Wolf Mountain Sanctuary is one of the few sanctuaries which allows human interaction with the wolves. We feel that as the wolves will be captive for their whole life, they need to have human interaction and receive all the love we can give them. The impression a 180 lb wolf leaves on visitors to the sanctuary by rubbing their cheek against them and giving wolf kisses is ever lasting. To look into their knowing, wise, amber colored eyes is a moving, spiritual experience.
Katia Louise visits with the wolves at Wolf Mountain Sanctuary
About Wolves and High Content Wolfdogs:
Wolves and high content wolfdogs are considered wild animals and should not be regarded as pets. No wild animal should be kept by a casual pet owner. Proper care of wild animals requires expertise in many areas including containment, proper nutrition and socialization.
Canid - A member of the taxonomic family Canidae, which in North America includes wolves, coyotes, foxes and domestic dogs.
Wolves- One of the eight living canid species inhabiting North America and are the largest members of the canid family. This is the species from which our pet dogs were domesticated.
Alpha - The term sometimes used to describe the dominant wolves in the social order of the wolf pack.
Domesticated - Referring to species which have descended from wild ancestors but have been tamed, kept in captivity and bred over many generations for human purposes. They are usually dependent upon humans for their survival.
Hybrid - The offspring resulting from reproduction between two closely related species (e.g., a domestic dog and a wolf).
Truth and Betrayal
"Wolf-dogs are even more popular in the pet market. Some people believe that by crossing a wolf and a dog, offspring will be produced that looks like a wolf, but more readily behaves like a domestic dog. This is not necessarily the case. There is no sure way to know the exact percentage of wolf or dog in any wolf-dog litter. In some cases, low-content wolf-dogs may behave much like a dog. In other cases, however, they can be much more demanding and even dangerous to an uneducated owner. There is no way to be certain until an animal has reached maturity, which can take up to four years.
Estimates of the number of wolf-dogs and wolves currently in a domestic setting across the US range from 100,000 to 600,000. Estimates of those being euthanized each year range up to 10,000. While there is no way to substantiate or prove any of these figures, the number of calls for rescue and the general idea is clear: The number of wolves and wolf-dogs needing placement has reached epidemic proportions, and greatly outweighs the number of appropriate placements available.
Most, if not all of the rescues and sanctuaries in the US are beyond their capacity. There is simply no where for these abandoned, abused and neglected animals to go. For most, the only answer is euthanasia."
Oklahoma seems to be one of the biggest breeders of wolfdogs, and many of these breeders only care about the money, not anything about where the wolfdog is going to live, and if the people buying this animal are prepared for life with a wolfdog. That's why so many end up needing to be rehomed or in the shelter.
Freedom Song Sanctuary works to help find proper homes for these rescues and also seeks to provide sanctuary for the high content wolfdogs and those who may be too unsocialized to live in a home situation.
They educate animal control officers about wolfdogs as to how to identify them, and how to handle one if they are called to pick one up. They are in development on an educational program for schools and events centering on the the truth about wolves and the important role that wolves play in the ecological system.
Freedom Song Sanctuary needs your help and support! You can help them with their current fundraising campaign for the purchase of property. Anyone in the area of Oklahoma who has property they would like to donate for this purpose is requested to contact them directly. They are a 501(c)3 organzation and all donations are tax deductible.
Go to Freedom Song Sanctuary to learn more and help now! GO!
'Ol Southern Style takes a look into shelter cruelty with the south as an example of the kind of cruelty that's actually happening across America. In most cases these are county shelters that are funded by US tax payer dollars.
Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman's Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called ' Theobromine'. It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. Several deaths have already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker's chocolate which is toxic to dogs. - Read SNOPES Report!
TALK RADIO FOR THE PROTECTION OF ANIMALS
WFL ENDANGERED STREAM LIVE
"Spirit of the Wolfdog"
Featured Guest: Mike Lehane
Wolfdogs are one of the most misunderstood animals in the world; regarded as loved pet family members by some, yet persecuted for their association with wolves by others. Yet wolves and domesticated dogs, known as canids, are members of the same taxonomic family; moreover, wolves are the very species from which pet dogs were domesticated and they are genetically the same..
