We have supported the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary for several years. We highly recommend this Sanctuary to others who wish to support an animal sanctuary.
Here are some fairly detailed comments from us about this Sanctuary that we think may be beneficial to others who want to read a review with more than just a few sentences. These are our personal comments solely. We think it is very important that if a person is thinking about supporting an organization that the person learns about the organization so they will be convinced that it is an organization worth supporting and won't just waste your money. We also recommend visiting any animal sanctuary that you are thinking of supporting so you can see for yourself if the sanctuary really does what it says it does.
Concerning WildEyes_80's August 2012 GuideStar review we strongly challenge the comment about the Sanctuary animals, that the Sanctuary has a "very poor lack of ethics and handling skills" and that the "people who donate ... are being extremely misled and lied to about the animals that live there".
We have visited the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary numerous times and have directly seen all aspects of the Sanctuary's operations. They are located in Candy Kitchen New Mexico which is just one hour south of Gallup or Grants New Mexico. These operations include how the Sanctuary provides for the housing, feeding and medical needs of their wolves and wolf-dog hybrids. The Sanctuary also provides a forever home for several Coyotes, Australian Dingoes, New Guinea Singing Dogs and a fox. Animals are provided with large, well-kept enclosures with the majority having companions, both canine and human. The Sanctuary has around a 100 acres of land.
We support the Sanctuary since we have directly seen how the Sanctuary people go to great efforts (money, resources, time, energy) to accomplish their mission which is best stated by the Sanctuary's own mission statement (www.wildspiritwolfsanctuary.org/mission.php):
Rescue displaced, unwanted, and un-releasable captive-bred wolves, wolf-dogs, and other related species.
Provide permanent, lifetime safe sanctuary for those that we rescue and provide the highest level of care, enrichment and habitat.
Educate the public about wolves, wolf-dogs, and other related species, our eco system and how we all play a part in it, and the excellent, ethical care and treatment of all animals domestic and wild.
This Sanctuary has been around since 1993 and currently provides homes for around 70 animals, the majority being wolves and wolf-dog hybrids. They also have a really cute fox named Romeo (www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4xfGnNwGdA). This is definitely not a fly-by-night operation. We think will be around for several more decades.
The Sanctuary is actively involved in the rescue of animals. In 2014 the Sanctuary rescued 4 wolves and 3 coyotes in numerous long distant trips to North Carolina, two to Missouri, Arizona, and Indiana. These trips are quite expensive in terms of time, money and energy for the Sanctuary people who conduct these. The Sanctuary is currently preparing to rescue a wolf in California (an approximately 20 hour 1,000+ mile one-way trip) that otherwise would soon be euthanized. From directly talking to the people involved in these trips, these trips are definitely a labor of love since most people that we know would not be able or willing to expend such effort. Also, in 2013 the Sanctuary rescued 11 wolves from Iowa that were living in deplorable conditions within extremely small enclosures and with very poor sanitation and food. Today, these Iowa wolves are known as the Westeros Pack which are now housed in two large enclosures (see the following web site for more information about these Iowa rescues: www.wildspiritwolfsanctuary.org/iowa11.php).
The Sanctuary is also compliant with USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) regulations for animal Sanctuaries. Specifically, the Sanctuary is certified as a Class C animal facility with certification number 85-C-0014 under the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
We agree with KIT1's comment from May 2014 that the Sanctuary is "constantly improving and moving forward in the excellent care of the canines in their care". For example, a few years ago the Sanctuary installed at great expense and with lots of labor a 10 foot high perimeter fence around its entire animal enclosure area to better safeguard their canine guests.
The Sanctuary goes to great lengths to provide all their animals with the best possible food. This includes feeding native raw game such as Elk and providing supplements to help the wolves be as healthy as possible. For example, this includes Duralactin, Dasequin and Joint Discovery for older animal with joint and inflammation problems. The Sanctuary has even formulated over the years a special supplement blend called "nutritional powder" that is designed to maximize animal health.
Concerning finances, the Sanctuary in 2012 had a yearly budget of around $400,000. You may think this is a large amount of money for a non-profit animal rescue. But when you closely review what it costs to run such an organization such as the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, you will find that they spend every penny of this budget to provide the best for their rescues. The staff and volunteers are paid, but the pay is extremely low. It seems to us that if you want a high paying job, then don't work for an animal rescue.
The Sanctuary's people (they call themselves "Team Wild Spirit") currently consists of an executive director, assistant director, 6 staff, and 12 on-site volunteers.
The Sanctuary provides extensive information about itself on both a web site and a FaceBook page:
Website -- www.wildspiritwolfsanctuary.org
FaceBook -- www.facebook.com/pages/Wild-Spirit-Wolf-Sanctuary/495230525220
The Sanctuary and its visitors have an extensive number of videos on YouTube. One video we recommend discusses the Sanctuary mission (www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_AoR_yHMfw). Another video shows how the Sanctuary has large vet bills for their animals and always needs help from donors to defray this high cost (www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzSeXLTX2Tw). Even if the Sanctuary does not have money for a vet visit, the Sanctuary always makes sure their animals' physical well-being is taken care of. They later pay for these vet bills with generous financial help from its donors.
To see more about the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, we highly recommend the 2013 independent documentary FURTHEST FROM THE WILD (trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=livVRYbjH3g). The Sanctuary's and other animal rescue operations are discussed extensively in this documentary whose purpose is to describe "the many struggles that non-profit Animal Sanctuaries go through".
The Sanctuary also publishes a quarterly newsletter via the internet and by a paper mailing to Sanctuary members which highlights their recent activities. This newsletter may be found on the Sanctuary's web site (www.wildspiritwolfsanctuary.org/wild_spirit_wolf_sanctuary_howling_reporter.php).
We hope these comments are useful to others.
- David Craig and Shirl Casner (February 1, 2015)
Review from Guidestar
I have been a supporter of Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary since 2002 and they are constantly improving and moving forward in the excellent care of the canines in their care...I look forward to visiting as much as i can...the volunteers and staff spend countless hours of care devotion and expertise with the animals under their care and it really shows...as to the first review, he has never been there and the controversy he speaks of is basically the director speaking out against the poor care wolf dogs get especially when gotten for ego..guess the first reviewer took it personally ahem...I have been and will continue to support this organization for many years to come..
There is one other review for the Wolf Ranch and to be honest, I have no idea what this person is referring to, and no real substantive details were provided. I have been a donor of the Wolf Ranch for years and have seen firsthand the sacrifices the volunteers makes to keep these dogs healthy and happy. It takes an incredible amount of time, energy and resources to care for 75+ wolves and wolf-dogs. I have seen such compassion and dedication from everyone who works there and from those who donate money and services. What a wonderful organization!
I have never been to this sanctuary, but have followed them online for a while. I have seen videos displaying a VERY poor lack of ethics and handling skills on the part of the man who runs this sanctuary. I wonder if the people who donate to this sanctuary, who are being EXTREMELY misled and lied to about the animals that live there, know they are paying for the man who runs it to eat at Denny's every day? I, personally would NOT donate to this place and contribute to the lies and contraversy that surrounds it.