Born: July 14, 2008
Rescued From: Washington
Given Sanctuary: July 14, 2016
Returned to Spirit: July 9, 2024

Michelle Hesseltine and Brenda Lewis

Indigo was a beautiful black wolf dog who was rescued along with her sister Amaris from Washington state. Her rescue, along with Amaris’, was a race against time. With the help of Wolf Haven International, W.O.L.F. helped the two sisters win that race.

The two wolf dogs were acquired by their owner from a breeder in the Frasier River Valley of British Columbia, Canada. Because the owner was fearful that the  wolf dogs would be discovered, she kept them isolated in a ten-foot by twelve-foot habitat with a concrete floor, closed sides, and a roof. They were not well-socialized with humans or other animals, nor were they provided veterinary care. When the owner and her husband fell on hard times, the wolf dogs were rehomed to a remote dog rescue in rural Washington.

The two sisters were able to escape repeatedly from their enclosure at the dog rescue by digging their way to freedom. The girls remained in the area and came back to the enclosure for feeding on a regular basis. While free, they roamed the area and howled, which disturbed the neighbors, who contacted Washington Fish and Wildlife. Since the area was home to a group of wild wolves, Fish and Wildlife officers feared the sisters would breed with the wild wolves and affect the genetics of the recovering wolf population.

Washington Game and Fish intended to trap the sisters and kill them that day unless a sanctuary stepped up to rescue them. The deadline for finding a sanctuary home was that day by 4:00 PM (July 12, 2016). Since Wolf Haven International did not have space for the wolf dogs, they contacted W.O.L.F. who agreed to help.

The sisters were captured that day and were turned over to Wolf Haven staff, who rendezvoused with the W.O.L.F. rescue team in Idaho. The transfer went smoothly, and the sisters were driven directly to the Wellington Veterinary Clinic. They arrived in Colorado on July 14, and Dr. Teva Stone performed health checks, vaccinations, and spay surgeries. By 8:00 that evening, the girls arrived at the Sanctuary. They were placed in a large habitat with a large gated catch-up area where they could be easily observed.

The sisters immediately began exploring their surroundings and looking for vulnerabilities in the fencing. Indigo was a climber and Amaris was a digger. They both started to work looking for a way out. Indigo managed to climb the fence and wedge herself in the safety area between her habitat and the next habitat. Amaris was able to dig nearly into the next habitat. Staff watched the ingenious escape artists and reinforced the fencing and made the habitat safer for the sisters.

The sisters adjusted to their new life at W.O.L.F. where they were able to relax, be safe, and enjoy life.  They also received regular feedings, had interesting wolf dog neighbors, and lots of space to run and roam.

In September of 2023, Indigo and Amaris were moved from Rist Canyon to their new forever home in Red Feather Lakes.  The sisters immediately began to explore their new habitat.  Since the habitat they were placed in was smaller than the others, staff opened the guillotine gate so they could enjoy a double habitat.  They loved running the fence to chase the ATV and greeting Pax when staff was walking him by.  They really enjoyed basking in the sun and cuddling in the straw that was in their deck pens.

In February of 2024, Trigger joined the sisters after his companion, Tundra, passed away.  They became the first three pack at Red Feather Lakes.  They truly enjoyed each other’s company.  They were inseparable.

Unfortunately, on the morning of May 13, 2024, Amaris was found in one of her favorite napping spots.  Sadly, she had passed away.  Staff, volunteers and everyone that had the privilege of spending time with Amaris was heartbroken at her loss.  Her loss was also apparent with Indigo and Trigger.

Indigo and Trigger continued to enjoy a close bond and thrived in their habitat.  They enjoyed basking in the sun, eating good food, and became a more confident pair.  They were more interactive with staff and volunteers at the fence line and were seen playing with each other.

In June of 2024, W.O.L.F. staff decided to move Castiel into the habitat adjacent to Indigo and Trigger.  He had recently lost his companion.  Staff felt that he would be a good candidate to be placed in a three pack.  After a week of observing fence line behaviors and interactions, staff introduced Castiel to Indigo and Trigger.  The three became close friends immediately.  While the bond was closer with Indigo and Trigger, they quickly accepted Castiel into their pack.

Unfortunately, after only one week of enjoying the new companionship, Indigo passed peacefully on July 9, 2024.  She was near the same tree as the one her sister Amaris was near when she passed.  Losing both of them leaves a huge hole in the hearts of everyone that was lucky enough to know them and interact with them.  Perhaps we can all take solace knowing that they are together again.