Despite the hardships, challenges, and quite unprecedented territory that many people throughout the world were forced to navigate with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; the devastating fires that engulfed Australia, continued to burn throughout the Amazon in Brazil, caused significant damage in Siberia, Indonesia, Argentina, and throughout much of the mid-west of the United States; to name only a few breaking news items, the Wild Spirit Team is grateful to report that we were able to continue to provide the high-quality care we always strive to deliver to each of our rescues. However, that would not have been possible without the continued generosity, enduring support, and the copious waves of love that crash regularly upon us—From everyone at Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, furry and otherwise, thank you all so much!
To express our gratitude and to celebrate the passing of another year, no matter how difficult and different a year it was, the team has amassed a collection of moments and memories to share. We hope you all enjoy, and we’ll see you next year!
• Arriving to the sanctuary to embrace the role of Executive Director remains at the top for Brittany McDonald as a highlight to 2020. Many of the Wild Spirit Family cannot help but enthusiastically agree!
• Participating in the Capture Practical hosted by Crystal Castellanos, previous Director of Operations, and Rae McCue, previous Animal Care Supervisor. An all team hands-on learning experience, safe animal capture protocols were reviewed and role-played by members of the Human Pack in various scenarios. While goofy and fun, enacting real-life possibilities and past examples can boost the learning experience.
• Another team-building activity hosted for all members, humorously dubbed The YEET Competition, provided an entertaining way for teammates outside of the Animal Care Department to get a hands-on feel for what it is like to throw frozen loaves a great distance to the hungry rescues awaiting their meals. Several buckets were flipped upside down and labelled with different distance markers to which individuals would try to knock over or surpass with their toss. The event yielded a ton of laughs!
• A similarly humorous all team-building activity proposed by Donor Relations and Development Coordinator, Molly Shaw, was drawing a selected rescue blindfolded! Our sweet senior Juno, one of our three domestic dog rescues, was chosen for the event.
• The Rescue Mission for high-content wolfdog, Irwin, who mutually bonded immediately with Executive Director, Brittany McDonald. We love our walleyed boy!
• The super executed first Annual Vet Visit Day from a series of visits for 2020! Well planned and carried out by the cohesive actions of the Animal Care Team, everyone is ecstatic to celebrate the no-need-for-any-animal-captures, minimal stress to everyone involved (animals included), and the successful vetting of 19 rescues! Please join the team in also howling an ear-blowing thank you to our amazing veterinary partner, Dr. Gonzales, and his technician, Ashley—We could not provide the high-quality veterinary care without them!
• The new creative event, Art Pack April, hosted by Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary! It was delightful to see all of the super neat art pieces submitted for each of the four prompts—Born to be Wild, Vixen Scream, Surreal Singing Dogs, and Full Moon. The team cannot wait to see what the creative minds of our followers and supporters come up with next year!
• Stephanie Leitch, Gift Shop Attendant, shares that getting to meet the adorable New Guinea singing dogs inside of their habitat is one of her most cherished memories from 2020 along with tackling the task of cleaning out various sheds with Lisa McNitt, Bookkeeper.
• Hannah Lind, Wolf Kitchen Assistant, and Brian Adkins, Building and Maintenance Technician, both expressed being happy to join the Wild Spirit Team this past year.
• Hannah greatly enjoyed the enrichment activities and being able to assist in the creation of the goodies! For her, getting to also meet and spend time with New Guinea singing dog Bowie remains a cherished memory.
• Brian, to no one’s surprise, could not help expressing his love for his favorite rescue high-content wolfdog Kaya—the adoration is very mutual.
• Wolf Kitchen Supervisor, Jared Kain-Woods, wished to share his gratitude at the chance to work with wolfdog rescue Kabbalah who has been a favorite of Jared’s throughout his time at Wild Spirit. It’s not hard to see that Kabbalah shares a lot of the admiration—once he even kissed Jared on the forehead during a training session!
• Collectively, the Animal Care Team is stoked that water lines were officially installed to reach all areas of the animal habitats. Good-bye to trudging up to 80-pounds of water multiple times throughout the morning, and even more during the hot summer months! It was worth it for the rescues, but not one of us will miss the exertion.
• One of the best experiences working at an animal sanctuary with social species is the successful pairing of new companions. Throughout 2020, the Animal Care Team played matchmaker to find the couples with the highest compatibility lending to successful pairings—considerable factors: energy level, age, personalities, and sociability. We are thrilled to see wolfdogs Obi and Kaya getting along wonderfully; the new matches of Irwin and Naia and of Dakota and Sox are also extremely promising, and we may very well be announcing a new couple in the near future!
• With Wild Spirit’s launching of our Animal Care Internship Program, Shaina Miller and Vic UIiano have experienced that test subject life, gaining many unique experiences.
To our fabulous Howling Supporters, thank you for joining the team on this walk down Memory Lane! We hope you enjoyed this peek into the goings-on for members of the on-site Wild Spirit Family—the endearing, the goofy, the practical, and the overall amazing moments each. Howls to you all, and we’ll see you next year!