A wolf-dog is a hybrid mix and is part wolf and part domestic dog. Through domestication, a dog’s behavior, life cycle and physiology have become permanently altered from that of a wolf. Every year, thousands of pet wolves or hybrids are abandoned, rescued or euthanized because people purchase an animal they were not prepared to care for. Meet this giant wolfdog, Yuki. The animal was rescued by Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples in 2008 when he was around 8 months old and is a mixture of breeds — 87.5 percent gray wolf, 8.6 percent Siberian Husky and 3.9 percent German Shepherd, according to the sanctuary.
“We rescued him from a failed house pet situation. Someone purchased him from a breeder and realized he was too much to handle. They dumped him at a kill shelter at 8 months old. We stepped in and provided a home for him and he has been with us ever since,“ Brittany told.
“They definitely are creatures that demand respect. It would be a much different encounter in the wild than what I do with these guys. The animals I work with have never been in the wild and never will be, so they are more socialized,” Brittany said. “We show off their adorable moments in the hope of helping people identify with them at least and maybe change their fear response into a healthy respect through education. And also giving an animal a chance at a decent life when otherwise they would be euthanized.”
It can come as a challenge later in life for those who started to raise them as a puppy as the traits of a wolf are not that visible and predictable yet when they are young.
“Wolfdogs are a bit more difficult in my opinion because you don’t exactly know how much wolf behavior vs. dog behavior they will have. Yuki isn’t necessarily more social vs. the pure wolves.” The sanctuary has since received a lot of requests to adopt Yuki, which they have politely declined. The sanctuary said Yuki has blood cancer, and is not available for adoption.
“He was diagnosed with cancer last year and unfortunately it is terminal. We have dealt with this particular cancer before and ultimately you don’t really know how fast you caught it and how much time they have.” It was a sad news for his lovers.
At first look, you would think that Yuki would be fierce due to his large body. This specific image of Yuki has gained international fame, shocking people with his pure enormity.
He is actually a gentle creature according to Brittany Allen who works as staff at the sanctuary.
Yuki first came to the sanctuary in 2008 and he quickly captured everyone’s attention and love due to his outgoing personality.
As wolfdogs are not adopted by domestic animal services, it makes it impossible for Yuki to end up anywhere but Shy Wolf Sanctuary made it possible.
Wolves are naturally shy and tend to avoid contacts with humans, while wolfdogs are less predictable.
Yuki has a small number of volunteers that he has formed a close relationship with. “Yuki loves women, showing off to visitors, and being super goofy”.
Sadly, time is ticking away for Yuki and those who love him as he has only a limited time left to live.
“Yuki has been fighting it for quite a while now and is persevering so it is business as usual while we enjoy our time with Yuki.”