Massive Wolfdog Given Second Chance by Animal Sanctuary After Being Abandoned

April 5, 2019 Updated: April 5, 2019

When Yuki the Wolfdog was just 8 months old, his owners dropped him off at a kill shelter.

They had purchased him from a breeder  as a puppy but quickly realized that at his size—fully grown, Yuki weighs about 120 pounds (approx. 54 kg)—he was too much for them to handle. They figured their easiest option was the kill shelter, since he certainly didn’t seem like he would be easy to adopt.

Luckily, the Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples, Florida, stepped in—and a decade later, the majestic creature has taken the internet by storm!

The sanctuary was opened in 1993 as a place for “exotic and injured animals,” starting with a Black Asian Leopard named Moondance. They’d been in business for 15 years when Yuki arrived on their expansive 2,800-square-foot property, desperate for love and a better home.

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Bài viết do Shy Wolf Sanctuary (@shywolf_sanctuary) chia sẻ vào

According to Shy Wolf staff member Brittany Allen, Yuki is more wolf than anything, which partially explains both his size and the hesitancy his previous owners had with keeping him.

“His DNA testing came back as 87.5 % Gray Wolf, 8.6 % Siberian Husky, and 3.9 % German Shepherd,” she explained.

As Brittany showed in her viral Instagram photos, though, he’s sweet and caring; just because he was too much for a normal family to handle doesn’t mean he was ready for the kill shelter.

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Bài viết do Brittany Allen (@brit_allen_) chia sẻ vào

According to domestic animal services, Wolfdogs are considered unadoptable, so the Shy Wolf Sanctuary is now a forever home for animals like Yuki. As Allen explained, though, the sanctuary and education center work to help raise awareness for the importance of not just caring for animals like these, but protecting them, too.

“They definitely are creatures that demand respect. It would be a much different encounter in the wild than what I do with these guys. The animals I work with have never been in the wild and never will be, so they are more socialized. We show off their adorable moments in the hope of helping people identify with them at least and maybe change their fear response into a healthy respect through education. And also giving an animal a chance at a decent life when otherwise they would be euthanized,” Allen said.

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Bài viết do Brittany Allen (@brit_allen_) chia sẻ vào

There are currently 69 animal residents at the Shy Wolf sanctuary, spanning from Wolfdogs like Yuki to prairie dogs, from North American bobcats to sugar gliders, and even species of tortoise.

Those kinds of animals require a different type of care from typical rescues. The diets are complex, their behavior patterns can’t always be fully domesticated, and they need special attention to keep them healthy as they age.

Currently, Yuki is suffering from terminal cancer. Diagnosed in 2018, the majestic wolf-like dog is being kept comfortable for as long as possible.

As Shy Wolf board of directors member Jeremy Albrecht said, though, they’re going to miss the kind of bond that Yuki has formed with the select volunteers he approves of.

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“Today, Yuki is one of the most interesting animals in the sanctuary. He is not an easy guy to get to know, but he does have a small number of volunteers he has bonded with. He has gained the nickname ‘Woowoo’ because when he sees any of his chosen volunteers that is the noise he makes, beckoning that volunteer to come spend time with him,” Albrecht said.

He’s a lucky wolfdog for getting such a good home with such a loving family!

 

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