The gorgeous animal pictured above was killed on July 15th at a shelter in California. He was labeled as a “wolfdog” but was, in reality, a northern-breed domestic dog.

Why did this happen?

Simple: Shelters in the USA cannot legally adopt-out wolfdogs to the general public. If wolfdog-specific rescues don’t step in, these dogs are put to sleep. The problem is that wolfdog rescue is, in itself, very strenuous work. Many such rescues are forced to focus their efforts solely on animals that bear legitimate wolf content as a result. 

Wolfy-looking dogs, like the one above, have no place to go then, and are put to sleep instead. 

The solution to this problem is pretty simple: People need to stop labeling their domestic dogs as “wolfdogs”. It gives others the wrong impression about how real wolfdogs look and act, resulting in widespread confusion about the breed. Many people assume that huskies, malamutes, German shepherds, and their mixes are wolfdogs, or even mistake them for actual wolves, simply because they don’t look like a purebred this-or-that. 

Please feel free to read more about the dangers of wolfdogs misrepresentation HERE.

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About four weeks ago, the wolfdog rescue community was given some troubling news: A Craigslist add had appeared for what the owner claimed to be two “pure wolves” seeking new homes. They looked to be in very deplorable condition, but the extent of their troubles was not known until a member of the community stepped up to adopt the animals and take them into her care.

The sister pair were purchased by the original owner from a breeder who had told her that “wolves only need to eat twice a week because that’s what they do in the wild!” so the woman had only been feeding the young animals every three-to-five days. As a result, they were severely malnourished, and one of the pups developed abnormal bone growth in her feet as a result of marrow loss. Both were anemic. 

But the kind-hearted soul who rescued them is an experienced wolfdog owner, who has worked in rescue before. Both pups have since made leaps and bounds in their recovery, and were named Midna and Zelda after the video game characters. 

The sisters are NOT pure wolves as the original owner believed. But they do have wolf content in them, and were, as a result, far too much for the woman to handle. She expected these beautiful pups to act like normal domestic dogs - likely because of people who claim that their own domestic canines are “full wolf” when they clearly aren’t. 

Misrepresentation nearly killed these two fantastic pups. It has left one of them irrevocably disfigured. But thankfully, this particular story does have a happy ending, and now Zelda and Midna will be given the proper care, food, and containment that they need in order to live healthy lives. 


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The Featured Creature: What to Know If You Are Thinking of Getting a Wolfdog

Wolves are etched in our imagination in truly fantastic and romantic colors. They play a prominent part in the fairytales and stories we have grown up listening to. Despite the presumed familiarity we have with their race, doubts, fears and misconceptions abound.

Wolfdogs are hybrids between wolves and dogs, and the more true they are to their wild ancestors, the more wild they will be. But wildness should not be mistaken for ferociousness. Wolfdogs also require committed veterinary care including vaccine shots and pest control.

Wolfdogs are not good watch or guard dogs because they have an inherent mistrust and a deep-rooted fear of human beings. This also makes it harder to tame them and socialize them.

If you are planning to buy a wolfdog pup and raise it as a family pet, there are several things you need to keep in mind.

It is important you find out all about the breed, but it is even more important you assess yourself and find out whether you are ready to meet all the commitments that wolfdog ownership will demand of you. (check out the full article!)