The animals at Wolfsong Ranch, a wolfdog sanctuary, have been the victims of neglect, betrayed by the very people who claimed to be their last resort for protection. Located in Lone City, Ohio, Wolfsong is a private, non-profit organization “dedicated to providing a safe, healthy home for unwanted and abandoned wolves and wolf dogs that have been bred in captivity and held privately as pets.” Yet events unfolding this week call this claim to the mat.
Why were dozens of animals left to fend for themselves in their enclosures without food, without water for weeks? Where was the owner and caretaker, the one in charge of keeping these animals safe? Neighbor Larry Bethel went up to the sanctuary to check on the animals after hearing rumors the owners had left. He had this to say: “I went up there and checked on them and couldn’t believe they left them. They didn’t have any water or food up there… all their bellies were cut trying to get water in the containers.”
On recommendation of Guernsey County dog warden Kissy Moore and two veterinarians, 17 of the wolfdogs were destroyed. Trenda Bethel said she heard shots fired as the animals were killed. “We just kept hearing gun shots go off…” she said.
Kissy Moore told reporters the animals were emaciated and too far gone to save. Cruelty-to-animal charges have been filed against the owner by the Guernsey County Dog Warden’s office. Ironically, even with all evidence pointing to severe neglect, the sanctuary’s owner, Johanna Trejo, submitted a plea of “not guilty” in court this week.
There is a serious problem out there—and it’s a human problem. So-called wolfdog advocates who tout the joys of human-wolfdog companionship and who seem to view themselves as messiahs “dispelling myths about wolfdogs” should turn their marvelous energies to policing the people who keep breeding wolfdogs for the market just so they can end up in places like this when one human after another fails them.
I have visited numerous sanctuaries doing outstanding work—ethical facilities where the animals are housed better than their caretakers. These are the facilities that deserve our money, our attention, our support.
Stay tuned for updates on this story…
See video footage of the Wolfsong Ranch and news coverage: