Wolfdog Left At Kill Shelter Gets A Second Chance

Wolfdog Left At Kill Shelter Gets A Second Chance

The Wolf’s remarkable strength, intelligence, and social skills have cemented its status as one of the most esteemed animals globally. Through legends, literature, cinematic portrayals, and art, we have come to appreciate the majestic wolf.

Some sought to capture the wolf’s wild essence by crossing it with domestic dogs, leading to the creation of the wolfdog, a hybrid boasting both wolf’s and dog’s traits.

Yuki instantly exemplifies the wolfdog’s appearance. His impressive genetics make him one of the top-tier wolfdogs at his shelter.

According to Brittany Allen of the Shy Wolf Sanctuary, “Yuki’s genetic test results show he is 87.5% Gray Wolf, 8.6% Siberian Husky, and 3.9% German Shepherd.”

A particular photograph showcasing Yuki’s size next to Brittany Allen, who stands at 5 feet 4 inches, went viral instantly. While he seems enormous, Yuki weighs around 120 pounds.

Brittany addressed and dismissed claims that Yuki’s image was digitally altered, using a humorous Instagram caption: “The face we make when people say Yuki’s picture is Photoshopped… It’s just his fat angle guys. We all have one.”

The attention from the viral image brought to light the struggles Yuki faced before finding his sanctuary. His difficult past was nearly his undoing if not for Shy Wolf Sanctuary’s intervention.

“We rescued him from a home where he was too much to handle after being bought from a breeder. At 8 months old, he was left at a kill shelter before we stepped in to offer him a permanent home,” Brittany recounted.

“He arrived at Shy Wolf Sanctuary in 2008 in relatively good health with a vivacious personality, at one point being considered for an ambassador role. A leg injury sustained here required five surgeries to heal, during which Yuki developed an aversion to being caged,” added a sanctuary director.

Volunteers have noticed Yuki’s affection for women, his playful antics for guests, and his overall playful demeanor since 2012.

Judy, a volunteer, describes Yuki’s selective nature: “He decides who he lets into his space. A select group of women, his ‘harem’, are permitted in his enclosure.”

The Shy Wolf Sanctuary, established by Nancy Smith in 2001 in Naples, Florida, gives a forever home to over sixty animals annually, focusing on both sanctuary and rehabilitation for wolves, wolfdogs, and other exotic animals on their two-and-a-half-acre land.

This non-profit emphasizes reconnecting humans and animals through education, propelled by the efforts of over thirty volunteers.

As uncommon pets, wolfdogs often find themselves without options until reaching a place like Shy Wolf Sanctuary.

Brittany explains the unique challenges of working with wolfdogs: “They require a different approach than wild wolves. We focus on their endearing moments to educate people and shift fear to respect, giving these animals a chance at life.”

Wolves typically avoid human contact and aren’t aggressive, but wolfdogs, due to their unpredictable genetics, can present unexpected behaviors.

Adopting a wolfdog presents a daunting challenge due to their unpredictable behavior blending wolf and dog traits, as described by the sanctuary.

Jeremy Albrecht conveys the deep bonds formed: “The pure wolves we caretaker for are typically shy yet can show affection once comfortable. In contrast, wolfdogs like Yuki may confront new individuals aggressively. Once they accept someone, though, the bond is quite extraordinary.”

Today, Yuki’s captivating nature has made him one of the sanctuary’s star residents. He has a few trusted volunteers he’s bonded with, earning him the affectionate nickname ‘Woowoo’.

Despite outward appearances, Yuki’s internal struggles with blood cancer went unnoticed until his diagnosis.

“Yuki’s cancer diagnosis came last year. The prognosis is terminal. We’ve addressed this type of cancer before, and it’s unclear how much time he has, but we’ll ensure his comfort for as long as possible,” Jeremy shared.

The sanctuary mourned when Yuki passed on November 15th, 2020, at the age of thirteen.

In remembrance, “Yuki, your presence will continue to resonate with us. Rest peacefully, our extraordinary friend.”