BIO ~ Nymeria was a female high-content wolf-dog which means she looked and acted like a wolf, but she had some dog in her history. We don’t know her exact age, but we guessed that she was about 4 years old when we rescued her in 2012.  We helped her join the Big Pack in the Sky on March 17th, 2019 due to a cancerous tumor in her sinus cavity.

PERSONALITY ~ Nymeria was certainly one of our most rambunctious rescues. She loved to play and push boundaries to see just how much she could get away with, which is why we had trouble finding the right companion for her. However, around people, she was shy and easily intimidated.

Nymeria and Ghost howling together

RELATIONSHIP ~ When we first rescued Nymeria and the other 10 wolf-dogs from Iowa, she lived with females Brienne, Lady, and Arya, and male Ghost. Shifting pack dynamics led to some serious fights, so Nymeria moved out. She briefly lived with Lakota, but they weren’t a good match. Finally, she settled in with Lucian until he passed away in June of 2017. She spent her remaining years with one of our newest rescues, Bear. It’s was a love match yet, but they did appreciate each other and had no serious arguments.

LIKES ~ Nymeria was a feisty girl, and she loved fence-fighting with her neighbors. Her previous habitat-mate, Arya, lived directly behind them and they bickered through the fence all day long.

DISLIKES ~ Like most of our unsocial rescues, Nymeria really disliked human attention. She was comfortable with caretakers entering her habitat, but she did not want to be touched by or even be close to people.

FUN FACTS ~ Like her family members, the Westeros Pack, Nymeria was named after a character in George R.R. Martin’s book series, A Song of Ice and Fire. These names have turned out to be extremely appropriate due to all the drama in their lives, and even more so in Nymeria’s case.

NYMERIA’S HISTORY ~ Nymeria was born into horrible conditions at a breeding facility in Iowa. The original owner/breeder had passed away after a lengthy illness, and her surviving family was having a difficult time caring for the 12 high-content wolf-dogs that she left behind. The breeder had kept her wolf-dogs in 10′ x 20′ cages, some with up to three animals. The cages had cement or plywood floors and only 6-foot-high wire ceilings. Sadly, these are the typical conditions for wolves or high-content wolf-dogs kept in captivity, since these animals can easily dig or climb out of the average yard or enclosure.

After the breeder died, no one ever went into the cages and the poor wolf-dogs never went outside. The small enclosures were cleaned with a hose from outside, and years of waste had collected in piles around the edges. No one remembered their names or how they were related. They were not spayed and neutered, so each year more puppies were born. None of them ever survived.

A family friend stepped in to try to help take care of the animals and called everyone he thought might be able to help. Unfortunately, no one was able or willing to take on so many animals. Luckily, he didn’t give up and finally called Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. We immediately prepared to make our first trip to Iowa to assess the situation, but before we arrived, the oldest male of the Iowa 12 had passed away.

During the assessment trip, we quickly saw how serious the situation was for the remaining 11 wolf-dogs. Wanting to help any way they could, the family generously offered all of their chain link fencing and hardware to help with the building of the Iowa Rescue habitats. Before leaving to return home, WSWS staff loaded Cassie, the oldest female wolf-dog, into the van and took her to Canyon Crossroad Vet Hospital. She received an extensive exam and the immediate care she needed, and then she came home to rest safely at WSWS. She passed away in the winter of 2012.

In September of 2012, WSWS staff went back to Iowa to rescue the remaining 10 wolf-dogs. At midnight, on September 17th, the Iowa 10 stepped foot onto the soil in their new habitats at WSWS. It was the first time they had felt the earth beneath their feet in at least three years! Vet visits revealed they were malnourished, heartworm positive, and had brittle bones and teeth. Due to their age and poor health, we chose not to have some of the Iowa girls spayed, but the boys were all neutered (neutering is often an easier, less invasive procedure with significantly lower risk for the animal). All of the Iowa 10 were given proper medication for their many health issues, put on a healthy diet, and finally received the care they needed. After 3 years with no space to run, they all ran a bit oddly at first, but with time they’ve adjusted to their new life and home. They have all become much stronger and healthier, although they have had some drama due to shifting pack dynamics and further health issues.

In the summer of 2013, George R. R. Martin’s wife, Parris McBride-Martin, named all of the Iowa kids after GRRM’s characters from his well-known book series, Game of Thrones. The Iowa 10 are now all known as The Westeros Pack. The Martins have come to visit them and Mr. Martin loaned his star powers to a fund-raiser to build them a brand new habitat! With Mr. Martin’s help, we’ve raised $150,000 to build larger habitats for this deserving family.