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Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education and Experience Center Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animal Services, Animals, Wildlife Sanctuaries

Mission: The Shy Wolf Sanctuary, Education & Experience Center Inc., is a Multi-Purpose organization with the following goals. To provide a sanctuary for unwanted, abused and injured Wolves, Wolf-Dogs as well as for other exotic animals such as Panthers, Foxes, Coyotes and many others. The primary function encompassing some 60% of the organizations efforts is to provide shelter, feeding, cleaning, socialization and medical care of the animals. In addition to provide educational visits that allow individuals to interact with the animals.

Programs: The organization provides a sanctuary for unwanted, abused and abandoned exotic animals by providing food, shelter, medical care and rehabilitation. The organization has been a home to at least 36 wolves and wolf dogs, 4 foxes, 1 bobcat, 2 cougars, 5 sugar gliders, 5 prairie dogs, and 6 gopher tortoises. Educational tours have given new meaning to the word "wolf" to 3,835 adults and 1,098 children at the sanctuary. We have gone to 11 local elementary schools and provided educational programs to over 300 students to try and bring understanding about the wolf and their plight and these problems with back-yard breeders who sell wolf/dogs to people who do not really understand that these animals are caught between two worlds and are not dogs. Multiple outreach programs in 2010 enabled us to reach hundreds of people to spread kindness and understanding toward the wolf.

Community Stories

59 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Maryanne V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Shy Wolf this past year and it has been an incredible experience. I clean enclosures, chop up meat, makes feeding bowls and feed these beautiful animals. It is both my pleasure and honor to be at Shy Wolf Sanctuary and be able to give my time and care for the amazing and loving wolves, wolf dogs, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, prairie dogs and of cause our Florida panther.
All the volunteers share a common goal, love of animals and caring hearts. We all work hard, and rewarded with wet kisses and scent rubs ( which sometimes can give you a new hairdo ). I have learned so much and am grateful to the staff for all the support and teaching that is ongoing.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing and best experience we have had. If I lived in Florida, I would definitely become a volunteer. It's amazing what Shy Wolf Sanctuary has to offer for the animals and the public as well. I recommend this place to everyone I know who is visiting Florida.

Donor

Rating: 5

I first visited more then 10 years ago and fell in love with the sanctuary. I visit again recently and fell in love all over again. You know a place is special when it attracts so many wonderful volunteers who clearly love the animals. Seeing the animals and how well they are cared for and loved is a great experience that I highly recommend!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our visit to Shy Wolf Sanctuary was so interesting we came home & told friends/family about our experience, encouraging them to make every effort to also visit. What a caring & devoted group of individuals who care for our 4 legged friends. We look forward to going back with a larger group.

Donor

Rating: 5

I visited Shy Wolf Sanctuary while vacationing in Florida. Friends we were visiting took us, and I admit that I was not sure I wanted to visit a "sanctuary" for wild animals. As an Animal Control Officer and Animal Welfare rescue volunteer I have seen too many "sanctuaries" that at least disappointed and sometimes horrified me. Shy Wolf Sanctuary blew me away on many critical points and I have been a staunch supporter ever since. First the incredible cleanliness of the entire property impressed me. The layout of enclosures for so many animals on such a small property that still managed to offer comfortable and enriching environments for a variety of species was also impressive to me. The number and quality of the volunteers and staff would make any organization jealous.; I could go on, but I just want to say THANK YOU to the Shy Wolf Sanctuary for the incredible work you all do, the amazing things that your group has done with so few resources for all these years, and for the animals whose lives you have not only saved but improved immensely. I will support you in any way I can and recommend that anyone who can offer support and encouragement please do what you can to help Shy Wolf expand and continue their aweome work. God bless you all!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have visited there and was very impressed with the dedication of the staff. I began recommending it to my FGCU students as a service opportunity. Every student who has volunteered there has been made to feel wanted, appreciated, and important to the efforts of the Group. They have also learned many aspects of the exotic animal trade and the problems it causes and shared the knowledge with me.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have visited Shy Wolf Sanctuary a number of times. It is amazing what they are able to do to help animals that have been abandoned or surrendered because someone felt that an exotic pet was for them but was sadly mistaken. The staff is wonderful and it is very evident that they care greatly for the animals and take care of them as if they were their own. I support them yearly as I know that my donation will be put to the best use available to care for these lovely animals.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I took a private tour of Shy Wolf Sanctuary in February 2019 with my sister and her friend. Peg, a volunteer, was a wonderful guide. We spent about two hours at the sanctuary and had the opportunity to interact with a number of animals. Having volunteered for eight years at another wolf sanctuary, and having visited a number of other wolf sanctuaries, I was able to appreciate all of the special accommodations Shy Wolf has for its animals. For example, each enclosure has a house specially designed for the needs and personality of the animals living there. Enrichment opportunities are elaborate and tailored to the needs of each animal. I enjoyed looking at the DNA information posted on the fence of each enclosure detailing whether the animal is full wolf, or if a wolf dog, what types of dog are part of its makeup.
I was very pleased to see how much shade the sanctuary has to protect the animals from the hot Florida sun. Most of all, I was impressed with the enthusiasm and collegiality of all of the volunteers. -Holly

