Odin was born in May of 2004 at Wolf Country USA RV Park, a roadside attraction located just outside of Anchorage. For a fee of $5 you could “visit the largest wolf pack in Alaska.” You could have your picture taken with any one of 31 adult wolves and wolf-dogs, each separated from the other by heavy eight foot chains. If you wanted, you could take home a wolf pup as a souvenir of your visit.
The private ownership of wolves and wolf-dogs without a special permit had been illegal in Alaska since 2002, but enforcement of the law had been difficult and time-consuming. It was not until July, 2011 that the Alaska State Prosecutor’s Office was able to issue an ultimatum to the owner/breeder of Wolf Country USA to either go to court or dispose of his animals. When the breeder agreed to surrender his 31 adult animals and 9 pups, he was given until January 1, 2011 to save them from euthanasia. The breeder agreed to surrender the pups to a local sanctuary in July, but he was unwilling to surrender the adults to most of the sanctuaries able to take them. Luckily, the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center in California managed to convince the breeder to release the animals to them. On December 10, the staff and volunteers from Lockwood ARC made their way to Alaska where they had all the wolves spayed and neutered before loading them into crates and bringing them to California to await permanent placement.
Odin, who is named for the king of the Norse gods, was one of four animals from Wolf Country USA who came to live at W.O.L.F. He adapted quickly to his new environment, and his quiet, calm presence has been a positive influence on JJ, his new companion, who had been one of the high stress animals at W.O.L.F. JJ no longer spends long periods of time pacing at the top of her enclosure and even comes to the fence with Odin to share treats. Odin enjoys JJ’s company and can be seen running up and down the enclosure at her side. It is amazing to see how much the bond formed between Odin and JJ has healed them both.
During Odin’s evacuation due to the High Park Fire he incurred an injury from his Alaskan mate Loki. Part of his lip had been bitten off and needed roughly eight stitches. Now back home he is more affectionate than ever both with his companion and caretakers. It is a true testament of his incredible nature and adaptability we learn from him with each encounter.