01/16/2013 02:11 EST | Updated 03/18/2013 05:12 EDT

Prince Rupert seeks dedicated officer to keep, residents, animals, safe

PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. - Councillors in Prince Rupert, B.C., hope a conservation officer for their north coast city will help the community balance public safety and animal welfare.

Council has sent a letter to the provincial government, urging the hiring of a full-time conservation officer for Prince Rupert.

Residents are anxious about an increasing number of wolf sightings in the region.

Stepped up police patrols have led to the recent shooting of two animals, but one of those shootings killed a family pet in a tragic case of mistaken identity.

Mounties apologized after the wolf-dog mix was shot as it chased deer through a Prince Rupert neighbourhood before Christmas.

It's hoped a dedicated conservation officer would reduce the chance of such mix-ups while keeping humans and wolves far apart. (CFTK)