DISLIKES ~ Saint loves going out for walks, but he hates leaving his sisters for too long! He worries about them if he isn’t around to protect them! He also doesn’t like when local dogs walk by the perimeter, and he barks until they’re out of sight.
A few times someone attempted to adopt one or two of the dogs, but considering that they lacked social skills and all basic training, it never worked out. Genuinely wanting to help the five “wolf-dogs”, the shelter contacted Wild Spirit in August of 2009. One of our staff members was on vacation in the area so she stopped by to see them. She quickly saw that these poor animals were just dogs, suffering from an incorrect label. They were kept clean and fed but had spent two years together in that awful 10 x 10 cage, which caused permanent damage to their knees. They all had learned to move together as a pack in their tiny space. We knew that they needed a better life, even if they weren’t wolf-dogs. We made arrangements to accept them at Wild Spirit and they became our NOLA Pack.
Despite still being shy, our NOLAs are very sweet and loving dogs. For the sake of keeping the closely-knit family together, we decided against adopting them out. We have given them the best possible care, including knee surgeries for Saint, Azteca, Katrina and 14 weeks of physical therapy after each surgery. This precious family does a great job helping us educate folks on our tours. Their story is the perfect example of the fact that many of the canines sold as wolf-dogs are just domestic dogs. Incorrectly labeling a domestic dog as a wolf-dog, or even worse, a wolf, is a horrible disservice to both dogs and wolves.
People get the impression that wolves and wolf-dogs are just like domestic dogs and will act accordingly. Sadly, most people who actually buy a wolf-dog or wolf very quickly realize they are not at all like domestic dogs. Meanwhile, millions of amazing domestic dogs waste away in shelters, unwanted despite being a perfect fit for most owners. Sanctuary and rescue spaces are very limited for true wolves and wolf-dogs, too. Most shelters will not adopt out wolf-dogs so they end up being euthanized. Saint and his family help us demonstrate how the wolf and wolf-dog breeding industry hurts everyone, even those who are not truly part of it.