Hello! We’re happy to have you join us for the June edition of the Monthly Howl! As we’re in the middle of summer, we’re moving forward nice and steady with our mission, while adapting and contending with the heat. June brought out about some changes such as saying farewell to two long-term volunteers and welcoming another. Riot and Cinder received a cave house in June and we also began to plan for our annual Howl-o-Ween event which will double as our Open House as it did last year.
At Wild Spirit, our volunteers become our family. They integrate into a small community with a common mission and fall in love with the rescues they help care for. It’s always sad to say goodbye to those who have come to live and work here, dedicating so much time and their heart to the lives of rescues we provide sanctuary for. Long-term volunteers, Tom Neider and Kaity Moody departed in June. They were both highly valued and appreciated for their daily commitment to our cause.
Tom was a well-rounded asset around our Sanctuary as he was in trained in our Animal Care department and was also highly experienced in the Building & Maintenance department. It’s not common for Animal Care volunteers to come in with the knowledge that Tom came in with for things in the Maintenance department, so it is an understatement when we say that he was a rare volunteer. Tom will be difficult to replace. He is an extremely hard worker and cares about the getting the job done, and done well. Tom had volunteered with us before for a short period and came back for a full year last summer. We love it when former volunteers come back! Tom is going to school to become a Certified Journeyman Electrician. We could not be more proud of him! We will miss his mild mannered and eclectic sense of humor. We wish him success with all of his endeavors!
Kaity was a dedicated and competent individual who put in a lot of work to make the sanctuary a better place. Kaity is a go getter and is never satisfied with doing things at a level below her capabilities. As her time went on her, she put her artistic skills to use by working on glass etchings for the sanctuary and was an overall, reliable and useful member of the pack. We hope that whatever she pursues brings her joy and success, and we are grateful for her dedication to this place!
As you all know, Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary relies heavily on volunteers to run effectively. We are sad to say that at the moment, we are experiencing a bit of a dry spell when it comes to volunteer applications and we are feeling it! If you know of anyone who has ever wanted to volunteer with us, now would be a great time to let them know! Besides the fact that the two volunteers who recently departed were awesome, their loss has been amplified by how shorthanded we are during the busiest season of the year. Not only do our visitor numbers increase by 500% compared to the winter, we also have an increased workload related to caring for the animals and helping them adjust to the heat!
One way we can help our rescues in the summer is by plucking or brushing out the shedding winter coats of our social rescues. By the end of spring, our rescues begin to shed their winter coat to cope with the heat of summer. The molting fur is uncomfortable and itchy for them and keeps them too warm. For the rescues that are not social, they help themselves by rubbing against the fence or trees to get the excess fur off, or they will use their mouth to pluck themselves. For older rescues that begin to have a harder time shedding due to slower metabolism, we provide coconut oil treats to help them shed easier.
Besides plucking the excess fur off of our rescues, summer is the time we pull out the donated cattle troughs that we call “splash tubs”, place them in all habitats that do not yet have a pond and fill, clean and refill each of them each week. Providing the splash tubs provides immediate relief from the heat. The rescues jump in and “splash” in their tubs, getting the cool water on their legs, face and underbelly. Some have even figured out that they get maximum relief when they lie down in their filled tubs!
Since tub/pond cleaning and filling has become part of our summer routine over the years, we forget how much water we use to provide the necessary cooling relief to our rescues. The amount of water that is displaced (splashed or dumped out, and used to refill) totals at over 2,000 gallons; that’s over 13,000 gallons in a 6 day period! These numbers do not include the amount of water used to fill their drinking water buckets. To say the least, it requires a lot of hard work to keep our rescues cool with this project alone. This is why it is so important to us to have long-term animal care volunteers, as they are central to our success as a sanctuary.
Thankfully, in order to help us with the increased workload, Sean joined our team! Sean has been a professional chef for most of his adult life and has proven to be quite handy in the Wolf Kitchen. Sean’s presence is certainly being felt and seen as he makes our Wolf Kitchen run more efficiently, helps with whatever is needed, and has a great sense of humor that elevates the mood whenever he is around. Sean lived in Albuquerque for a few years and was looking for his next big adventure. His mother, who had visited before and fell in love with us, recommended the sanctuary as a possible avenue to satisfy his restless spirit. We are happy that the sanctuary fit the bill!
Aside from some of the challenges in the human arena and keeping up with the demands of summer, we are happy to report that a cave house was built in Riot & Cinder’s habitat! They love it! Our goal is to have a cave house in every habitat one day, but with so many habitats and limited resources, it is slow moving. Every cave house that is built makes us really happy because it improves the quality of life of our deserving rescues. We could not have provided Riot & Cinder a place to get out of the sun and away from the bugs without the help of our team members and without your donations!! Thank you all!
Save the date! We have begun our planning for our Annual Howl-o-Ween & Open House event. Come out and visit us on October 20th for free tours, discounted ambassador meet & greet opportunities and other fun! Watch our website in September for tickets prices and other activities. If you have not been to WSWS before, October is typically a good time to visit as it brings some of the nicest weather New Mexico has to offer. If you’ve been following us for some time and have seen some of your favorite rescues pass away in the last year, Howl-o-Ween is the time that we properly celebrate their lives. We hold a Fire Ceremony on each “Howl” to memorialize the rescues that have passed in the year, sharing their stories and some of the best memories we have of them. Many visitors throughout the years have called this ceremony “the highlight of the day”. We are all booked at our rentals but camping will be available for those who want to stay for the closing event. Mark your calendars folks and join us for a howling good time!