Animal sanctuary rescues gigantic wolfdog A massive wolfdog, who was left at a kill shelter by his owners when he became too much to handle, was rescued, and given a second chance at life, by an animal sanctuary. Yuki was abandoned by his owners and left at a kill shelter – a shelter that has a time limit on how long animals stay before they are euthanized to make space for incoming animals – by his owners. He was rescued by volunteers at Shy Wolf Sanctuary, in Naples, Florida, in 2008, where he has been living ever since. Brittany Allen, a staff member of the sanctuary – which was founded in 2001 – said Yuki is one of the highest content wolfdogs they currently have at the facility. According to Animal Law Source, a wolfdog is a cross between a domestic dog and a wild wolf. They have a mixture of traits, which results in behavior patterns that are less predictable than those typically associated with a dog or wolf. Brittany told Bored Panda that when tests were carried out on the animal, it was discovered that Yuki is 87. 5 per cent Gray Wolf, 8. 6 per cent Siberian Husky, and 3. 9 per cent German Shepherd. Explaining Yuki’s background, Brittany said: ‘We rescued him from a failed house pet situation. Someone purchased him from a breeder and realized he was too much to handle. They dumped him at a kill shelter at eight months old. ‘We stepped in and provided a home for him and he has been with us ever since,’ she added. Brittany explained that wolfdogs demand respect, and that she would have a ‘much different’ encounter with one if she met them in the wilderness. She said: ‘They definitely are creatures that demand respect. It would be a much different encounter in the wild than what I do with these guys. ‘The animals I work with have never been in the wild and never will be, so they are more socialized. ‘We show off their adorable moments in the hope of helping people identify with them at least and maybe change their fear response into a healthy respect through education. ‘And also giving an animal a chance at a decent life when otherwise they would be euthanized,’ she said. Comparing wolfdogs to other animals, Brittany said that they can be a bit difficult, because you can’t tell how much wolf and dog behavior they will have. She explained: ‘Yuki isn’t necessarily more social vs. We have pure wolves who will run away when they see new people because they are generally shy, curious animals. Yuki, however will run straight to a new person and if he doesn’t like them will become aggressive towards them. ‘With the pure wolves, once they know you and feel comfortable with you, they can be affectionate and loving but they will always be wolves you can’t get in the way of them and their food, and you must respect their boundaries. They are both social with people they accept in their space, but they are very selective as well. This also applies to other wolf/wolfdog companions. They are very selective but when they bond it is pretty unique,’ she added. Back in January, Brittany posted a short video that showed her as she sat beside Yuki, and the video garnered over 26,000 views on Instagram. However, despite the wolfdog appearing absolutely huge in the snippet, Brittney insists he isn’t quite as big as he appears. She told the publication that she weighs around 120 pounds, but isn’t as big as the post makes her out to look. One of the directors of the sanctuary, which boasts staff and over 30 volunteers who work year-round, Jeremy Albrecht, said that Yuki has become a definite favorite at the facility. He said: ‘Today, Yuki is one of the most interesting animals in the sanctuary. He is not an easy guy to get to know, but he does have a small number of volunteers he has bonded with. ‘He has gained the nickname “Woowoo” because when he sees any of his chosen volunteers that is the noise he makes, beckoning that volunteer to come spend time with him,’ he explained. Judy, a volunteer, said: ‘Yuki is one of those animals that he lets you know if he wants you in his enclosure or not. He has a very small group of women that he allows in his enclosure called his “harem”.’. One director of the sanctuary said staff at the sanctuary once considered having Yuki as the ambassador for the sanctuary. However, they revealed that things took a turn for the worst when he had an accident that affected his leg. They said: ‘Yuki came to us in 2008. He was in reasonably good health compared to a lot of the animals that come to us and had a very outgoing personality initially. We even considered him for ambassadorship at one point. ‘Shortly after arriving at Shy Wolf Sanctuary Yuki managed to catch a leg on a palmetto and opened up a wound on his right rear knee. ‘The wound ended up taking a total of 5 surgeries to finally repair and in that time Yuki became cage aggressive,’ they explained. And things recently became worse for the staff at the sanctuary, when it was discovered that Yuki had a terminal illness last year. Jeremy said: ‘He was diagnosed with cancer last year and unfortunately it is terminal. We have dealt with this particular cancer before and ultimately you don’t really know how fast you caught it and how much time they have.’. He added that Yuki has been fighting the illness for quite a while now and staff are trying to make the most of the time they have left with him at the moment. ‘When the day comes that he starts showing symptoms we will, as we always do, make the right decisions for Yuki’s quality of life. Saying goodbye to one of our animals is always difficult for our staff and volunteers, and Yuki will be no different. ‘But it’s important to remember that while many of these animals have rough beginnings, their stories always have happy endings once they get to Shy Wolf Sanctuary. ‘When their time with us is over the last thing they do is make room for our next rescue and happy ending,’ he added. Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education and Experience Center was founded in 2001 by Nancy Smith. The facility aims to provide sanctuary and rehabilitation to wild and captive bred wolves, and other animals, at a two and a half acre property in Naples, Florida.