Wolf Haven International gives sanctuary to Pend Oreille wolf - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wolf Haven International gives sanctuary to Pend Oreille wolf

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TENINO, Wash.- As a member of a two-wolf pack, Ione the gray wolf roamed the land in Pend Oreille County. The death of her pack-mate left her looking for companionship, which she found with neighborhood dogs around the town of Ione (which she is named after). State and wildlife agents were able to capture her and take her to a new place she could call home. That place is Wolf Haven International in Tenino. Wolf Haven International takes in wolves and wolf dogs who have lived in captivity. Right now, they are providing sanctuary for more than 50 wolves and wolf dogs.

Diane Gallegos, the Executive Director at Wolf Haven International says the sanctuary gets hundreds of calls from people every year who tried to keep wolves as pets, but once the wolves started getting around the age of 18 to 22 months old, they couldn't handle them anymore. "Typically people will purchase a wolf pup and they look very much like our domesticated puppies that we love.' Within a couple years the wolves 'become sexually mature and those wild genetics kick in. They become an animal with traits that typically we don't look for in our dog friends. They're wild animals and so they don't look to human beings for affection or to please us. They instead look to their fellow wolves.'

Ione was a different case. She was raised in the wild but the bond she formed with neighborhood dogs in Ione and the interactions she had with people made her a candidate for Wolf Haven International. When she arrived at the sanctuary, Ione was taken to at veterinarian, given a partial hysterectomy so she could not produce pups, and placed in a large enclosure with a wolf dog of the opposite sex named Luca.

Gallegos says, 'the two of them are getting along very well. Wolves are very social animals, and typically they do quite well together when we place them in an enclosure and it was no different this time.'

Wolf Haven is a grassroots organization that receives no funding from the government. 'We've got children that do lemonade sales, we have people that symbolically adopt the animals, where they help us provide the funding for the care of the animals that come to our sanctuary.'

Gray wolves are a species of wolf that comes in many different colors. They can be gray, black, brown, silver, and white.  In the video above, Ione is the black wolf.  The lighter colored wolf dog with her is Luca.

State wildlife officials say Ione is the last known member of the Ruby Creek Pack.

If you are interested in learning more about Wolf Haven click here: http://www.wolfhaven.org/

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