February 1, 2016
Rescued From: Oklahoma
Given Sanctuary: July 16, 2017

Fran Eicher

Nala and Akela are W.O.L.F.’s brother and sister duo from Oklahoma. Born on February 1, 2016, they were part of the last litter of pups from a breeder who was transitioning to breeding Siberian huskies. A Good Samaritan named Scott met the pups when they were eleven weeks old and were still in need of placement.  Scott realized immediately it would be difficult for the breeder to sell them to a private owner since they were considered too old to bond with a human owner.

Wondering what their fate would be, Scott could not get the little black pups out of his mind. He returned to the breeder and offered to take them both. The breeder, anxious to be done with them, agreed. So soon Scott and his family had two wolf dog pups that were not well-socialized with humans. Scott’s intention was to help them by making sure they were healthy, spayed/neutered, and socialized before finding a sanctuary placement where they would be safe.  This was the beginning of a fourteen-month journey that brought Scott and the pups to W.O.L.F.

Scott knew immediately that the pups were not good candidates for household companions. Both were very shy around people and were very reserved when approached. Akela was more socialized than Nala, who was distant and frightened. She did consent to take food from a spoon from Scott’s wife and daughters, but she would not interact with Scott. Both the pups loved other animals and would often play with the family dogs and cats.

As is common with wolf dog pups, they were very inquisitive and longed to see what was on the other side of their fence. As they grew, the six-foot backyard fence could not contain them, and they were able to escape.  Neighbors were concerned about the wolf dogs being on the prowl.  In an effort to capture them, Scott contacted an exotic animal expert and a veterinarian to help. Akela and Nala stayed close but proved to be extremely elusive. After a week, Scott was able to catch Akela and bring him home. Nala was loose for two weeks, but she was finally sedated and brought home. Scott knew he needed to do something to help the pups or the next escape might be their last.

He contacted a trainer and placed the pups in socialization training for three months. Akela seemed to respond, but Nala did not. While the pups were learning some basic skills, Scott found a new location for them and built a twenty-foot by eighty-foot run with eight-foot-tall fences and lean-ins. The pups’ new home included an indoor space to be used during bad weather or extreme heat. When the pups returned from their training, Scott knew it was time to find them a permanent sanctuary home. They enjoyed the new habitat and the other animals around them, but it wasn’t the best situation for these wolf dogs. They needed space to run, play, and be around other animals of their own kind.

Scott researched sanctuaries and placements and contacted W.O.L.F. in the process. It is rare that W.O.L.F. has the ability to accept two placements at the same time, much less two siblings that needed to stay together.  In this case W.O.L.F. was able to accommodate Akela and Nala. 

On a beautiful July morning at the Sanctuary, Scott and W.O.L.F. staff carefully unloaded the crates used for transportation and placed Akela and Nala in the habitat that would become their new home.  When the crate doors were opened, both animals bolted out and immediately ran up the side of the mountain to begin exploring their new digs. They spent the afternoon running, sniffing, and playing in their spacious new mountain home. There were a few tears from the humans as these beautiful animals began the transition from Oklahoma to Colorado.  Scott had accomplished his mission. The two wolf pups that he rescued from an unknown fate were now safe in sanctuary.

In September of 2023, Nala and Akela were moved to their new forever home located at Red Feather Lakes.  In their habitat, they have plenty of rocks to climb on and space to roam, roughhouse, or soak up the sun.  They also like to keep a watchful eye on the comings and goings of staff and volunteers.

Since her arrival at Red Feather Lakes, Nala has become more interactive with her caretakers.  She often approaches the fence to sniff them and closely watch what they are doing.  She has been known to enjoy a visit from Pax while he is being walked.  Nala and Akela enjoy chasing and roughhousing with each other.  They are a striking pair and a perfect match.