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Wild Wolf Run
A wolf pup, thrown out of a car like a sack of garbage and left on side of a highway to die.
A baby coyote, taken from his mother’s den and sold online, cared for by people who didn’t even know what he was.
A fawn, run over by a lawnmower and left with only three legs.
What do all of these tragic stories have in common? The animals involved were rescued by the amazing people at Wolf Run Wildlife Refuge.
At Wolf Run, animals of all kinds - from wolf hybrids and mountain lions, to horses and deer - are given a safe, loving home, where they can heal from the tortures of their previous lives and simply enjoy the feeling of grass under their paws and a full belly every night. These animals have known unbearable pain, and for many of them it lingers on in the form of scars, lost limbs, or a wariness of humans. Many of the wolf dogs and big cats (Wolf Run currently houses two bobcats and two cougars) used to be pets, cared for by people who had no idea that owning a wild animal is a dangerous business, for both the animal and the person. Too often it ends in tragedy for both.
Sometimes, though, the harm isn’t intentional; a well-meaning animal-lover will see a fawn, or a baby rabbit, with the mother nowhere to be found, and assume that the animal must be in desperate need of help. They then rush the animal to the nearest wildlife refuge which, oftentimes, is Wolf Run. What they don’t know, however, is that these babies are perfectly safe; their mothers are often watching from a distance or foraging for food nearby. Wolf Run always receives an influx of baby animals in the spring, and they do their best to raise each and every infant and release them back into their native environment.
The work at Wolf Run is anything but glamorous, and at the end of the day you will without a doubt be hot, sweaty, and smelly, but it is without a doubt worth every splotch of mud and poo. Volunteering at Wolf Run gives you the irreplaceable opportunity to work with a huge variety of animals hands-on. You learn all about the amazing creatures that live there, and you also learn how to work as a team, follow directions, and be precise. There’s no better feeling in the world than seeing that look of complete adoration in a wolf dog’s eyes as you give her a thorough scratching on her head.
Will, the three-legged fawn, is now a permanent resident at Wolf Run and shares a spacious enclosure with a varying amount of other deer.
Totem, the coyote pup, was near death’s door when he came to Wolf Run, but thanks to their dedication, he made it through. He lives with an unlikely best friend, a bloodhound named Reba.
Nahaya, the discarded little wolf, has grown into a regal queen with the care of the Wolf Run staff and volunteers. She’s still shy of humans, but is slowly overcoming it.
I am honored to be a Wolf Run volunteer and to work with the amazing animals and people there. Wolf Run might not be near you, but there are certainly other wildlife refuges in your area. There are animals that need your help-don’t disappoint them!