But more than a week ago, Game Commission officials began trying to catch the canine, using cagelike traps, nets, snare poles, sedative-laced hot dogs and tranquilizing darts.
As Monday turned to midnight, Jerry Czech of the Game Commission returned with a couple of other agents to try using foothold traps, which don't close all the way, he explained.
Hot dogs were used as bait, but at first all they attracted were foxes.
About 3:15 a.m. or so, yelps led the searchers to the caught wolf-dog, who was briefly aggressive as it was being controlled and caged, Czech said.
Once in a large carrier and then its transport pen, the animal was quiet once again.
"He laid there, unfazed, did not growl, kick, spit, anything," Czech said.
The wolf hybrid was taken to the Wolf Sanctuary near Lititz in Lancaster County, a 22-acre woodland refuge for wolves and illegally owned wolf-hybrids.
Wolf-dog hybrids are legal in Pennsylvania only with a special permit. As many as 300,000 are believed to exist around the nation, according to the Pennsylvania SPCA.
"It was a happy ending for everyone involved," Czech said.
He believes the animal was indeed a pet named Levi, given by a young Florida man named Kasey Lyons to his then-fiancee for Valentine's Day.
They were visiting the following month, when she let the animal off the leash in the park.
Lyons came forward after reading about the dog on Philly.com, and scoured the park himself Thursday and Friday, getting close at times, but never near enough.
The pet had nothing to do with the breakup, he said.
Lyons could be fined, since he transported and possessed a wolf-hybrid without a permit, but his cooperation with officials will be taken into account, Czech said.
Now it's back to worrying about bears too close to the burbs, he said.
Nothing else special on the local most wanted wild-animal list.
Rabid beaver, see ya.
That was Pennypack Park's big challenge about a year ago.
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or email@example.com.