Due to the continued use of wild animals for human purposes such as companionship, scientific studies and entertainment, etc., various traits and behaviors have been determined amongst wild animals such as their ability to be sensitized, socialized or tamed; however there is a huge difference between a socialized wild animal and a domesticated pet.
As classified by the USDA, wolfdogs, otherwise known as "hybrids" are domesticated pets regardless of their level of wolf content. Terminology; hybrid verses wolfdog are often used interchangeably by government officials, experts, breeders, and the public whereby specific reference is made to an individual dog's level of wolf content; however the actual level of wolf content varies immensely from one dog to another, hence one reason for the widespread misunderstanding of this breed.
Archaeology has placed the earliest known domestication of dogs at potentially 30,000 BC; however the practice of breeding domesticated animals with wild animals has continued into present day. In general, domesticated dogs are regarded as species which have descended from wild ancestors but have been tamed, kept in captivity and bred over many generations for human benefit and are usually dependent upon humans for their survival. Wild animals on the other hand are regarded as non-domesticated animals and when raised under natural conditions among their own, they are not dependent on humans for their survival.
Pet ownership of wolfdogs, like any dog requires commitment on behalf of people to take responsibility for the life of the animal which includes the establishment of communication and trust, proper health care, proficient training for both the pet and the owner, plus adequate containment as per the size and type of dog. As with any dog, problems will arise when the pet owner fails to take responsibility.
Wolves are the largest members of the canid family; documented for their shy behavior around humans; however due in part to myth and fairy tales, they continue to be labeled as "vicious" animals by the public at large.
The WFL Endangered Stream Live, "Spirit of the Wolfdog" Featured Guest is Mike Lehane, VP Wolfdog Rescue Resources (WRR).
WRR is recognized by the Defenders of Wildlife for their effort and experitise in wolfdog identification and placement. Many State and County shelters call upon WRR to come forth and phenotype animals labled as "wolfdogs" to insure that the right placement for them takes place. 90% of these animals turn out to be dogs ...and it's very refreshing to have them placed in the normal adoption circuit and taken off the "dangerous animal" list of the shelter.
Wolfdog ownership is not a decision to be taken lightly. Inviting a wolfdog to share your home and become a part of your family is a lifelong commitment, and when done correctly with love and education, can be a tremendously rewarding and spiritual relationship.
If this is your first wolfdog, you should have experience with a northern breed dog prior to getting one, such as the Husky or Malamute. You should start with a low content wolfdog so that you can build a solid understanding of their mannerisms and behavior trends. A responsible breeder will know the characteristics of his/her animals. Most good rescue operations will also have evaluated the wolfdogs they bring in so that they can provide a “heads up” for the new adopter.
On Friday, MARCH 6TH Interior Secretary Ken Salazar upheld a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to deny the gray wolf protection under the Endangered Species Act. This decision opens thousands of wolves up to a brutal hunt in eight states the wolves call home.
Remind President Obama that we have an obligation to protect and foster the delicate balance of wildlife at risk. Gray wolves should be re-listed under the Endangered Species Act! GO!
Call the US Fish and Wildlife service for the Wolves! GO!
This video is an example of problems many pet owners have faced. This is a story about a wolfdog owner faced with possibly loosing his pets. In this news spot a city official and a local DVM appear to in part draw their conclusions based on breed specific legislation (BSL). Learn more about BSL on our show page and also listen to "Sentenced by Profile". GO!
From Freedom Song Rescue & Sanctuary
This is Mingo at a local shelter. We were contacted by the shelter director just before Thanksgiving 2008 about Mingo. We went to the shelter to evaluate him, and verified that he was a wolfdog (not a misidentified northern breed, as often happens). As you can see by his body language, he is terrified. The shelter worker there with him fought for Mingo's life. We created a myspace bulletin and started pushing his story (myspace has been a great tool!) Someone who had just a few weeks earlier who had to put her wolfdog companion of 13 years to sleep saw his story, and adopted him without even meeting him. She knew in her heart it was right. So when we went to the shelter to pick up Mingo, the shelter worker who had cared for him was in tears, one because of the love he had for Mingo, but also because Mingo was going to be safe!
