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 Wolf
Sugar joined the Big Pack in the Sky on July 28th, 2022.
She was assisted at 16 years old due to old age/quality of life.

Sugar was an Arctic wolf born on May 3rd, 2006 and arrived at Wild Spirit May 22nd that very same year. The story of Sugar and her family (The Arctics) and why they lived at Wild Spirit is a long one, but we feel it is important to share it. Sugar and her siblings were born to captive-bred parents, Yukon and Sierra, at a breeding facility. The story we heard was that Yukon and Sierra were born to wolves who were taken from the wild. The breeder who owned Yukon and Sierra had been selling their pups to select private owners or for exhibits like zoos. Very sadly, in order for wolves to be socialized to humans at all, they must be taken from their parents before they open their eyes. Even then, they may not be comfortable around people. For eight years, Yukon and Sierra had each of their newborn litters taken and sold.

The breeder who owned Yukon and Sierra offered to donate two puppies from the litter they were expecting. In our view, we would be giving these pups a safe, secure life, where they would not end up chained or euthanized like so many wolves and wolfdogs. Sierra had a litter of six puppies including Alice, Thunder, Sabine, Sugar, Storm and Powder. Unexpectedly, none of the puppies were sold, and the breeder was left with six puppies who needed to be bottle-fed and cleaned every two hours, constantly with people to maintain socialization and continually exposed to many different situations. We had volunteers eager to help, so we agreed to take all six puppies (and eventually went back to rescue Sierra, Yukon, and Axel, too). Even with a full staff and many volunteers, raising wolf puppies is exhausting work. Despite being surrounded by people and hand-raised by humans, only two of the six puppies grew up to be comfortable meeting the public – Storm and Sabine.

Wild Spirit has grown a great deal since we became an official non-profit back in 1993. We realize we are always evolving, and we work hard to improve and change along the way to ensure we reach our mission statement goals of Rescue, Sanctuary and Education. In order to ensure that our true message is heard and those most in need are offered help, we have decided not to seek out wolf puppies to socialize in the future. If there is a puppy in need of rescue and we can offer them sanctuary, of course, we will. However, we know that the animals most in need are often older, already poorly socialized, and suffering from serious misunderstanding and mistreatment, so those are the ones that we will pursue most diligently.

Our Arctic puppies were introduced to a litter of Arctic/timber wolfdogs in June of 2006. The Arctic/timbers were the same age as our Arctic litter, and although they were supposed to be at WSWS temporarily, their re-homing plans fell through. Since the puppies were all so young, they were raised together as one large pack and naturally divided into pairs or smaller packs of their own choosing as they aged.



Although Sugar was hand-raised by our staff and volunteers, she never became fully comfortable with human contact and preferred to watch us from afar! She has made a few human friends over the years, but is typically quite shy around new people.


Sugar spent most of her life with her brother Powder. The two had shared their enclosure with a few other rescues over the years including their sibling, Sabine, high-content wolfdog, Dakota, and briefly, Nimoy, all of which were eventually kicked out. The two were inseperable, until Powder tragically passed in October of 2021. Sugar then moved in with her younger brother, Teton, spending the last few months of her life with him.

Likes & Dislikes

Sugar loved to disguise herself as her brother, Powder, hoping a new volunteer might mistakenly give her his medball! Unfortunately for her, her crossed eyes gave it away and she never reaped the rewards! She also liked fence-fighting with her neighbors.

Sugar disliked the presence of humans she didn’t trust. She often took advantage of her large, rocky enclosure to hide and keep an eye on them from a distance.

Fun Facts

Sugar was slightly cross-eyed, but we still thought she was one of our most beautiful and photogenic rescues.

Share your Memories of Sugar Below!

1 Comment

  1. MiLissa Wiley

    It’s been many years since I first read about Sugar & her siblings. What you all do at WSWS is amazing. Thank you all for the selfless time & love you put into this wonderful organization.


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