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I Am Not A Pet poster
Cinder travelling safely in his crate
I Am Not A Pet poster

Since Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary was born, we have rescued hundreds of wolves, wolf-dogs, and other canine species who have found themselves in need of sanctuary. We chose the name Wild Spirit to reflect the fact that the wildness of wolves and high-content wolf-dogs is deeply embedded in their genes. Their ancient instincts cannot be changed through training or by forcing them into a life in captivity. It robs them of the wild life they desire and deserve.

Wolves, true wolf-dogs, and other wild canids are not like domestic dogs. The way they think, behave, and communicate is naturally wild and does not align with human desires or expectations. People expect wolves and high-content wolf-dogs to act and think like a domestic dog because all dogs come from wolves. However, studies show that wolves’ brains are scientifically different from modern dogs. Put very simply, a modern dog brain is more like a wolf puppy, not an adult wolf. Inevitably, all wild animals will begin to act like wild animals, and the owner will be left with a very different animal that the one they were hoping for.

Because wolves, wolf-dogs, and other wild canids are unable to live like a domestic dog, people who purchase or breed these animals often find themselves needing to rehome them, which is how our rescues came to live at WSWS. Some of our rescues are talented escape artists and repeatedly escaped from their original homes, causing issues for neighbors and endangering their own lives in the process. Others were cruelly contained in cement-bottomed cages, used only for breeding with no quality of life at all. Some were suffering from abuse or neglect due to the difficulty of keeping and caring for such high-maintenance animals. Other rescues were destroying their owners’ homes or exhibiting natural dominance behaviors. Some were wasting away in shelters, waiting to be euthanized. And very sadly, many of our rescues had loving owners who realized that they could not provide the kind of quality of life their wild spirit deserved.

The animals we rescue are not adoptable, and they are not in need of rehabilitation. Innately, they are not companion animals. The average pet owner does not have the resources or knowledge required to provide a healthy, happy life for wolves, wolf-dogs, and other wild canids. Our animals are too acclimated to people to be released into the wild, and their survival depends on us. They cannot be rehabilitated because they only know a life with humans and can’t unlearn that. Consequently, outside of sanctuary, there is nowhere left for our rescues to go.

We at Wild Spirit do our best to provide care customized to each animal’s needs, desires, personality, and health. We understand that some animals will never want human attention, and we respect that wish. We are able to provide care in the least stressful way possible, and we are able to offer them a life as close to free as possible. By providing large, natural habitats, companionship of their own kind, and a life that is dictated by their desires as much as possible, we’re offering the best possible living situation for a very unique, deserving population of rescues.