This is a picture of Mingo in his new home, standing in front of their Christmas tree. Absolute total difference. This was just 2-3 weeks after we took him to his new home.
This is Shiloh in the OKC shelter. We were contacted about him in Feb 2008 by lady who went there to look for lost dog. His long story is on our myspace blog. He would not take food or water, nor poo or pee - for 3 days!
Some friends of ours in OKC under our authority went to the shelter and got him out literally minutes before he was to have been put to sleep 'because he was too aggressive.'
We fostered him for 5 months while he recovered emotionally and physically to all that had been done to him. Then a family near us offered to foster him, then adopted him because they couldn't bear to part with him!
This is Shiloh making himself at home in the plants at his new forever home. Because he is close, we get to see him once in awhile. Terry always wonders if Shiloh will remember him, and I assure him that Shiloh will never forget him. And when we do see Shiloh, he is so overjoyed he can hardly stand it.
More About Wolfdogs
With Permission by S. Bowers
Wolfdogs are a mix of wolf and dog, and can take after either animal on any given feature.(!) A "high content" wolfdog will have almost all of these physical traits. A low content wolfdog may not have any more of the traits than a northern mixed breed dog! Behavioural traits are more subjective, of course...as behaviour is determined in part by how the animal was raised.
Coming at it from many angles, taking ALL aspects of the animal into consideration, you usually get a decent idea of what you're dealing with. You still can't always tell though...especially if all you have to go off is a photo or two. And BEWARE--there are a few dog breeds that do have many wolf attributes! There is a LOT of overlap between wolves and dogs. (go to list of traits)
With all the drawbacks wolf crosses have, why would anyone want such a difficult animal?
This is a valid question...obviously, there must be something present in animals of recent wolf heritage that can't be found in the average domestic dog, who is less troublesome, much more eager to please, and easier to mold to your specifications. There are some folks who say that these are precisely the reasons they get more enjoyment from wolf crosses: they are far more challenging (the "glass is half full" view of "difficult") and interesting to raise, and they have a strong will and personality not found in more subservient canines who may live for their owner's approval. They don't automatically assume that you OWN them--body, mind, and soul. Wolfdogs may live WITH you, but they don't live FOR you.
Other reasons some folks have wolfdogs as their companions of choice are:
They're exceptionally intelligent animals. Most owners feel their reasoning power is off the scale, and they are the mental equivalent of a five year old child. They also have the amusing creativity that comes along with such a capable mind!
Wolfers are generally far more intense and aware of the world around them than domestic canines.
Along the same lines, wolfers are sensitive and emotional critters.
Guest Mike Lehane of Wolfdog Rescue Resources joins Host, Katia Louise in an educational discussion on the topic of wolfdogs and domesticated wolf rescue, placement and recovery.
Learn the difference between wolves in the wild and domesticated wolves. Discover the traits inherent in your dog as they relate to wolfdogs and their ancestor wolves. Hear the inside story about wolfdog breeding and the rapidly growing need for special facilities and sanctuary required in order to rescue them. Get facts and information on what you need to know before considering wolfdog and wolf ownership. Learn about outreach programs, fundraising tips and ways to support these special species.
Diva Vega live in the chat room as the Coordinator for Simulcast Discussions, plus Live call-ins.
It has been said that wolves and dogs are the same species, making the term hybrid confusing and technically incorrect; however wolfdogs are called hybrids by some people and organizations based on the facts that they are a cross of a species with a subspecies. Professional organizations such as the AVMA and government agencies such as the USDA refer to these animals as wolf-dog hybrids. In the United Kingdom, they are considered a hybrid for legal purposes.
Wolf-dog crosses are otherwise more correctly referred as wolfdogs.
Wolfdogs are a mix of wolf and dog, and can take after either animal on any given feature. A high content wolfdog will have almost all physical traits of a wolf. A low content wolfdog may not have any more of the traits than a northern mixed breed dog. Behavioral traits are more subjective, and are determined in part by how the animal is raised.