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was part of a social group that toured the Shy Wolf Sanctuary late last year. Before going, I had not heard of the organization and really had no idea of what to expect. I like to say that I went, I saw...and I never left! I was so excited by the sanctuary, with the animals, with the setting and with the obvious enthusiasm and care of the people working there that I went home and immediately applied to be a volunteer. Since becoming a part of the Shy Wolf family, my commitment has only deepened as I have learned about the animals there. The mostly volunteer staff works hard to make sure that the animals are well-cared for and loved. The more seasoned staff spends a lot of time teaching the newer people about wolf (and other animal) behaviors and what to expect and at all times the animals are treated with enormous respect and caring. Shy Wolf Sanctuary is truly a diamond in this world and one that is well worth supporting in any way possible!

Jill R.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Lucky enough to tour this fabulous facility. An experience you will always remember and want to visit many times. Thank you for saving these beautiful creatures.

Donor

Rating: 5

Absolutely amazing! Knowledgeable guides, gorgeous animals, fascinating stories and info! Melbourne, the "singing dog", is just too darling, and the chance to interact with and touch some of these precious animals is priceless! Will bring our grandchildren the next time!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I loved my visit here. The animals are well cared for and the tour guide had lots of information and answered all of our questions. The panther was gorgeous and we could get very close to it. Being able to interact with some of the animals inside their pens was very rewarding & memorable. For anyone who loves animals you will enjoy the experience.

Cathy K.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I visited Shy Wolf Sanctuary many many years ago. It was inspiring! Then when our grandchildren came along, I took them to visit also. We have taken many of our relatives there when they cone to visit from other states. It has always been a unique experience for everyone!
So glad to hear Shy Wolf will become owners of more property to build a new facility! I wish you many years of future success!
Cathy Koch

2 Theresa S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shy Wolf Sanctuary is all for the animals, they are cared for, treated with love and respect and taken care of for the rest of their lives. It is supported by some wonderful volunteers who put their all into taking care of the animals. It is a pure run non-profit.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

the very first time I visited Shy Wolf Sanctuary, I was kissed by a wolf! My sister and I went for a visit not knowing what to expect. What we found were hard working compassionate people caring for beautiful, smart, loving animals, who had been abused, neglected and ignored. The founder of the sanctuary, Nancy, was our guide that day, we were in awe of the stories and experiences that she told us about. We were seated in the area they use to let we humans react with a wolf, in walks Tien, a very large beautiful full wolf, he comes directly over to me puts both paws on my shoulder then gives me a big wet kiss! From that moment on Shy Wolf Sanctuary had me hooked. I am now a volunteer 2 days a week and I am their education/events coordinator. My life, my heart, my mind has been enriched by this great place and the wonderful volunteers!

Read more

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shy Wolf Sanctuary is the best place for exotic animals, who have lived with other humans and often times have no place to go. These animals are loved, nurtured and cared for in the best possible way. Everyone at ShyWolf give these animals multiple stimuli so the animals never just sit in their habitat, but can interact with, people, toys and many other objects. All volunteers at Shy Wolf LOVE what they do and I am happy to be among them!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A place for abandoned and dumped exotic wildlife to go when their owners will no longer care for them. Their volunteers are wonderful and you can tell from the moment you enter the door the love these people have for their animals!

1 Marcia M.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A wonderful way to spend time learning and experiencing these wonderful animals and volunteers.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

My wife and I visited Shy Wolf Sanctuary to see the wolves and interact with them. Much to our surprise there is much more than just wolves there !! They have numerous other animals there as well. All the staff & volunteers we had contact with were wonderful. The wolves were so friendly and just wanted to love, which was so easy to give them. We couldn't decide which one(,s) we wanted to love more because there are so many to choose from.. Beautiful place and would love to go back again when I get back to Florida. I would highly recommend to visit there !!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Did a tour and they did an amazing job. Knowledgeable, friendly and informative.

