Things are moving along at Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary! Although this month was busy and productive, it offered a small reprieve for staff and volunteers compared to previous months. In April, low-content wolfdog, Angel, had a tumor removed from her back leg; mid-content wolfdog, Rain, also visited the vet; with the help of Parris McBride-Martin, members from Navajo Tech/Work Skills USA volunteered with us for a weekend; we had visitors from the Lineberry Foundation; a long-term volunteer heads back to her home; and we are working on new things with friends, Cathy and Gerard Vachez!
Angel underwent surgery in order to remove a tumor from her leg. It had grown rapidly and was nearing a point that it would cause issues with her mobility. Biopsy revealed that it was a soft tissue sarcoma. Unfortunately, due the location and size of the tumor, the vet did not have a “clean” removal, which means that it’s very likely the growth will reappear. Thankfully, these types of tumors typically do not spread. For the first few days, Angel had to wear an e-collar to ensure she would not chew or lick at the incision site, but due to the stress it caused her, she was able to open the stitches by banging against the fence. We kept it as clean as possible, but took her back in for a second opinion. They cleaned the wound and prescribed her two sprays, one an equine wound care spray and the other a type of collagen spray for fast wound healing. During her second visit, we also had them remove another growth that was found on her spine, but thankfully that was just an apocrine cyst – she has a great prognosis.
Rain was taken to the vet because it was thought she could be developing Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. However, her test results showed that she was in perfect health other than having arthritis in her back legs. She was prescribed a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug which turned out to be the thing she needed to get her back to her happy and alert self!
A few years ago, George R. R. Martin held a campaign to fundraise for two non-profits, one for the Food Depot in Santa Fe and the other, WSWS. The funds raised for our rescues helped purchase fencing to build two large habitats for the Westeros Packs. Production has been slow due to the deep cleanup that was required of the space that will become the Westeros habitats AND the lack of skilled volunteers to erect the perimeter first required to get the habitats built. Thanks to Parris though, she coordinated with Work Skills USA to get skilled laborers to come and install the poles needed to attach the fencing for our new perimeter! Parris and George, we are so incredibly thankful for your generosity!
In 2016, we were awarded a grant from the Lineberry Foundation for our on-site education improvement project. The grant helped us purchase gravel for our tour path to make it ADA accessible and to complete our on-site Education Center. Members from the foundation visited us to see the progress of the tour path and of the Ed & Novella Lineberry Wolf Education Center. Thanks to their support, we are closer to our goal of using the Ed. Center for on-site educational events, as well as an opportunity for our local community to present in a space for workshops, seminars, classes and community planning efforts.
Our amazing friends in Santa Fe, who own an advertising business, have been looking for new ways to support our rescues and our efforts. They have offered to donate their incredible skills to help us refine our image branding and have volunteered to revamp our brochures and newsletters! In July, we’ll be releasing our new and improved Howling Reporter. It will be longer than it used to be, so we will be sending out the newsletter twice a year for cost purposes. They have been working diligently with us and are also working on two other fundraisers of their own, all for the benefit of our rescues. Howls of appreciation to you, Cathy and Gerard!
Education and Outreach is important to us, as it helps to spread awareness about the detriments of the exotic pet trade and empowers us to broaden our reach to the public. We appeared at the Poppy Festival in El Paso, Texas on the 1st and at the University of New Mexico’s annual Wolf Fest on the 14th. Both were great venues to offer in depth information about wolves, wolfdogs and our mission. Thank you for hosting us and allowing us the opportunity to educate the public!
Our volunteers are fundamental to the success of the sanctuary. Many who come start out as strangers and become family members. When it’s time for them to turn a new chapter in their life though, it’s always hard to say, “Farewell”. Meghan O’ Keefe left in April to return to home and occupy her important position at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Bellingham, WA. Although we know she’s needed there, especially when one is needed to perform emergency surgery on a bald eagle, we can’t help but miss her. Thank you for your devotion to helping “wild spirits”, Meg!
Last, but not least, after a few hurdles, we have been able to officially list our three rentals on AirBNB! Due to the unique nature of Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, it required research and ingenuity to work out the details smoothly. We hope listing these homes pays off and ultimately betters the lives of the rescues in our care, because in the end, everything we do here is for them.
Thank you for taking the time to read this month’s update!