COCHRANE – The Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary has 10 new residents that now call the shelter home.
The 10 new wolfdogs were saved from an environment that is now being investigated for animal cruelty. Due to the ongoing investigation, no further details are available regarding their previous home.
Thirteen pups were rescued, three of which were sled dogs, and will be sent to a separate sanctuary more fitted to their needs after they have visited the vet, said Alyx Harris, operations manager at the Sanctuary.
She said the 10 wolfdogs that will be residents of the sanctuary are settling in nicely.
“They’re honestly doing quite well, all things considered," Harris said. "They didn’t come from a great place and … they’re in a new scary environment, they don’t know anyone. All of that kind of stuff is difficult for any dog, but especially a wolfdog of significant wolf content."
She said a few of the animals are still sensitive and shy towards their new human caretakers, but overall the staff is happy with the progress the wolfdogs are making.
The wolfdogs were collected and brought back to the sanctuary by executive director Georgina De Caigny and assistant director Joel Cates.
De Caigny and Cates drove a total of 3,514 kilometres to make the round-trip and collect the dogs.
“They headed out one day, stayed the night, and came back the next day. They were quick trips. A lot of driving in very short amounts of time,” Harris said.
Although the 10 new residents of the sanctuary push it to capacity, Harris said they are very happy to give the dogs a new home.
“[We're] definitely happy to take as many as we did and give them the opportunity to live out their lives in spaces where they don’t have to worry about anything,” she said.
A few of the dogs have been placed into one of the enclosures in the public outdoor area of the sanctuary, but several others are in temporary containment situations for the time being.
“It’s not often that we’re able to take in this many wolfdogs. We’re almost always at capacity,” she said. “We all kind of just pulled together and were able to make it work. We will need to build enclosures.
"We’ve got kind of temporary containment for the moment, and they’re all in safe spaces that are definitely big enough for them to be happy, but we like to give them as big of space as possible.”
The staff at the shelter plans to move the animals into bigger spaces in the spring, once the ground thaws and they can build new enclosures.
“We’re not able to build enclosures until this coming spring,” she said. “We’ve got some temporary spaces where they can settle in and kind of get used to us and then we’ll be able to get them to a more permanent spot.”
To help cover the travel costs and vet bills for the animals, which combined cost the shelter roughly $10,455, the shelter has launched the From Alone to Home Rescue Campaign.
The fundraising campaign is meant to help cover the costs associated with rescuing Nukka, Eska, Juneau, Arrluk, Meeka, Laika, Summit, Atka, Sitka, and Merlin, and the costs of their new enclosures.