thought to have been born at the roadside attraction north of Palmer.
STEPH ANDERSON / Anchorage Daily News
Ebony, one of Shuster's wolves, was tested by Alaska Wildlife Troopers who served a search warrant on Wolf Country USA in Palmer on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Troopers tested the DNA of dozens of suspected wolves and wolf hybrids, which is illegal to own or sell in Alaska except under certain conditions. Troopers say they also are investigating reports of attacks on children and animals by wolf hybrids thought to have been born at the roadside attraction north of Palmer.
STEPH ANDERSON / Anchorage Daily News
Harmony,left, and Goofy, two of Shuster's wolves, were tested by Alaska Wildlife Troopers who served a search warrant on Wolf Country USA in Palmer on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Troopers tested the DNA of dozens of suspected wolves and wolf hybrids, which is illegal to own or sell in Alaska except under certain conditions. Troopers say they also are investigating reports of attacks on children and animals by wolf hybrids thought to have been born at the roadside attraction north of Palmer.
STEPH ANDERSON / Anchorage Daily News
Harmony, one of Shuster's wolves, was tested by Alaska Wildlife Troopers who served a search warrant on Wolf Country USA in Palmer on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Troopers tested the DNA of dozens of suspected wolves and wolf hybrids, which is illegal to own or sell in Alaska except under certain conditions. Troopers say they also are investigating reports of attacks on children and animals by wolf hybrids thought to have been born at the roadside attraction north of Palmer.
STEPH ANDERSON / Anchorage Daily News

PALMER -- The owner of a Palmer-area tourist attraction known as Wolf Country USA has pleaded guilty to a single count of owning and selling wolf hybrids, troopers say.

Werner Schuster, 81, was sentenced in Palmer court Wednesday to a $3,000 fine and five years probation, according to troopers. In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped similar charges against Schuster's wife and his Glenn Highway business.

Troopers searched Wolf Country USA in June, collecting DNA samples from 39 suspected wolf hybrids and puppies. All the animals tested positive for wolf ancestry, troopers say.

The business, north of Palmer, once billed itself online as home to "the largest wolfpack" in the state.

Schuster pleaded guilty to a single charge of owning or selling a wolf mix, which is illegal under any circumstances in Alaska. It's illegal to own a wolf in the state without a special permit.

Schuster was sentenced to 90 days in jail with all 90 days suspended.



Anchorage Daily News / adn.com