We are NOT in any immediate danger

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.

Female High-Content Wolfdog
Riot joined the Big Pack in the Sky on December 20th, 2020.
She was assisted at 14 years old due to loss of mobility/unresponsiveness.

Riot was born in May of 2006 to a breeder in California, and arrived at Wild Spirit in August of 2008. The breeder was classifying puppies as “wolves” and selling them so young, they still needed to be bottle-fed by their new owners. In order for wolves to be social to humans at all, they need to be taken from their mothers before their eyes open.

Riot’s owner bottle-fed her, loved her, and gave her good care. Over the next two years, Riot became social enough to be around people, as long as they crouched down. Riot couldn’t be contained in a typical backyard and didn’t do well inside the house, which is why when her owner called us; Riot was living alone in a 10 x 10-foot cage. Her owner really loved her and knew Riot deserved better than she was able to provide.

When Riot’s owner called, we had several single male rescues in need of a companion. After many conversations, we felt that we could offer Riot a better life at Wild Spirit and improve another rescue’s life at the same time. One of our oldest rescues, Doc, had lost his life-long companion, Whitney. We had tried 3 separate times to match him with one our single females, and each time poor Doc had been beaten up. We were very hopeful that a younger, calmer female would be his best bet. Unfortunately, after his bad experiences with the other females, Doc was not feeling very open to making friends. He was immediately aggressive with Riot, and it was clear it was not a good match. We decided to try Riot with Axel, a 3-year old Arctic wolf who had just lost his older companion. Axel and Riot were a closer age and energy level, and both seemed very happy with the pairing. Over time, the two developed an extremely strong bond and lived peacefully together until Axel joined the Big Pack in the Sky on August 25th, 2015.

High-content wolfdog Cinder had arrived a few months prior to Axel’s passing and was in desperate need of some companionship; he was just about 2-years old and still adjusting to his new life. We moved Riot into his habitat after some introductions and for Cinder. He seemed overwhelmed to have a friend and couldn’t stop “love biting” her head. His enthusiasm was a bit annoying to Riot at first, but after she told him off a few times, Cinder managed to calm down a bit. The new couple got along well, but we noticed that Riot was not able to fully settle down in this new habitat. We thought it best to move them both back to Riot’s old habitat, next to the neighbors she had known for over 10 years. Cinder saw that Riot was comfortable being leashed to go for a walk, and he allowed us to leash him, too, to take them to their new home!



Riot was a very playful and loving girl. She was quick to approach new caretakers and typically got along well with other canines. Although she sometimes acted tough, she was a sweet girl and very easy to love.


Riot first lived with Ashlar, and then Doc. She proved too playful for them both, but finally settled in with her companion, Axel, for about seven years! Following Axel’s passing in 2015, she moved in with a friendly young fellow named Cinder for the remainder of her years.

Likes & Dislikes

Riot loved belly-rubs, stuffed animals (with all the plastic parts removed, of course!), and showing off her enrichment treats to make her neighbors jealous!

Riot hated the flies and gnats that come out during our summer months. She also didn’t like when she was getting belly-rubs, and Cinder showed up to see if he could get some attention, too.

Fun Facts

Riot’s touching relationship with Cinder caught the attention of The Dodo, a site that promotes animal rights and welfare through online publishing. They wrote an article about our happy couple!

Share your Memories of Riot Below!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.