17 Wolfdogs Killed at “Sanctuary”

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…Wolfsong Ranch logo

See video footage of the Wolfsong Ranch and news coverage:

17 Wolfdogs Killed 10tv
Sanctuary owner pleads “not guilty”


This entry was posted in Captivity, Health and Nature, wolfdogs, Wolves and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 17 Wolfdogs Killed at “Sanctuary”

  1. Lane Batot says:

    A sad incident, indeed, but alas, not an uncommon one. Most “sanctuaries/rescues” I’ve seen or read about were much poorer facilities than this one looked in the videos(and what was that white animal? A Samoyed cross? Or a very inbred wolfdog? I’m curious…)–it looked like there was good fencing and nice roomy, natural compounds–too bad the owner wasn’t more committed. That’s one guarantee if one decides to commit oneself to caring for wolfdogs–if one gets tired of it and gives up, the animals are DOOMED. But in all fairness, this same scenario happens all the time with regular dogs, housecats, horses, and all manner of other critters. As a dog owner, one has little ability to “police” abusers of dogs(like puppy mills for instance), either. Only in the worst cases of neglect or abandonement can anyone blow the whistle on such behaviour–and by then, the worst has already occurred. Wolfdogs are not alone in this tendency for the unqualified or ignorant people to acquire and not take proper care of. Will outlawing them stop it? Or will those type of people just go and abuse/neglect some other kind of animal? I personally am NOT for outlawing the keeping of “exotic” animals(and working at a large AZA accredited zoo, where such a view is VERY politically incorrect, I catch a lot of flack for this view!)–IF people do right by them! Some private individuals DO care better for their animals than major zoos do, too! But there is SO much abuse and ignorance(and boy howdy, do wolf hybrids bring out the cuckoos!) SOMETHING needs to be done. If I were King-Of-The-World, I would require an apprenticeship and a liscence for any exotic, demanding, or difficult animal to be kept–like Falconry requires now. If one didn’t complete/pass the apprenticeship and have a proper facility prepared beforehand, one could not get a liscence. This would eliminate much of the animal seller/dealer B. S. that lands animals in naive, inexperienced hands. Not that any system is perfect, and yes, I know I am an unrealistic dreamer…….

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