There’s No Place Like Home
Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, on the outskirts of Cochrane, is in the business of providing shelter and care for displaced wolfdogs. When adoption is an option, educational programs explain the challenges of wolfdog ownership and what a suitable home looks like. But animals with high wolf content can’t be adopted so the sanctuary becomes their forever home.
Yamnuska to the rescue
A main thrust of the operation is overseeing the rescue and safe sanctuary of wolfdogs that have been neglected, abandoned or otherwise mistreated. When the call came from British Columbia’s SPCA alerting the sanctuary to a cruelty investigation that involved the seizure of 13 animals – 10 wolfdogs and three husky sled dogs – at risk of being euthanized, the good folks at Yamnuska didn’t hesitate. Operations Manager Alyx Harris said they immediately hit the road for northern BC, on two back-to-back trips travelling more than 3,500 km by truck and trailer to bring the animals to their safe haven. The sanctuary outgrew its humble beginnings near Canmore and moved to its present location on 160 acres more than 6 years ago. Enclosures of one to two acres are built to house two to three wolfdogs, giving the 29 current residents plenty of room to roam. But now there is the challenge of housing the new arrivals. Happily, the three sled dogs have already been moved to Garcia Rescue for continuing care until they are ready to find their forever homes. But the 10 wolfdogs have high wolf content and will be staying permanently at the sanctuary. This is a big undertaking on all fronts, but particularly financially. The cost per month to care for one animal is in the neighbourhood of $1,800. The cost to build the necessary enclosures for the newcomers is running around $150,000.
How you can help
Check out the sanctuary’s fundraising campaign, From Alone to Home, to help secure the future for these newest additions to the wolfdog family. There are lots of other ways your donation can help including the Enclosure Sponsorship Program. All proceeds go to the upkeep and care of these incredible animals.
Get out and meet the Wolfdogs!
Just 15 minutes west of Cochrane – you can see the wolfdogs up close and personal. It’s open to the public Thursdays through Mondays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. There are a number of different tours you can book online. Great care is being taken to ensure the safety of you and the animals. Remember, you are visiting a sanctuary and not a zoo. Wolfdogs, especially the new arrivals, are much more sensitive than regular dogs and can be quite shy or skittish around humans. Please take a look at the Covid protocols and general rules that all visitors must follow, from no children under six, no dogs (for obvious reasons) to what to wear on a wintery visit to make the most of your tour. Get outside and meet the packs!
Guest Journalist – Jane Usher
Photography – Jo-Anne Oucharek