Hello everybody and welcome back to the November 2017 edition of the Monthly Howl! For those of you who consistently follow us, it comes as no surprise that the health and well-being of our many rescues is our top priority. This month was spent practicing that philosophy and ensuring that the animals here were well cared for. This November the many veterinary visits to Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary were the defining element of this month. While it was time for our routine annual vet visit, both Powder and Kota also had their own veterinary adventures as they each went into Albuquerque for different types of oral surgery. November 2017 has gone down in the books as not only the month of veterinary visits, but our most successful “Giving Tuesday” campaign to date. We received over $7,500.00 in generous donations, and are still grateful to this day.
Our animals are no strangers to veterinary visits, and that is because whenever someone seems to be experiencing any form of distress they promptly receive medical attention. Aside from providing care on an individual basis, there is also our annual sanctuary wide vet visit that is the allocated time for vaccine boosters and general physicals. The vet sees not everyone on this day, but generally the number of animals getting vaccinated or looked at in some form or another ranges in the dozens. Wolves are naturally wary, shy and timid animals and so having a medical team enter an enclosure and easily work with our animals is generally unheard of. The caretakers and staff members at the sanctuary are relied upon to leverage their relationships with animals, or to perform as a part of a capture team in order to make any vet visit successful.
During these visits we do our best to minimize the number of captures performed due to the fact they are so stressful to both the humans and the rescues of Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. As a rule of thumb, we only perform them when absolutely necessary. The original plan for this day included a mere two captures performed on our coyote pair Jasa and Lyla. Due to setbacks, unseen resistances and uncooperative wolf-dogs, two captures turned into four. Besides performing captures on the two coyotes we also had to capture two high-content wolf-dogs — Argo and Ally. Both were difficult, but thankfully both were short.
Ally’s was by far one of the most unique captures in the past decade, because unlike most of our rescues that will speed up to about 15-20 miles per hour and enter the capture net at that speed, ally actually hit the capture net at her full blast speed! She was easily sprinting 30 plus miles an hour when she hit the net and literally ripped it out the netters hands. Thankfully, the netter was able to quickly respond to this situation and ran over to Ally as she was tossing and turning in an unmanned net. They grabbed the pole, flipped the net, and secured the capture. Capturing during a full sprint is dangerous and a less than optimal situation because of the risk to injury to both the netter and animal. During the high speed, high-stress circumstances present during an animal captures, accounting for every variable is sometimes just not possible, so Ally caught us by surprise. Thankfully, neither the netter nor Ally experienced any type of injury.
Some of the more pertinent findings during the veterinaries exams were that both Tia and Juan, our senior singing dogs, who were originally rescued from Mexico, have been confirmed blind. This is amazing considering that they have adapted so well to this that looking at how they move and act, we had never even guessed that Tia and Jaun might both be completely blind. We were all in shock at this diagnosis! Thankfully, their blindness is not interfering with their quality of life. It was also discovered that Foxy, another New Guinea singing dog, is suffering from hypothyroidism, which is easily manageable with the correct medication. (A sidenote for those of you who have been following us for w while is that Storms Cushing’s Disease treatment is apparently working very well! Our beloved arctic wolf did not need his medication adjusted and is doing awesome.) Beyond all these results, many of our animals received various vaccinations which will keep them protected and healthy for the next 3 years!
There’s never a dull week here at the Sanctuary and only few weeks after the vet visit it was discovered that our Artic Wolf Powder, who also suffers from hypothyroidism, had a large growth on the roof of his mouth. This was of course concerning, because anytime we encounter a growth, especially in older animals, the possibility of it being malignant and cancerous is present. Thankfully this was not the case, as his growth was benign. It was promptly removed and we were given the instruction of watching him very closely because the possibility of it growing back was, and still is, high. All in all, Powder is well and we are monitoring him daily, to make sure that the roof of his mouth stays growth free.
One of our more charismatic rescues Kota, who is actually the biggest and perhaps strongest animal on property, had to go into dental surgery for a long-standing tooth problem. Kota is a hard animal to handle and only the director and assistant director of the sanctuary are allowed to do this due to his massive size, strong will and playful nature. He had to be sedated before they even attempted to get him into the transport van, and it is a good thing that they did, because as soon as he had muzzle put on him at the veterinary office, all hell broke loose. The two directors were able, through their skill and experience in handling uncooperative animals, to get a handle on the situation. If he were not sedated, they are not sure that they would have left this encounter unscathed the way that they did. All in all, Kota had a tooth removed completely, which required drilling and splitting the tooth in order to remove it. During the procedure one vet even remarked that he is going to feel like he got “hit by a truck”. Kota, has fully recovered and even though his initial few days were likely painful, his surgery has improved his ongoing day to day life.
Finally, this month during the internationally recognized altruistic event known as Giving Tuesday, which is held on the Tuesday after thanksgiving, we had a very successful campaign which brought in over $7,500 to help us support our rescues. In celebration of this awesome yearly event we released three new videos titled: The Need for Recue, The Gift of Sanctuary, and The Importance of Education. Each of these video showcases our accomplishments in the three arenas, which form the backbone of our overall mission, which is Rescue, Sanctuary and Education. These videos can be found on our YouTube channel, which you can see here. It has been a successful year, and there are many new changes coming for Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary Soon, so as always, stay tuned.