There are a few dog breeds that do have many wolf attributes, yet are actually 100% dog.
Wolves and dogs that are interbreed produce offspring that are known as wolf hybrids. Wolves can be crossed with any breed of dog. The most common hybrids are wolf bred with malamute, husky, or German shepherd. Although wolf hybrids can occur naturally in the wild, this rarely happens due to the territorial nature of the wolf. Hybrids are generally the result of deliberate breeding in captivity.
When a dog is bred with a wolf, the offspring will inherit a set of genes from each parent, and are basically 50/50; half dog and half wolf. However, when these animals are bred with other 50/50 hybrids, there is no way to calculate or manipulate which genes are passed to the offspring. As a result, these offspring may inherit a majority of dog genes from both parents and would herefore be predominantly dog - both physically and behaviorally. Or conversely, they could be predominantly wolf, or any variation or combination in between. The ideal wolf hybrid would be one that looks like a wolf and behaves like a dog, but unfortunately, many times one ends up with an animal that looks like a dog and has the obstinate nature of a wolf.
Laws vary from area to area and in some states, hybrids are classified as wild animals, where owners are required to possess the same type of permits and caging as for a wolf. In some areas, hybrids are regulated as dogs, needing only proper vaccinations and licenses. Due to the complicated nature of this "breed", laws and regulations vary immensely across the US and in many states wolfdog ownership is illegal.
Many breeders who deal in wolf hybrids promote the 'wolf content' of the pups and even set their prices according to the 'amount of wolf blood' in the litter. This type of breeding and labeling is not based on sound biology or genetics.
"Wolf Hybrids, America's Other Contoversial Canine"
Due to several factors including media hype, ignorance and fear, wolfdogs are amongst the most misunderstood breeds of dogs. Facts and evidence support that wolfdogs can make good pets; however in several parts of the U.S., all wolfdogs are classified as "wild" or "game" animals and based on the same, are all purportedly dangerous to humans. Conflicting classifications as such, are in direct opposition to the USDA statement that these same animals are considered domesticated companion animals. Despite these USDA findings, some states have placed strict licensing requirements based on various and oftentimes erroneous conclusions which oftentimes lead to the destruction of these animals.
Because of ramped profiling, people who have wolfdogs for pets must take extra precautions to insure the safety of their wolfdog.
In part, due to politics and bureaucratic deficiencies the USDA has denied the rabies vaccine for wolfdogs, and in many places, any animal believed to be a hybrid will be destroyed if it should ever happen to bite. It is highly suggested that wolfdog owners seek professional advice on this subject from wolfdog experts for the protection of their pets and this breed as a whole.
The most important factor involved with owning any animal with teeth, is that the pet owner must take responsibility for their pets. People must also understand that pet ownership is a commitment of repsonsibility for the natural lifetime of the pet. Pets' lives should never be considered dispensible and pet ownership should never be considered on a trial basis.
"The excessive media coverage which follows bites by pet wolves and hybrids only gives wolves a bad reputation. When a pet dog injures or kills a child, bad publicity stops at the breed involved, but when a wolf-dog hybrid does the same thing, the image of an entire endangered species suffers.
We especially deplore the fact that time and again when preventable accidents have taken place, the innocent animal is killed."
Dogs readily take to training, and can be easily housebroken. Wolves do not train well and cannot be housebroken. Hybrids may fall anywhere between these two extremes.
To find a trainer to help with your animal or for information about training, you might want to try the APDT website. The majority of trainers listed there use positive reward training techniques. Be aware that not every trainer is willing to work with a wolfdog.
Here is a chance to help get rid of animal gas chambers still in use in North Carolina. Davie's Law, named for a dog that survived a gassing, would do just that. This bill is gaining support in the legislature.
We need your help!
For information about what you can do to stop the cruelty in North Carolina shelters... Read this article!
Photo Credits: Wolfdog Rescue Resources, Wolf Mountain Sanctuary, John Holland, Freedom Song Rescue, S Bowers, Animal Law Coalition