Matthew P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shy wolf is an organization that helps the public understand the need for these animals and the trials these animals go through daily in the wild.
They also work extensively with the public in training/teach roles and as an organization that openly accepts help from groups such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. They work hand in hand with my Troop and Pack and give as much as they receive from these youth

Paula S.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a fantastic experience! The animals are incredibly loved by all and it shows. We had a once in a lifetime experience getting to interact with some of the animals. I cannot recommend this place highly enough!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with other organizations before, but this by far has been the best experience I’ve had. The facility is kept incredibly clean, and the animals incredibly well taken care of. No matter what your limitations are, the sanctuary can find a place for you and make you feel welcome and needed. I highly recommend Shy Wolf to everyone.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter and I visited the sanctuary early March 2018. My daughter was so excited to be going she just couldn’t wait for the day to come fast enough. We were meeting there as a group from Valarie’s House. My daughter’s father had died as a result of a motorcycle accident just a few months prior to our visit there and it was the first time since his death I saw her not only smile but light up with the anticipation of getting to see these majestic wolves and all of the animals there at the Shy Wolf Sanctuary. We arrived a little early and as we waited for the group and for the tour to begin we could hear inside the gates that much work and preparation was being done behind the fences. We heard people talking and laughing with one another as well. Someone opened the gate and saw us standing outside and invited us inside to wait. It is almost hard to explain how warm and friendly everyone was and how they all went out of their way to greet us and to make sure we were comfortable there. This was only the first 5 minutes there.
Once everyone had arrived we were given an informative introduction about the Sanctuary and got to meet a couple of the animals before the tour began. The tour was nothing short of amazing. Not only was the guide knowledgeable about the animals and their habitats and their nature but he had funny stories to tell that made all the children and adults laugh and learn at the same time. We ended the day with a generous lunch they had provided to our group and they went out of their way to serve us and tended to our needs with the same caring attitude they had shown for each other and their animals there. We learned more as we finished our lunch from different speakers there and the founder spoke to us as well. She had pictures and stories and she told about some of the animals there from past and present. She put things into perspective for us as to how we and the animals are not that different. That we are animals also. We humans could learn a lot from animals. So our time there ended but the feeling we took away from the Shy Wolf Sanctuary has not left us and my daughter still smiles when she reflects on our time there. She wants to volunteer her time and I think that would be an excellent idea for her and I both to give something back to the people there and the wonderful animals who need our support. We live in Lee County so the distance would be far to travel but we are going to find that time to go and offer what help we have to offer. It would be such a wonderful idea to have this facility in Lee County and I believe so many people like my daughter and myself could be forever changed by learning about these awesome animals there. It’s not only an education to the public but it’s an “experience” an uplifting one that will follow you for a lifetime.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fantastic sanctuary! The animals are lived and well cared for. It’s an amazing experience to be able to interact with a wolf dog.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wow! what an excellent experience and amazing organization! The knowledge of the volunteers is incredible and the Sanctuary has a family feel. The animals are bright eyed and gorgeous and the habitats are kept clean. Some of the habitats have benches where you can sit and interact with the wolves. And they sing!

So amazing I am coming back to volunteer regularly!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Spent the most wonderful morning on a tour at Shy Wolf in November 2017 and still think about it daily. Our guide, Jeremy was so enthusiastic, sympathetic, and above all else, knowledgeable, it was a treat and a privilege to be there. We met a number of wolves / wolfdogs, foxes, & coyotes, and learned so much about them all.
Every individual animal at Shy Wolf has a story to tell and much to teach us. It is also quite clear from the moment you step into the sanctuary, that every single animal there is loved and cared for, with the friendly and approachable staff obviously enjoying providing their charges with various enrichments.
We hope to return to Shy Wolf again in the future and hope that their plan to relocate to a larger premises is soon fulfilled, thus enabling them to carry on their good work and help more animals in need.

Donor

Rating: 5

Shy Wolf is an amazing place!! Where else can you howl with the wolves, get up close and personal with them, and see some of God's most beautiful creatures! We've visited twice and look forward to visiting again!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Finally able to make a visit reservation with my grandsonabout ten years ago. Was so impressed, I applied to volunteer. The dedication of the others: Deanna, Sue, Ginnie, Nancy & Kent, and each of the so many others, is amazing. Their understanding of our residents, their dedication, their advocacy is remarkable. When I had to move back north, I learned they had put into action a plan, so those of us who had moved, could continue to volunteer electronically - so we're still part of blessed, amazing SWS. One unexpected benefit of my whole volunteer experience was the continual learning both in classes and with our residents (who, themselves are amazing teachers). I couldn't come back, but during last season's hurricanes, so many volunteers returned to the sanctuary to make sure the residents were safe, protected, and comforted before their own homes were storm prepared and cleared. After the hurricanes so many volunteers spent days clearing the enclosures, repairing enclosures, hauling brush, all to further care and protect our residents. Every single thing done at SWS is priority one for the safety and care of our resident animals so they will never experience physical or emotional abuse and abandonment again. Thank you. Pam Dixon

