The crisis for exotic animals in the United States is real and life-threatening for thousands of animals. Because the wild animal trade is a lucrative, multi-billion-dollar industry, it is not going to be extinguished any time soon.

Captive born wolves and wolf dogs are a part of this crisis. Many people who purchase these animals believe that owning a wolf or a wolf dog is the same as owning a domestic dog. It is not. In fact, most people are totally unprepared to own these animals due to a lack of knowledge regarding wolf dog behavior, secure containment, socialization, diet, and medical care.

This lack of education and understanding of captive born wolves and wolf dogs often leads to the mistreatment and/or death for many of these animals. In the United States, there are an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 wolves and wolf dogs owned as pets. The mistreatment of these animals is extremely high, with many wolves and wolf dogs facing some sort of abuse. In fact, up to 95% of pet wolves and wolf dogs are euthanized by the age of two.


A key component of W.O.L.F.’s mission is to rescue captive born wolves and wolf dogs in need. Because the Sanctuary is only licensed to provide thirty animals with a forever home at W.O.L.F., W.O.L.F.’s Rescue Coordinator administers a nationwide, electronic rescue network of wolf dog rescues, sanctuaries and qualified private placements. There are not nearly enough sanctuary placements across the country to meet the demand for safe placements of wolves and wolf dogs in need. And not every wolf dog needs a sanctuary placement. Many of these animals can thrive in qualified homes with experienced owners.

W.O.L.F. regularly receives inquiries from all over the United States and internationally about wolves and wolf dogs in need of rescue. If W.O.L.F. is unable to accept an animal at the Sanctuary, we work with our network of rescue organizations and individuals across the country to try to find safe placements that meet the individual needs of each animal.


If you are seeking options for surrendering your wolf or wolf dog, please complete the WOLF Questionnaire below. You may complete it on-line on a computer or a smart phone. When you have finished entering the information, hit “submit” and the information will go directly to our Rescue Coordinator. We ask that you provide as much information as possible about the animal’s personality, likes, dislikes, physical health, background on where you got the animal, and any behaviors that are difficult for you to handle. Comprehensive information about each animal will help us evaluate the best options available for safe and legal placement of your animal.
We also ask that you provide pictures of your wolf or wolf dog. The questionnaire lists the types of poses we would like to see. By reviewing the pictures, we will try to identify the amount of wolf content your animal has. The more pictures that show the animals features – ears, eyes, face, feet, legs, neck and tail – the better we can assess the animal. If you have a DNA test for your animal, please include a copy with the pictures. Cell phone pictures are perfectly acceptable.
While W.O.L.F. cannot guarantee a placement for every animal, our Rescue Coordinator will work with you to explore safe and legal options with sanctuaries, rescues or with a private placement.
W.O.L.F. does not charge any fees for rescue assistance.

“When animals bark, howl, purr, whimper, grunt, laugh or squeal, it means something to them, and what they’re saying should also mean something to us, for their feelings matter.”

– Mark Bekoff, The Emotional Lives of Animals.