This led me to do a bit of searching, and the internet is full of news items about wolves killing dogs, and even a few videos. Everyone agrees these attacks are on the rise. The state of Wisconsin has what looks like a serious and factual web page on the issue, and they note 41 cases of dogs killed by wolves already this year, as well as several serious injuries. The best estimate is that there are about 900 wolves in Wisconsin, the most since before World War II. The state's response is to create "wolf caution areas" and urge people to keep their dogs out of them.
I came across lots of stories like this one from Minnesota:
A hungry wolf roamed into Duluth on Tuesday and killed a family’s dog that its owner had taken on a walk along a popular trail.Duluth seems to be overrun with wolves, with dozens of sightings. Because this is in Minnesota, where wolves are not classified as endangered, the state government has been trapping them and moving them to wilder areas.
A state conservation officer said that such an attack is rare, but that it is becoming more common because the deer population is not as plentiful in rural areas of northeastern Minnesota, leading wolves to prowl for food in more urban surroundings.
Leo, an 11-year-old golden retriever-corgi mix, was not on a leash and was about 15 to 20 yards from its owner on a short trail near Brighton Beach when the wolf pounced about noon, said Keith Olson, a longtime conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
I wonder where this is going. Two generations of Americans have been raised to believe in wolves as cuddly stars of the wonderful wilderness. A lot more parents read The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig than the original. But wolves are not cuddly and sweet; they are very dangerous. They kill and eat dogs, cats, sheep, pigs, young cattle, and whatever other sort of animal you keep around. Wolf attacks on humans are very rare, but Siberians and Americans Indians have old stories about such incidents. As wolf populations continue to grow, violent encounters will only grow more common. How many dead pets will it take before the pendulum starts to swing back, and thousands of suburbanites begin clamoring for wolf hunts?
Where I live, as in most of America, deer are a much bigger problem, eating every green thing and causing lots of car accidents. Wolves would help with that. But people react very badly when their pets are devoured, so I am not sure they are willing to be philosophical about cat and dog killings. Even killings by noble wild predators that everybody loves in the abstract.