BIO ~ Silva was a female high-content wolf-dog. We rescued her in 2010 when she was around 5 years old. She joined The Big Pack in the Sky on September 14th 2017 after losing her long battle with vestibular syndrome among other health problems due to old age.
PERSONALITY ~ Silva was one of our shyest animals at Wild Spirit. Luckily, she warmed up quickly. She became more comfortable around people over the years and eventually approached a few of her caretakers. This beauty had a playful side and loved enrichment treats. She was definitely the dominant one in her habitat.
RELATIONSHIP ~ Silva lived with a neutered male high-content wolf-dog named Nakota. She originally lived with a younger rescue named Jaeger, but she finally rejected him after several arguments. We separated the two to make sure Jaeger was not injured. Thankfully, Silva and Nakota got along very well. Because they were among our shyest rescues, they were not on our tour path.
LIKES ~ Silva loved enrichment treats and having safe arguments with neighbors she shared a fenceline with. She liked to walk behind her caretakers, carefully inspecting their work inside her habitat.
DISlIKES ~ Like all of our shyer rescues, Silva disliked crowds of people.
FUN FACTS ~ Silva had only three legs. When we rescued her she was missing her front leg. We heard a few stories including that she was born with a club foot. A veterinarian removed her leg to avoid future complications. Like most 3-legged canines and another of our rescues, Shaggydog, Silva got around well.
SILVA’S HISTORY ~ In late October of 2010, we got a call about five high-content wolf-dogs in a desperate situation in Washington State. They were unfortunate victims of a backyard business. The woman who owned them had been breeding and selling wolf-dogs for a while but had to leave them behind while attending court-ordered rehab. The court appointed a guardian to step in and take care of the animals. The hope was the breeder could take care of them herself after she got the help she needed.
The five wolf-dogs were left on the property with the court-appointed caretaker who was apparently scheduled to come by to care for and feed them a few days out of each week. After just a few days of being left alone on the property, all five escaped their poorly constructed enclosures. They were running free in the area and in desperate need of rescue.
Our Assistant Director at the time, Angel, flew to Washington as soon as we could figure out all the details and gather the funds needed for such a rescue. Thankfully, one of our volunteers was in Washington at that time, too, visiting relatives. They were able to meet up at the breeder’s house to work together to try to find, capture and rescue the wolf-dogs.
First, the WSWS team set up live traps in hopes that the wolf-dogs had remained in the area. The traps work by luring the animals into a cage with food. When they step on a lever near the food, the door close behind them. The team also spent days scouring the property and surrounding areas in search of the five wolf-dogs. They saw no sign of them until the last day when Silva returned and was spotted sniffing around her old cage. Because she only had three legs, she didn’t move as quickly. The team was able to move in quickly enough to surround her.
Silva ducked into a culvert to hide. This proved to be helpful, but still difficult. The volunteer placed a travel crate in one end of the culvert, and Angel moved in behind Silva. Approaching frightened canines is often very dangerous. Because Angel had many years of experience, she was confident in her skills but still knew there was a risk. She hoped the nervous wolf-dog would be afraid enough to take cover in the crate rather than lashing out at Angel. Watch the video to see how it went.
Thankfully, Silva was safely crated and ready for her trip to her new home at Wild Spirit. Sadly, none of the other four wolf-dogs were ever seen again and it’s unknown what became of them. When at the airport, a security worker told Angel he would have to take Silva out of her kennel to check it for contraband. Angel tried to tell the security worker that was not going to be possible, but he wouldn’t take her advice. When he reached down to open the kennel door, Silva snapped and snarled at him. Wisely, he changed his mind and let Silva board the plane without the inspection.
Silva and Angel arrived safely back at Wild Spirit on November 17th. Silva was in a habitat alone until the arrival of a younger rescue named Jaeger just a month later on December 17. Often a younger rescue gets along well with an older rescue, so we thought we would see if they could be a compatible pair. They were together about one year before arguments began to escalate. Silva seemed to be unhappy with her younger man. Their last battle resulted in some injuries and we decided it would be best to separate them.
Silva moved in with another of our older wolf-dogs, Nakota. He had recently lost his long-time companion, Lani. We were thrilled to find our older couple is very compatible. They had been together since 2011 and continued to get along famously until she joined The Big Pack in the Sky.