Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary’s free events at the La Farge and Southside Libraries
A wolf and a human from the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, which rescues and shelters wolves and wolf-dogs at its facility in Ramah, present free programs at two Santa Fe libraries on Friday, Jan. 15, and Saturday, Jan. 16. Sponsored by the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library, the events address the wolves’ diet, hunting strategies, family life, physical adaptations, and pack structure, as well as the the differences between wolves, wolf-dogs, and dogs. Debunking myths about wolves is another important aspect of the sanctuary’s education program.
The mission of Wild Spirit is to rescue displaced, unwanted, and unreleasable captive-bred wolves, wolf-dogs, and other related species — the sanctuary’s residents also include a red fox, coyotes, Australian dingos, and New Guinea singing dogs — and to provide lifetime sanctuary and care.
The canids come from all over the country. Shasta, one of the sanctuary’s recent rescues, was captured in central California by officers with Calaveras County Animal Services after weeks of reports that a wolf-like animal was running around loose. In captivity, the wolf-dog would bare her teeth and make a growling sound whenever people approached. She was scheduled to be euthanized when an employee named Gina found out about the New Mexico sanctuary. As the story is told on the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary website, Leyton Cougar, the nonprofit’s executive director, saw that teeth-bearing growl when he went to rescue her. “Knowing canine language, Leyton assured Gina that Shasta was not growling in a threatening way, but just letting Gina know she was afraid. He encouraged her to reach out and touch Shasta. For the first time on Shasta’s last day in jail, Gina rubbed her, leashed her, and Shasta hopped right into the WSWS van like a pro.”
Besides the organization website, www.wildspiritwolfsanctuary.org, Cougar has www.wolfdaddy.org, where he writes that “humans and wolves as well as all things living are interconnected spiritual beings. Once you can tap into the spirit of nature and understand the nature of your own spirit your life can become more free and wild-like.”
Meet an ambassador wolf and learn more at 4 p.m. on Friday at La Farge Branch Library (1730 Llano St., 505-955-4863) and at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Southside Branch (6599 Jaguar Drive, 505-955-2828). — Paul Weideman
Dakota; left, a wolf in the classroom