Bono is a neutered male New Guinea singing dog. We rescued him in 2010 when he was around one year old.
Bono lives with female New Guinea singing dog, Reba. Bono is on our tour path and loves to come to the fence with Reba to greet our guests.
Bono was featured on the Norwegian television show, “Wild Life Vet” when the popular program was filming an episode at Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary the same week he arrived.
Likes & Dislikes
Bono loves getting his ears scratched, playing with Reba, feeding time and going for walks.
Bono dislikes when Reba gets more attention than him, and like all our Singers, he is startled by sudden movements.
Some consider the rare and wild New Guinea singing dogs to be most like dingoes, but others report that they have completely unique DNA. They get their name from their equally unique howl which is nearly impossible to describe. Some say it sounds like a barbershop quartet, and others describe it as an ethereal trill. When we rescued Bono, we heard there were less than 200 New Guinea singing dogs in captivity, and that they may already be extinct on their native island of Papua. We read that on the island, Singers were seen more in pairs than in packs. Just recently, New Guinea singing dogs have been spotted in the wild again. For 30 years or so, no one in their native country had seen them at all, although they reported hearing them sing.
Bono’s story begins with a Pennsylvania man who bought a breeding pair of New Guinea singing dogs from a flea market. That same year, he obtained another pair from a kennel that had been shut down by his state. By October of 2010, he had over 80 Singers. They endured unsanitary, makeshift living conditions, including a half dozen adults housed in travel crates stacked on top of one another. The press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said that aside from not holding the proper licenses and not vaccinating his Singers for rabies, she thought the animals seemed loved and well-fed. However, it was clear that their owner was overwhelmed and she considered him to be a hoarder. Pennsylvania animal officials decided it would be best for all but 10 of his Singers to be placed in other homes or sanctuaries, and their owner cooperated fully. We are thankful for James McIntyre from NG Singing Dogs Conservation Society who went to assist, and Tom Wendt from NG Singing Dog International who went to the rescue and found refuge for 62 of the 88 animals. We send huge thanks to Samantha Burleson from Tom’s organization who called us several months later. Five of the Singers had gone to Arizona and needed to be relocated again.
After all the details were arranged, the Singers made the trip to Wild Spirit. We were elated to welcome three girls, Foxy, Reba and Princess, and two boys, Bono and Bowie. Foxy was 2-years old in 2010; the others were only 1-year old. They all had the unusual luxury of being examined by Silje, the celebrity “Wildlife Vet” from Norway only moments after they arrived. We have done no official research so far, but in our professional opinion, Singers are capable of giving you an extreme case of “Too Cute-itis.” They will steal your heart in approximately 18 seconds. As adorable as they are, they are not domesticated, and the folks who know Singers best (including the man who was hoarding them) all agree they are not good pets. And of course, all wild animals want to be free to live in the wild, not in captivity.
We’ve had to do some rearranging with our five Singers in their time here. Princess and Reba suffered a few bloody bites and had to be removed from the original pack of five; they now live with Bono and are known as “The Singing Trio”. Beautiful Foxy is Princess’ mom and lives with our other boy, Bowie. All five Signers take “No Scoot” fiber supplement to help with impacted glands. Bono also receives Adequan injections to help with his painful shoulders. Because of inbreeding, none of our rescued Singers could have been good candidates for any kind of conservation breeding program. They are happy to be home at Wild Spirit instead, where they are safe, well-cared for, and adored by our staff and volunteers.