Male High-Content Wolfdog
beric dondarrion rudy
Beric joined the Big Pack in the Sky on March 14th, 2018.
He passed at ~16 years old due to natural, age-related causes.
Beric Dondarrion, who we lovingly called “Rudy”, was born into horrible conditions at a breeding facility in Iowa like the rest of his family. Due to this, his exact date of birth is unknown, but the estimated year was 2002 and he was rescued in September of 2012.

The original owner/breeder had passed away after a lengthy illness, and her surviving family was having a difficult time caring for the 12 high-content wolfdogs that she left behind. The breeder had kept her wolfdogs in 10′ x 20′ cages, some with up to three animals. The cages had cement or plywood floors and only 6-foot-high wire ceilings.

After the breeder died, no one ever went into the cages and the poor wolfdogs never went outside. The small enclosures were cleaned with a hose from outside, and years of waste had collected in piles around the edges. No one remembered their names, or how they were related. They were not spayed and neutered, so each year more puppies were born. None of them ever survived.

A family friend stepped in to try to help take care of the animals and called everyone he thought might be able to help. Unfortunately, no one was able or willing to take on so many animals. Luckily, he didn’t give up and finally called Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. We immediately prepared to make our first trip to Iowa to assess the situation, but before we arrived, the oldest male of the 12 had passed away.

During the assessment trip, we quickly saw how serious the situation was for the remaining 11 wolfdogs. Wanting to help any way they could, the family generously offered all of their chain link fencing and hardware to help with the building of the Iowa Rescue habitats. Before leaving to return home, Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary staff loaded Cassie, the oldest female wolfdog, into the van and took her to Canyon Crossroad Vet Hospital. She received an extensive exam and the immediate care she needed, and then she came home to rest in safety at Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. Cassie passed away in the winter of 2012.

In September of 2012, Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary staff went back to Iowa to rescue the remaining 10 wolf-dogs, known as the Iowa 10. At midnight, on September 17th, the Iowa 10 stepped foot onto the soil in their new habitats at Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. It was the first time they had felt the earth beneath their feet in at least three years! Vet visits revealed they were malnourished, heartworm positive, and had brittle bones and teeth. Due to their age and poor health, we chose not to have some of the Iowa girls spayed, but the boys were all neutered (neutering is often an easier, less invasive procedure with significantly lower risk for the animal). All of the Iowa 10 were given proper medication for their many health issues, put on a healthy diet, and finally received the care they needed. After 3 years with no space to run, they all ran a bit oddly at first, but with time they adjusted to their new life and home. They all became much stronger and healthier, although they have had some drama due to shifting pack dynamics and further health issues.

In the summer of 2013, George R. R. Martin’s wife, Parris McBride-Martin, named all of the Iowa kids after GRRM’s characters from his well-known book series, Game of Thrones. The Iowa 10 were then known as The Westeros Pack, which includes: Shae, Shaggydog, Jon Snow, Summer, Beric Dondarrion, Ghost, Brienne, Arya, Nymeria and Lady.​ The Martins visited often, and Mr. Martin loaned his star power to a fund-raiser to build them a brand new habitat! With Mr. Martin’s help, we raised $150,000 to build larger habitats for this deserving family.

beric dondarrion rudy


Beric was a bouncy, happy fellow. Of all the Westeros rescues, he was the one that really came out of his shell after arriving at Wild Spirit. In fact, he was the only of the 10 to allow for consistent pets and socialization with his Caretakers! He always had a goofy smile on his face, a bad hair day, and a joyful attitude.


Beric lived with one of our Arctic-Timber’s, Sassy, for the first portion of his stay at Wild Spirit. When Sassy passed in 2015, he moved in with her sister, Savannah!

Likes & Dislikes

Beric liked to find a cozy rock to nuzzle against, butt scratches from his Caretakers, and patrolling his fence-lines to say, “Hello!” to his neighbors.

Beric disliked sudden movements, and being woken up from his naps . . . Especially in conjunction.

Fun Facts

Beric received his name because his appearance best resembled the war-ridden Beric Dondarrion from the Game of Thrones novels. His behavior, however . . . Well, let’s just say that earned him the much more fitting name of “Rudy”.

Share your Memories of Beric Below!


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