One Last Thought... on Wolves and Wolf-dogs

Even under the most ideal circumstances wild animals belong in the wilderness – not in cages. Yet as you read this, there exist nearly 500,000 captive wolves and wolf-dogs in the United States alone. There are only an estimated 4,000 wild wolves in the contiguous U.S. today. The 100-fold difference dramatically illustrates the effect our American culture has had on this predator. Sadly, this disparity will not soon disappear. Wild wolves are making a slow comeback, but they are facing great political hurdles. While wild wolves have to fight for every pup born and every winter survived, the number of captive wolves and wolf-dogs is rising. Thanks to our seemingly insatiable need to feel a connection with the same wilderness we are destroying (whether through domination, control or ownership), litters of captive wolves and wolf-dogs are bred every year. Each puppy born in a cage to delight us must live a “half-life” behind bars. We can be their friends, companions and even saviors, but in the end, we are still their captors. When will we learn take responsibility for the lives that we create? Eighty-percent of the estimated 250,000 wolf wolf-dog puppies sold this spring alone will not live to see their second year of life. Those that die will, unfortunately, only be replaced by an even greater number of puppies for sale next year. We need to ask ourselves important questions, so that in time we, as a society, can come to grips with this problem.

Please, if you are considering buying a wolf wolf-dog puppy, think of the consequences and whether or not you are prepared for them. Consider instead, buying a domestic dog (possibly a northern breed like a husky or malamute) or taking in someone else’s wolf-dog that they can no longer keep. If you already own a wolf-dog, please spay or neuter them. Don’t knowingly contribute to the growing surplus of unwanted wolf-dogs. With determination, a little insight into what or whom you are dealing with, and a lot of sturdy fencing, most owners can provide a home for their wolf or wolf wolf-dog - as equal, intelligent, independent friends – not as pets.