May 2017

Thank you for tuning in for the May edition of the Monthly Howl! Last month brought heartwarming altruism from various groups of people who came here to donate their valuable time; however, it also brought some heartache with it as well. Our beloved rescue Nazareth crossed over the Rainbow Bridge this month; Agana, Kota’s companion, wanted a puppy so badly that she actually induced a false pregnancy on herself; we welcomed Quinn and Leia’s sister, Lyca, to the pack; and more!


Early in May, we said farewell to our handsome, high-content wolfdog, Nazareth. We had been noticing various signs of weakness in him for days, and due to his age, there was an immediate concern. One morning however, it was clear that whatever was going on was too serious to leave unattended. He gently walked himself into a crate and he was loaded into a vehicle to be transported to the vet. Crystal and Patricia took on the responsibility of taking him to the veterinarian, as they knew that it would be easier on him to have those he loved there with him. Unfortunately, in transit from the sanctuary to the vet, Nazareth left us and joined the Big Pack in the Sky. It was very difficult for the two caretakers who were with him, but they continued their trip to the vet office and consulted with the vet on arrival. It is highly likely that he experienced some sort of organ failure in his old age. We were fortunate to know Nazareth and miss him very much. We hope to pair his longtime companion, Angel, with someone soon. For everyone who supported Nazareth during his time with us, we collectively howl a huge thank you! Because of you, we were able to make Nazareth’s last year safe and full of love.

High-content wolfdog, Agana, apparently wanted puppies with every single ounce of her soul this spring. One morning, her caretaker noticed that Agana was paying particular attention to her abdomen. She would lick her abdomen profusely, and if she was lying next to the fence, she’d growl at those passing by her to leave her alone. Needless to say, the behavior was concerning, especially since there was no physical evidence as to what was causing her discomfort. So, as is customary for us when we notice any odd behavior, we took her to vet to get examined.  Once sedated, the vet began his exam on Agana.


Leyton and Crystal were in shock when he palpated a nipple and saw milk ooze out! The vets at TLC Pet Hospital  consulted with one another and all took a look at her x-rays of her abdomen and chest. Everything looked normal and so it was in agreement when they told us she likely had a false pregnancy; the solution: spay her. Spaying was put off upon her arrival because of a heartworm diagnosis. When rescuing a large and older female canid, we generally opt to not spay her because of the risk of losing her in surgery. On top of that, Agana having heartworm made our decision pretty simple. However, during the vet visit, we found that she is now heartworm negative and after analyzing her blood test, we trusted our vets with the surgery. Agana healed wonderfully and is back to being herself. The most wonderful part of this story for us is Agana has allowed Leyton and Crystal to walk her on multiple occasions…a very different animal than she was when she was rescued in 2014. We are so grateful for our partners at TLC Pet Hospital and for YOU for enabling us to give Agana the life she deserves! See Kota and Agana meet for the first time. 


19205128_10211754952288261_30820653_oAs a non-profit, we rely on our volunteers to help us maintain our daily operations, and we are deeply grateful when large groups or Weekend Warriors come out to assist us in other projects. We were fortunate enough to have three different groups visit us in May and they helped us with an unassuming, invasive, grass-like weed that can be dangerous to our rescues. Foxtail grass has barbed seed heads that can embed themselves in the eyes, nasal passage, and more, of a furry, four-legged animal. Sometimes, if left unattended, an embedded foxtail can lead to an infection; some animals need foxtails surgically removed; and others may have more fatal outcomes. We have been battling this nasty weed for a few years after the weed made its way to our grounds, and it seems that 2017 has been their most successful year yet of taking over Wild Spirit. We have not yet found the solution to our foxtail problem, but so far, our best bet is to pull the weed from the root and throw the nasty buggers into a plastic bag. Girl Scout Troop 10073, Boy Scout Troop 505 and the students of Jimmy Carter Middle School helped us tackle our foxtail invasion by doing just that and made a noticeable dent! We thank you all for your assistance in this important matter! Due to the sensitive nature of our rescues, we do not use weed killers or other harmful chemicals in our soil, though, weed killing the foxtail is not a solution as they are most dangerous when dead. If any of our readers have any other suggestions for us, please feel free to let us know!