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This place is amazing! The love and care they give all of their animals is incredible. Great ambassadors and educators! I was very impressed with the quality of enclosures and enrichment.

caitieg21

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shy Wolf Sanctuary is an AMAZING non profit organization. Taking in exotic animals that were once abused, neglected, or surrendered over, and giving them a forever home at the sanctuary. The animals that the sanctuary has have all been previous pets of someone, so they had no other place to go and the other option would have been euthanasia.
Shy Wolf stands for being kind to animals, and giving them love and a home that they did not have before. It is one of the best non profits that I know, and am forever greatful that a place like this exists and that I get to be apart of it. I love all the animals very dearly, and they all will remain in my heart forever.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shy Wolf is such an amazing nonprofit organization! Having relationships and interactions with the amazing animals at the sanctuary, is truly heart warming. If you haven't visited yet, do so! If you would like to volunteer with us, do so! You won't regret it. I've been volunteering for 6 months now and it's seriously one of the best things I've ever done in my entire life.

Cathy130

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a wonderful place. These animals are so well taken care of and you can see the passion in every person's eyes who works with them. The animals respond to all the kindness they receive. I was actually fortunate to learn of them and to be able to donate. I will do so again, as they have earned a special place in my heart.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have visited Shy wolf many times, but I'll never forget this one time when Nancy was speaking to a group of rather surly teenagers who seemed at first thoroughly uninterested in her talk. And then she began talking about having a purpose in life and how one of the wolves was depressed and listless until she was called upon to mother an abandoned pup. And then her life became purposeful and her whole demeanor changed into a happy loving wolf. Nancy talked about how everyone needs a purpose. It doesn't matter what they do, maybe they're good with electronics and can fix people's computers, or maybe they can draw and delight others with their art. But everyone needs a purpose and so she hopes they all find their purpose, too. By the end, all the teens were engaged and some with teary eyes. I know I had teary eyes and I never forgot her message.

Jaine M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This was an absolutely wonderful experience. The owners, staff and volunteers obviously care very much about their animals and work hard to provide a clean, safe and stimulating environment for them. The experience was very educational and gave me an even greater understanding of these beautiful creatures.

jcrinc

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shy Wolf Sanctuary is a magical place. The minute you enter the gate, you are greeted by the howl of the residents who are so grateful to have a place to call home where they are lovingly cared for and given the time and attention they so desperately need. Shy Wolf is run by an all-volunteer staff that pours its heart and soul into nurturing and supporting the animals physically, emotionally and spiritually. In turn, the volunteers receive pure love and gratitude and often wolf kisses and cuddles.

The sanctuary is run on donations only. Shy Wolf spares no expense when it comes to the care and treatment of animals. From the littlest squirrel that was left without a mother after a hurricane to the biggest cat who needed a home and every wolf and wolfdog in between, all animals are cared for as members of our families.

I have been a volunteer for seven years. I love animals and felt a calling to come help support the sanctuary. After receiving training and being accepted by the animals, Shy Wolf became my family. The animals mean the world to me, as do the people that I volunteer with. This place brings me such joy. There is heartbreak when we must say goodbye to a beloved family member that crosses the Rainbow Bridge, but we know that we have given that animal the best life we possibly could have while it was in our care. We are forever grateful for that opportunity.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the moment you walk through the door at Shy Wolf Sanctuary, you know you're in a special place. Squirrels run up and down the trees and birds fly back and forth in play, but you know you've stumbled upon something amazing when you hear the welcoming howl of the wolves. There is no other sound like it. This is not a zoo. The animals have personal relationships with the owners of the facility (Nancy and Kent) and all the volunteers who spend the time to bond with them. Visitors even have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the wolves. Shy Wolf is a place where the animals are loved and respected and treated with the care that all animals deserve. I am a volunteer and can honestly say from the bottom of my heart you do not want to miss the chance to visit Shy Wolf Sanctuary! - Judy Rakocinski

Isabelle L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shy Wolf Sanctuary est un merveilleux tour à faire pendant votre séjour à Naples. Vous y découvrirez Cimmaron panthère de Floride, Bob Leo le lynx roux, ainsi que beaucoup d'autres animaux exotiques, et bien sûr les loups. Habillez-vous confortablement et n' oubliez pas de téléphone avant de venir.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer since 2001. No one takes better care of their animals or does more to educate the community. The volunteers are dedicated and amazing in their commitment and love for the residents.