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Please be aware that there are several active wildfires throughout New Mexico and Arizona that may affect travel to and from the wolf sanctuary. Please call the Gift Shop if you need more information, as we are trying to stay on top of road and fire information: 505-775-3304.

Male High-Content Wolfdog
Chuppa joined the Big Pack in the Sky on July 29th, 2023.
He passed at 13 years old, likely due to a cardiac event or organ failure.

Chuppa was born in March of 2010, and arrived at Wild Spirit in May of 2023. The year prior, we were asked to make a miracle come true by taking in five high-content wolfdogs in need of urgent rescue after their owner passed away. At the time, we were beyond our maximum capacity, with not a single empty enclosure for new intakes. While we wanted nothing more than to save these animals’ lives, we weren’t sure it was possible with our limited resources…

Fortunately, we weren’t alone in wanting to see this rescue through, and in a matter of days an entire team of people from across the country had agreed to assist us in going to get the animals AND putting up five new enclosures once we got back home with them! Thanks to this massive show of support, we made plans to retrieve the animals, meeting up with half our team in Kansas while the other half stayed behind to work on constructing the new enclosures.

After arriving at the owner’s property and seeing the animals for the first time, it was clear they were all experiencing extremely high levels of stress following the loss of their owner, and as a result of our presence as well. As such, we quickly came up with a game plan for getting the animals out of their enclosures, vetted, and into the rescue van as quickly as possible. Thanks to the experience and teamwork of all involved, this process went off without a hitch, and within a matter of hours, all five wolfdogs had been seen by the vet and loaded for transport!

Before leaving the home, we learned of three additional high-content wolfdogs also living on-site (one who has since passed), surprising everyone in our group as they hadn’t been mentioned in previous conversations. We decided to ask the owner’s wife whether they needed placement as well. She said they did but she hadn’t thought to ask due to their age, assuming we wouldn’t want them. We advised that while we didn’t have any empty enclosures at the moment, we would be willing to come back for them as soon as possible if placement was needed. She agreed, and we made plans to return for them as soon as we were able.

Thankfully, around 5 months later, after the harsh winter weather allowed us to FINALLY finish building our 4 new enclosures, we were able to make the trip back to Kansas to retrieve the last of the wolfdog rescues: Chuppa and his lifelong companion, Willow. As with the first Kansas rescue, we met with local vet staff on-site at the owner’s home, allowing us to ensure both of our new seniors were happy, healthy, and fit for travel back to New Mexico!

Following their arrival, Chuppa and Willow were placed in an enclosure near many of the rest of our Kansas rescues, allowing their little “pack” to see and hear one another as they used to with their former family. We believe this helped them make a quick transition into life at the sanctuary, allowing them to feel comfortable with us in no time at all.

Though Chuppa was only at the sanctuary for 3 months, he left a permanent impact on Wild Spirit and the humans fortunate enough to share time and space with him. Our team takes solace in the fact that those few months were filled with nothing but love, adoration, comfort, and peace for dear Chuppa. We are honored to have been able to provide true sanctuary–however brief it was–for a being so benevolent and pure as him.



Chuppa was an incredibly sweet, social, and affectionate boy, willing to share endless amounts of time with his Caretakers, so long as he was getting pets. All who entered his enclosure were welcomed with “open paws”, and a loving snuggle.


Chuppa spent his time at Wild Spirit with his life-long companion, Willow, who was rescued along-side him. The two were like a calm, elderly couple, that got along well with their neighbors.

Likes & Dislikes

Chuppa loved to be pet, and the company of any/all humans. He also enjoyed food-based enrichments, and lounging under his favorite tree with Willow.

Chuppa disliked when anyone stopped petting him. So much, in fact, that he developed a naughty streak of grabbing the clothes and objects of anyone who dared to stop giving him affection.

Fun Facts

Chuppa and Willow’s favorite activity before coming to Wild Spirit was . . . opossum wrangling! They used to regularly catch them in their enclosure in Kansas for fun. We like to think Chuppa passed on in peace when he could no longer find any opossums, believing he had finally gotten rid of them all.

Share your Memories of Chuppa Below!