Skye is a small wolf dog who was approximately 7 years old when she was rescued by W.O.L.F. from the Mercer County Shelter in West Virginia. Skye’s first encounter with the Shelter was in 2016 when she was picked up as a stray. Her owner claimed her within the 5-day hold period.
When Skye came into the shelter in 2019, she was a different animal. She was blind and severely underweight. Neighbors in the area indicated that Skye came from a home where she was chained to a tree and could only walk in circles. She was not fed on a regular basis. She chewed through the chain and began wandering the neighborhood. Sky approached the home of an elderly woman who opened the door to her. The elderly woman felt that Skye had her trapped between her screen door and the regular door. Skye very much wanted into the house. A neighbor saw what was happening and took Skye to her home because she had a fenced yard, and she could feed her and offer water. She called animal control who then brought Skye to the Mercer County Shelter as a stray. When the animal control officer picked up Skye, she realized how extremely thin she was, and Skye groaned as though in pain.
Skye did not have any id or a microchip and she was never reclaimed. The Shelter hoped to be able to get her to rescue but the only option was a person in NY where wolf dogs were illegal.
It was then that Michelle Cole became Skye’s champion. Michelle was the former Director of the Mercer Shelter. She left in 2016 to become the HSUS regional administrator for W. Virginia. Michelle often visited the shelter and organized a group of volunteers to help walk the dogs. She met Skye on one of those walks and was immediately taken by her plight. Michelle saw immediately that Skye was blind, very underweight, and seemed to have given up on life. Skye was not aggressive or fearful, but she did not have much of a spark of life. Michelle felt that Skye’s spirit had been broken by all she had endured. Michelle was determined to find her a safe place in sanctuary where Skye would be able to recover and have a good life. She researched wolf sanctuaries and decided that W.O.L.F. could offer Skye everything she needed.
Michelle reached out to W.O.L.F.’s Rescue Coordinator to see if there was room for Skye. There was. W.O.L.F.’s beloved Ariel had passed away a month before, and W.O.L.F. had one opening to rescue another animal. W.O.L.F.’s Executive Director and the Director of Animal Care made the decision to help Skye.
Skye’s champion in WV arranged to fly Skye all the way to Colorado. Michelle’s husband was a pilot, and on a hot and sunny afternoon in August, Michelle and her husband arrived in Colorado with their precious cargo. Prior to taking Skye to the Sanctuary, she needed to see W.O.L.F.’s vet for a physical and a routine exam. Dr. Valerie Johnson at Colorado State University Veterinary Hospital examined Skye and realized there was a serious problem in her abdomen. X-rays showed Skye would need immediate surgery. It was apparent that she had suffered a blunt force trauma to the abdomen. The trauma caused a hernia on her intestines and pushed most of her organs into her diaphragm. The trauma had most likely occurred many months before, but her lungs were now compromised. Dr. Johnson felt Skye would die without the surgery. Skye underwent ER surgery the next day. After several days in the critical care unit, Skye was finally strong enough to be transported to W.O.L.F. Her condition was still very fragile, and she spent her days and nights under the watchful eyes of W.O.L.F. staff.
Only 10 days after her initial surgery, Skye began to have grand mal seizures. Staff rushed her back to Veterinary hospital where she spent several days in the critical care unit. She had a serious liver disease that caused the seizures. She was placed on several medications to help support her liver and control the seizures.
Skye came back to the Sanctuary, and still under the constant care of staff, she began improving. She is on a specialized diet of potatoes and eggs and is still painfully underweight. Her doctors will continue to closely monitor her health, and W.O.L.F. will provide her with any medical tests and care that she may need.
Skye’s doctors were amazed at her will to survive and the strength of her spirit. The little blind wolf dog is beginning to see and respond to stimulus. Her blindness may have been a result of the severe damage to her liver and the toxins in her system. She is showing her personality and is incredibly sweet. But she is also determined and feisty. She LOVES her special diet and is getting three meals a day plus snacks. The staff and volunteers dote on the little wolf dog, and she has already captured the hearts of everyone who has met her.