Photos from the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary and The Wild Animal Sanctuary
As wildfires continue to burn in Colorado, 30 wolves and wolf dog hybrids are now safe after being evacuated from the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, and temporarily relocated to safety at The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS).
WAN talked exclusively with Jessica Kole, W.O.L.F. Sanctuary’s Director of Development, about the unique challenges that came with transferring these predominately elusive animals from one location to another, as well as the current status of the animals affected by the Colorado wildfires.
“It takes a lot of patience and work,” Kole told WAN, explaining that while the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary has a few animals that serve as social ambassadors, most wolves and wolf dogs prefer little to no human interaction. “Each wolf has a different personality. It was critical that we moved from one habitat to the next while putting the least amount of stress on the animals, creating as calm an atmosphere as possible.”
Kole also emphasized the importance of teamwork, expressing gratitude for the collaboration between the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary and The Wild Animal Sanctuary.
While Kole shared that volunteers and staff were able to collect the wolf social ambassadors and drive them away from the devastating wildfires, it was The Wild Animal Sanctuary’s Founder and Executive Director, Patrick Craig, and his team who arrived with the vehicles and equipment necessary to transfer the majority of the wolves to safety at their Keenesburg, Colorado, facility two-hours away.
There, the wolves and wolf dog hybrids remain in pairs with their mates, securely separated from other animals.
The length of time that the animals will stay at The Wild Animal Sanctuary is dependent on the weather and containment of the wildfires. While the Lewstone Fire has been contained, the Cameron Peak Fire continues to burn and threaten the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary.
“Our location could be at risk if the Cameron Peak Fire creeps closer,” said Kole. “We will not bring the animals back until we feel comfortable that the wildfire is contained. No concrete decision has been made.”
Most of the animals at the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary have been rescued from a harrowing life of mistreatment and fear. Many have been saved from dog breeders who try to exploit the animals as exotic pets. Once they start to display wolf traits, they can no longer take care of them. Other wolves have been rescued from equally deplorable and greedy industries, including those that were saved from fur farms.
“We are a nonprofit that relies on donations as we get no government funding,” Kole shared, further explaining that the organization also has little opportunities for grants as their captive-born wolves and wolf dog rescues cannot be released into the wild or adopted as pets. “They are different from domestic dogs.”
While the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary had a proactive evacuation plan in place, donations are needed now more than ever to purchase new trailers and crates, as well as an SUV to be more equipped for future emergencies.
Donations to the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary can be made HERE!
Ways to help and donate to The Wild Animal Sanctuary can be made HERE!
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg