Hello Gang! This year feels like it is flying by now that we’ve hit the midpoint of 2017! In June, we felt the unending circle of life as we said goodbye to two of our very loved rescues, Lucian and Ghost; we traveled to Silver City, New Mexico to help a sister sanctuary capture and vaccinate a total of 34 animals; and throughout it all, together, we all survived the the harshness of the beginning of summer.
Every one looks forward to the summer season, but we weren’t prepared for the force this summer hit us with. While dealing with the brutal heat, this area also packs quite a punch in the form of tiny buzzing insects, all of which are out for, you guessed it, blood! While every volunteer suffers, the animals definitely take the brunt of this attack (especially their vulnerable ears). In response to this, we’ve been researching ways to protect and repel these insects. Whatever solution we do come up with, it’ll have to be safe and non-toxic for the animals and volunteers alike. To everyone who donated natural bug repellents, solar mosquito zappers and fly traps, thank you so much!!! For anyone who has natural suggestions for keeping the no-seeums at bay next year, please email us!
Losing a beloved rescue is always a painful and difficult process for our team, especially those who formed a special connection with a particular animal. It’s important to remember that in the wild, the average lifespan of the wolf is 7-9 years. In captivity, that average life span sits somewhere between the ages of 12-16 years. Currently, over half of our rescues are over 10 years old! Unfortunately, we will be expecting an increase of losing our senior animals in the coming years. For more information on this particular topic, our Assistant Directer, has written a very thorough article about this subject in particular. It will be featured in our new and improved newsletter, “The Howling Reporter”. Due to unforeseen events, the printing of the updated newsletter has been postponed, but hopefully not for too long! Please bear with us.
For those who have been following the monthly news, the beginning of the wave we’re expecting to see of animals passing, has already begun. In June, we said our goodbye’s to Ghost and Lucian. Ghost was rescued from Iowa in 2012, along with his family members Nymeria, Lady, Brienne, Summer, Shae, Shaggydog, Arya, Jon Snow, Beric and Cassie. George R. R. Martin and his wife Parris, chose these names for the rescues who didn’t have names when they first arrived to WSWS. Ghost’s family lived in small cages when they lived in Iowa for a long period of time. We don’t know their full history, but we do know that most of them came to us with many health issues, and some with severe facial abnormalities. After weeks of watching Ghost’s appetite begin to slow down, and caretaker observations stating that he was licking the roof of his mouth consistently, Ghost was taken to our vet for what we thought might be a dental issue, but it turned out that Ghost was suffering from stage III kidney failure. Immediately after his diagnosis, Ghost’s appetite suffered tremendously, but we did our best to get the necessary medications into him and his caretaker had to get creative with the meals she was feeding him. During his last months, Ghost’s caretaker gave him whatever she could get him to eat and was able to pet him. Ghost tried to cross over the Rainbow Bridge on his own, but our Animal Care Supervisor and his caretaker were there for him to assist him along painlessly. Ghost’s life was fraught with difficulty but we were happy to have provided him with a peaceful, loving, and nurturing environment during his last few years.
As if losing one animal wasn’t difficult enough, we also waved a sad goodbye to Lucian. His transition started several months ago when his caretaker noticed Lucian acting not quite like his old self. Our standard procedure in any situation where an animal displays peculiar behaviors quite unlike their normal routine is that we investigate it further, usually landing us at the Veterinarian’s office. It was discovered that Lucian had two tumors growing in his lungs, as well as arthiritis in his spine. Due to Lucian’s age, we opted not to perform an invasive surgery and with our vet’s assistance, kept him comfortable and pain free over the last months he stayed with us. As time went on, the tumors took their toll on Lucian and it became increasingly difficult for him to expend too much energy. Our Assistant Director and two of Lucian’s human friends helped Lucian along the Rainbow Bridge when his time came. Lucian was an animal bursting with character and personality. He is missed by so many people and previous caretakers. He will always be remembered with an enormous cacophony of stories his soul left with us.
Our capture team, which is arguably one of the best in the southwest, traveled down to Silver City, New Mexico to donate our skill-set to the Wolf Song Rescue. Over the years, we’ve assisted them multiple times; for some of our team members, the trip was a very familiar and exciting routine. Wolf Song is run by a loving and tough 60+year old woman who, unfortunately, doesn’t have the resources to perform coordinated captures on her unsocial animals. Eight of our members took the 4+ hour drive to Silver City on a Sunday, and teamed up with a local veterinarian bright and early the next morning in order to inoculate a total of 34 canids. After just three hours, the animals were inoculated and examined and our team welcomed the idea of a nap on the way home! We are so grateful for our volunteers and staff for coming together on their day off to help Wolf Song with their inoculation day. We believe everyone had a “Howling Good Time!”
Last, but certainly not least, sweat was poured by several gentlemen in June! Our Westeros Habitat Project is moving along thanks to the help of George R.R. Martin, his wife, Parris McBride-Martin, and the team from Navajo Tech! In order for the fences of the habitat to be erected, a new perimeter fence must be put into place first. These gentlemen worked all week long welding parts and putting up new fencing out in the hot New Mexico sun. Thanks guys!! This project has been a huge undertaking from many weekend warriors over the last couple of years, but it’s slowly coming along. Thanks so much George and Parris! Your generosity continuously astounds us!