Last year, we welcomed Kabbalah, Mystique and puppies, Quinn and Leia. Less than a year later, their sister, Lyca, has joined us for lifetime sanctuary as well. Leyton did his best to warn the owner against keeping Lyca as a “pet” but he digressed and focused his attention on bringing Quinn and Leia home. At the end of May, Lyca was flown in by helicopter from her previous home in California.  Lyca is smaller and a little more timid than her siblings and she seems to be a bit wary of men at this time, but she is a cutie and we can see why she wasn’t fit to be in a home as a “pet”. With all of the socialization and routine that Quinn and Leia have encountered in their 9 months of being with us, we can certainly say that these two were not meant to be in a home leading a domestic life. In her short time of being present at WSWS, Lyca shows similar behaviors that her siblings have displayed over months; she is right at home with her brother and sister here! Lyca is living with Quinn and Storm is currently enjoying companionship with Leia.


Wolf Kitchen Supervisor, Brittany Chiapetti, organized a charity event in Gallup for WSWS. Brittany displayed ingenuity and ambition by suggesting we reach out to a different audience in the nearby city of Gallup, NM. Being an experienced, competition shooter herself, Brittany was able to help us hold “Aim High for Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary” at the Gallup Shooting Range. With virtually no cost to us, we were able to raise over $500 and believe it to have been a successful event. We are very proud of Brittany’s efforts and thank her for setting up this fun family event for the benefit of our rescues!


Last, but not least, Dr. Gonzales from TLC Pet Hospital made a house call! Bringing our vet on-site can be a bit pricey, but we made it worth his while. Dr. Gonzales and his Vet Tech saw Storm, Bono, Princess, Kota and Leia. Leia and Storm’s bloodwork were great and we are continuing Storm on his current regimen (Vetoryl) for his Cushings treatment. Princess had an allergen test performed and other than being sensitive to dust mites, she seems to be in great condition. However, Bono has arthritis, adding to an already diagnosed joint collapse in his right shoulder. Bono has been receiving Adequan injections but now has been placed on an anti-inflammatory for long term pain management.


Due to abnormal feces being found in the Singer Habitat containing Bono, Reba and Princess, we changed their diet, gave them filtered water only and saw no difference in the feces. We ruled out parasites, among other things, and so we began to set our eyes on changing and/or cleaning the soil in their habitat to see if what we were seeing was due to an environmental issue. We have recently discovered though, through folks at the New Guinea Singing Dog Conservation Society, that many of the Singers from this particular rescue have passed away or are suffering from GI upset. Why this family is having these issues, is a mystery, but we will do everything we can to keep our Singers as healthy as possible. As of now, Bono, Reba and Princess are on a new diet and have been showing signs of feeling better in their tummies. Foxy and Bowie’s diet has changed as well, since it seems that the diet change has helped the others thus far. We’ll keep you updated on that!

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It was most helpful to have Dr.Gonzales visit and exam Kota rather than us attempting to take him to the vet for the very first time in all of the years that Kota has lived with us. Kota received x-rays on his face, his spine and back legs. Kota is our largest canine resident, and with his size, we are certain he feels his age sooner than his companion, Agana. Our assumptions were correct as the x-rays revealed that he has arthritis in both hind legs, he has local inflammation in his right knee which could be due to an ACL compromise and his spine has a slight amount of bridging spondylosis in his lumbar region. He’s now getting Adequan injections like Bono is and until we see that Kota needs it, he’ll also begin an anti-inflammatory regimen.


We had another busy month, but we’re happy to be of service to our deserving rescues! Thank you for supporting them and for helping us give them a high quality life at Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary!








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