Gray wolves are native to Eurasia and North America. It is estimated that there are around 300,000 wolves in the wild. Although people often fear attacks by them, they usually stay away from humans.
However, when they mix with domestic dogs, people often think that they can have one as a pet. That's where they are wrong. Very wrong. Luckily there are some helpful volunteers who are there to care for the animals in a way that most of us can't.
If it ever feels like all your friends have a dog or a cat, there's a reason for that.44% of all US households have a dog, and 35% have a cat. This means there's an estimated 78 million pet dogs and 86 million pet cats. That is a lot of animals to try and keep in check. It's no wonder that some go wandering off, or have owners that struggle with them.
Have you ever heard of creatures being taken to an animal shelter?It sounds like the right place to take strays, and the people who work there do their best to save the animals. But they can receive a lot of different animals in a short period of time, and they usually don't have much funding.
The hope is that the owners come and find it.Stray pets that are brought in are usually looked after for a week or so, in the hopes that someone contacts them. The next step is usually to see if anyone will adopt them.
Often there's not much that can be done to help the animals.When the animals are sick, it is often the policy of the shelter to euthanize them. Unfortunately this can often be the course of action for healthy animals too who aren't claimed quickly enough.
Kill centers are disappointingly common.A survey was carried out on thirty European countries. Sadly, only four countries (Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, and Italy) don’t permit the killing of healthy, stray dogs. It is not that all the other countries want to do it. But without funding it can be tricky to support so many stray dogs.
In America the numbers aren't pretty.Each state has slightly different laws, and each shelter has its own system, but sadly a high number of euthanasia has to take place. It is thought that around 1.5 million animals are euthanized in animal shelters each year. This is 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats every year.
One pet looked like this was sure to be his fate.In 2008, while the rest of the world was struggling with the financial crisis, one creature had his own plight. Yuki was eight months old and living in North Carolina. He was purchased from a man who had just finished boot camp. But life wasn't going to be plain sailing for Yuki.
Yuki was larger than anticipated.120lbs). The next day Shy Wolf Sanctuary received a call from a shelter saying that they believed that a wolfdog had been brought in as a stray.
Have you ever heard of a wolf dog?
Wish Yuki a happy birthday! He is one of our highest content wolfdogs at the sanctuary. #happybirthday… https://t.co/51GaqRXQYH— Shy Wolf Sanctuary (@Shy Wolf Sanctuary)1549369818.0
Each wolf dog is a unique breed.
Are wolves man's oldest friend?Wolves have always been a part of stories and folklore. This is probably because they have been around as long as humans. They have been extinct in the UK since the nineteenth century. While in America they are rare, and close to extinction, but still around.
Wolves are almost mythical.
Their ethereal howls and pack dynamic make wolves very interesting creatures. But they have become increasingly popular following modern pop-culture. Wolves star in The Jungle Book as the caring animal family that take Mowgli into their pack.
Does anyone remember a small franchise called Twilight?Twilight, or more accurately New Moon, brought the idea of werewolves back into the popular conscious. It didn't hurt that their spokesperson was teen-heartthrob Taylor Lautner, who spent an uncommonly large amount of time without his shirt on.
Although there was one man who may have made wolf packs even more popular.It was in The Hangover that Zach Galifianakis began explaining his theory that he had been a lone wolf. The beauty of the moment is in his idea that they could all be lone wolves together in a pack.
The reality of wolves is a little different.
Fun fact Friday! An animal who is downwind of a wolf can be tracked by its scent. In good weather conditions, a wol… https://t.co/AV9jsCf4WV— Shy Wolf Sanctuary (@Shy Wolf Sanctuary)1550835335.0
Yuki is more wolf than dog.
Did you know, wolves stand between 27 to 31 inches (68 to 78 centimeters) high at the shoulder?Compared to dogs of… https://t.co/GPSqbeLZ0s— Shy Wolf Sanctuary (@Shy Wolf Sanctuary)1550404340.0
There were high hopes for Yuki at the beginning.
An injury caused some issues for Yuki.
He's a fan of the ladies.harem.' It is an honour to be a part of it, although he may retract membership at any moment.
What is the Shy Wolf Sanctuary?
Photo of the day. #wolfdog #kisses #happysaturday #bekindtoanimals #itswhatwedo #shywolfsanctuary #naplesflorida https://t.co/4fZ2q4cLKt— Shy Wolf Sanctuary (@Shy Wolf Sanctuary)1547299288.0
Despite the name, the Shy Wolf Sanctuary isn't just for wolves.
Caption this! #fennecfox #tgif #bekindtoanimals #itswhatwedo #shywolfsanctuary #naplesflorida #happyfriday https://t.co/9NGf8QDoLE— Shy Wolf Sanctuary (@Shy Wolf Sanctuary)1549021044.0
There are some very exotic permanent residents at the sanctuary.Cimarron. There is also a fennec fox, which comes from North Africa, called Fenn, as well as a regular red fox named Sophia.
Then there are some not so exotic residents.
Want to sponsor Mikey the raccoon? Click the link below! https://t.co/2SKhjmHL4y #happysaturday #raccoon… https://t.co/CmZ0W5yOfr— Shy Wolf Sanctuary (@Shy Wolf Sanctuary)1549717765.0
They rescue more than they can take care of.20-100 new wolfdogs every year. And that's not just in Florida. They rescue dogs from across the country too. Their aim is to place the wolfdogs in foster homes for eventual adoption.
The focus of the sanctuary is the care of wolfdogs.
Pets are for life, not just for Christmas.Taking on a new pet is a huge commitment. It shouldn't be done lightly, or just on a whim because someone might like a young puppy for a month or two. People that get pets should understand that medical bills are an unavoidable part of having a pet. It is important to take care of them so that they can live full lives.
One of the main aims of this sanctuary is to educate people.
This critically endangered Mexican gray wolf pup's smile might be the cutest thing you see today - or any day! Me… https://t.co/zJC8DaBMI1— Wolf Conservation Center (@Wolf Conservation Center)1547431575.0
A sanctuary like this isn't cheap to run.As you can probably imagine, taking care of nearly seventy animals, many of which are literally the size of wolves, takes a lot of effort. It requires 61,000 volunteer hours every year. Meanwhile the animals eat 52,000 pounds of meat each year. And that doesn’t take into account other costs such as veterinary requirements, dental problems, cleaning them amongst countless other parts of their life.
Sanctuaries and shelters are essential.
Come and volunteer with us! https://t.co/mX8ptRbcim #sundayfunday #bekindtoanimals #itswhatwedo #volunteer… https://t.co/nbokE5s7yY— Shy Wolf Sanctuary (@Shy Wolf Sanctuary)1549799391.0
What's the lesson of the story?
“The fears we don’t face become our limits” #wisdomwednesday #bekindtoanimals #itswhatwedo #wolfdogs #wolfpack… https://t.co/RZAMh1UIp4— Shy Wolf Sanctuary (@Shy Wolf Sanctuary)1550057354.0