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Forest Fire Forces U.S. Wolf Refuge to Evacuate

Dropping fire retardant.
The Aspen Fire

July of 2017 was the worst season for fires in Nevada since we relocated here over 17 years ago. One of those fires was started by lightning about 3 miles down the road from us. The possibility of the fire traveling that far was quite slim but I wasn't going to take any chances. I noticed the smoke on the horizon at about 3pm. I jumped into to the truck to run down there to find out about it. I was greeted by a number of guys from the U.S. Forest Service, the Truckee Meadows Fire Fighters, Washoe County Regional Animal Services among several other fire-fighting agencies. We were given evacuation instructions - some were mandatory evacuation. Others were voluntary. I didn't care - I was going to get the animals to safety.

Dropping fire retardant.
Dropping fire retardant.

The evacuation was extremely hard on the animals as well the staff. After getting all the animals secured to be transported we were told to take them to the Palomino Valley Equestrian Facility that is about 15 miles from here. The animals spent that afternoon and night in airline flight carriers. I spent all that time laying on the saw dust floor of this arena right next to them all. It was dirty, smelly and hot. None of us got any rest. The next day we got the opportunity to take them to Modal Farm Kennel which is located nearby. This gave them more room and was somewhat cooler. Still it was quite hot. Outside temps were in the high 90's.

The Aspen Fire
The Aspen Fire

During this ordeal our sweet Nala started drooling from her mouth. My initial thought was she had developed heat prostration. In the middle of all this we had to rush her to the vet. The ordeal of this triggered a condition that had been in her for quite some time but had not shown any symptoms. The condition is one which the treatment for was quite expensive ($5,000+) and if this condition does heal by itself she may require special care for the rest of her life. She is now receiving this special care and all the required medications at the home of Dawnie Kennedy in Sonoma area.

When we finally got the OK to return them back home I was as excited as I've ever been. That meant the Refuge was intact and none of the animals were burned. For several years we have been asking for the donation large and extra large animal carriers just for this reason. Our fear of fire has been hanging over us ever since we moved here. The present location of the Refuge is perfect for the animals. It is remote and very secluded. But the beautiful trees are fire fuel.

Even before we moved here we had a fireproof building designed that will prevent us from leaving the property even if a fire sweeps through here. The design and appearance of this building is shown below. This purchase and construction of this building, the site preparation and foundation, the septic system, the solar system, the construction of the inside pens and the fence that will lead from the existing enclosures to this building will cost in excess of $150,000.

fireproof building design
floorplan
Future floor plan

Our most sincere thanks goes out to:

  • Palomino Valley Equestrian Facility
  • Modal Farm Kennel
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Truckee Meadows Fire Fighters
  • Washoe County Regional Animal Services
  • All of the other agencies that not only fought this fire but assisted everyone in getting all the residents and their animals to safety.

I cannot find the words that adequately express my appreciation for their hard work.

My most sincere appreciation goes to the Great Spirit who gave us all the strength to endure this challenging event. But also for the blessing bestowed on us and our home that enabled us to return to the wondrous life we so love.

Pack Member of the Month

Cheyanne

Cheyanne

September 27, 2012 was the day the U.S. Wolf Refuge rolled out the red carpet for our new pack member Cheyanne. This sweet, energetic girl came to us from the shelter in Wasco, CA. She had been running loose and was captured by Wasco Animal Control. Therefore we have limited knowledge about her prior to coming here. We have found that her running loose was no surprise. Her ability to warm your heart is only exceeded by her ability climb fence. Since being here at the Refuge and getting to know many of her new friends, she has settled in and is quite comfortable in her new life. Her inclination to climb fence has vanished and she now runs and plays incessantly.

Cheyanne
Bill and Keoki

In 2013 our ambassador Takoda went to live with our long-time volunteer Dawnie Kennedy's pack. At that point we filled the vacated ambassador position with Cheyanne. She is quite a bit smaller than Takoda but her sweet face is unmistakably that of a wolf. Kasa is our primary ambassador. Her and Cheyanne live together. Kasa is definitively the dominant personality of the two.

Cheyanne

Cheyanne always approaches Kasa to lick her face. We think that is not only affection but it is also respect. Kasa constantly reinforces his superiority by responding to Cheyanne's affection with hostile sounding growls. Cheyanne immediately flips onto her back in submission but quickly jumps up and follows Kasa around like a lost puppy. Kasa's response is not aggressive but to the untrained ear, it certainly sounds like it. It has gone on for so long it is now habitual. I often find them sleeping right next to each other.

Cheyanne
Cheyanne

Cheyanne has been quite healthy in the 5 years she has lived here. Her energy level is quite high. She takes a few minute to warm up to strangers but once that threshold is reached she is a bundle of affection and enthusiasm. She is truly a joy to be with and all my time with her is nothing but fun. Her desire to be me and Kasa when we are in the house is often a challenge. She is still learning how to tone down her energy level when in doors. It's hard for her relax when she is inside which is typical of most wolves.

Cheyanne
Cheyanne

To celebrate Cheyanne, our Adopt-a-Wolf packet is on special the entire month of August. Your $20.00 donation will be for a one year sponsorship of Cheyanne. You or the person of your choice will be sent a "Certificate of Adoption" with their name on it, a brief profile sheet of that animal, and a frameable 5 x 7 photo nicely organized in a folder.


Help care for Cheyanne by making this $20.00 donation today.


Shopping Reminder

Birthdays - Anniversaries - Any Special Occasion

I want to remind you that the U.S. Wolf Refuge receives a portion from all your purchases on Amazon. So when you doing any shopping from Amazon click on the Amazon icon at the bottom of any page. This will take you directly to Amazon but will enable us to receive a portion of whatever you buy. This will not impact the price or any delivery costs.

Upcoming Events

 

October 14, 2017 10am - 6pm
Wildlife Conservation Network Expo

Mission Bay Conference Center, San Francisco, CA

Speaking engagements available upon request
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