We work really hard at the North American Headquarters for Addiction Pet Foods and sometimes you just need to take a break. We had the opportunity to tour a local wolf sanctuary, so we all dressed in our best rain gear and headed to Wolf Haven for their tour and a private Q and A with one of the wolf handlers. It was great fun and also very educational. We invite you to take a tour with us through our pictures.
Click on the photos to open up the slideshow and see our comments!
This lovely poem was on a stone right before a memorial walkway.
This is the memorial walkway, where you could buy stones for your pets that had passed.
Though it was too wet to sit on them, there were numerous benches like these on the tour.
We started off in the gift shop. Anita and Kristine found these cute, sad finger puppets.
Mona models the latest in wolf fashion. I don’t think she’s fooling any of the wolves with this hat.
At Wolf Haven, you can adopt a wolf!
A Wolf Haven drum.
Lead the way! We were told to not wear any perfume, scented lotions or even scented shampoos. We also couldn’t bring in any food. Wolves can smell 100 times better than humans.
We didn’t let a typical Northwest spring day get in the way. We just put up our hoods and umbrellas and carried on.
All the wolves were paired, male and female. Since these wolves will remain captive for their lives, they are spayed or neutered to keep them from breeding. These wolves were previously pets or owned by hoarders and kept in small cages.
This gorgeous wolf is named London. His partner Kiawatha was a bit more camera shy.
These maps were very enlightening. Notice how large the gray wolf range used to be.
And then after folks hunted them down and killed them, this is what was left.
Thanks to good conservation methods and places like Wolf Haven, this is what the current range is looking like.
Kelli and Kristine with London and Kiawatha.
This wolf’s name is Shadow. I took a lot of pictures of Shadow because he was a very intense wolf and kept coming to the fence and staring us down.
Shadow was owned by multiple people for the first six months of his life, including a teenager. He was surrendered to Wolf Haven at six months when people finally realized he was a wolf.
Though dogs evolved from wolves, wolves are NOT dogs. They are not trainable the way dogs are because they are very people shy and not interested in pleasing.
Some of the wolves at the facility had dog in them. Our wonderful tour guide, Cindy told us that you can tell dogs and wolves apart by looking at their chest and their legs. Wolves have very narrow chests and legs with giant paws. Dogs will have a wider chest.
Cindy leads us to the Red Wolves who were too shy to come out and get their picture taken.
This is a great example of a wolf dog. Notice how barrel chested he is.
This guy is also overweight, which was interesting because he had the most dog in him and he was the most overweight.
The wolves are fed a diet of pure meat. They are given raw chickens, beef and any game meat the sanctuary can get it’s hands on.
This wolf is standing over the remains of her game meat. It looked to be leftover deer.
These are Mexican Gray Wolves. These wolves actually belong to the government reintroduction program. When they went to count these wolves, they could only find 5 of them. Yes, you read that right. Five. That was all that was left. These two will be used for breeding. The government wolves ate kibble with game meat supplemented. They don’t feed them chicken or beef because they don’t want a wild wolf having a taste for chicken or beef. They feed them kibble because they get moved around a lot and not all facilities have access to fresh meat the way Wolf Haven does.
Here is Cindy explaining the finer points of wolf behavior to us.
Anita and a resting wolf.
Kristine excited to go visit the cemetery.
Can you find the frog in this picture?
Not only were there wolves, but Kristine caught this cute frog.
The cute frog did not want to get off Kristine’s water bottle.
Inside the learning center there were lots of antlers and skulls.
This is a wolf skull. Notice the big canines, perfect for ripping meat apart.
An office dog highlighting that domestic dogs are definitely not wolves anymore.
This contraption is called a Y Pole. The handlers use it when they need to handle a wolf for any reason.
Thought Kristine looks awfully distressed as Anita uses the Y Pole on her, this is actually less stressful for the wolves than using a net or a tranquilizer gun. Most wolves hold perfectly still with the Y Pole. They also will drape a towel over their head while they work on the wolf. For some reason, this calms the wolves down. We didn’t have a towel to drape over Kristine’s head to find out if it made her feel calmer.
Kristine showing that she survived the Y Pole.
Mona shows some enthusiasm for Wolf Haven.
The founding wolf was from people who mistakenly thought a wolf would make a good pet. When they realized that their wolf was a wild animal and shouldn’t be a pet, but it couldn’t be released back into the wild, they opened a sanctuary for wolves.