THANK YOU to all of our Estates neighbors and sanctuary friends for your steadfast support!
Shy Wolf Sanctuary has closed on the purchase of 17-acre Estates parcel!
Our vision is to create an internationally-recognized sanctuary that is revolutionizing captive animal care and education, while providing a place of hope and healing for all that enter our gates.
Through animal encounters and immersive educational programs, we will inspire visitors to take ongoing action to protect wildlife, our sensitive environment, and spreading kindness and compassion to our greater community.
- For more than 20 years, Shy Wolf Sanctuary has provided on-campus and off-campus educational programs about the rescue needs for surrendered and abused, captive-bred exotic animals.
- As we expand outreach, we will broaden our programs to include:
- Hands-on Science Field Trips – With our expanded campus, we will welcome students from SWFL public schools to explore science, ecology, and animal welfare projects.
- Living with Wildlife – Sustainable ways for SWFL residents to live with local wildlife.
- Expanded Internship Opportunities – Providing a place for students of veterinary, biology, psychology (cognitive behavior), therapy, animal care, and ecology to gain hands-on experience for advanced studies while partnering with universities and students in research.
- Shy Wolf Sanctuary provides environmentally sustainable habitats that exceed government safety guidelines for the protection of our resident animals, staff, volunteers, and visitors.
- In addition to incorporating sustainable features such as solar technology, Florida-friendly landscaping, and water features, Shy Wolf Sanctuary will provide immersive educational components such as wildlife overpasses incorporated into the habitats and visitors’ experience.
- All who come through Shy Wolf Sanctuary’s gates, two- or four-legged, will find a safe haven to heal from the physical and emotional wounds of life.
- Through our Healing Hearts program, Shy Wolf Sanctuary will build on our partnerships with organizations such as Youth Haven, The Shelter for Abused Women and Children, and Southwest Florida Chapter of Home Base (Veterans support services). We will expand program goals specific to each Partner Organization’s participants while creating a safe, welcoming and enriching environment.
Major Components of Property Development
Welcome and Educational Center:
This building will be the first structure seen by guests and will provide a welcoming atmosphere to introduce visitors to the history and purpose of the Sanctuary. Plans call for an existing structure to initially serve this purpose, expediting the sanctuary’s move onto the property. A brand new Welcome and Educational Center appears in a later phase of development. Designed with a classroom that can be divided or opened to accommodate additional participants, this will allow us to expand our educational programs by welcoming school field trips and groups.
Shy Wolf will be able to expand our therapeutic Healing Hearts program for at-risk children and veterans living with invisible wounds. Natural habitats designed into classroom walls will allow our smallest captive-bred exotic animals to engage young children in caring for the environment. This building will be a collaboration with the Florida Wildlife Federation and other key partners.
Large Animal Habitats and Care Buildings
Animals rescued by, or surrendered to, Shy Wolf Sanctuary are often abused and neglected, coming from frightening circumstances. The habitats that we build will be their shelter from the storm. Natural enclosures will surround the animal care buildings. The large animal care buildings will provide a place for medical evaluation and care, enrichment, and shelter from hurricanes or wildfires. One of these buildings will be designated as a community resource in times of crisis like hurricanes.
Outside of the building, each of the habitats will exceed Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation’s safety standards with 10’ fencing, cantilevered 3’ lean-ins and anti-dig components. The habitats will also feature varied enrichment and water features, providing a more natural and exciting environment through which packs can be rotated. The ability to move animals from one enclosure to another is a revolutionary and unique concept not achievable in most facilities.
Small Animal Habitats and Care Building
In addition to our wolves and wolfdogs, Shy Wolf has smaller animals including foxes, prairie dogs, Gopher tortoises, and raccoons. There will be a separate area outside of the visitor center to care for our smaller residents. Each habitat will provide a natural environment, creative enrichment, and cater to the species for which it is constructed.
An existing building will serve as a dedicated veterinary center. Design features will include a large open exam/surgical area and the ability to house large captive-bred exotic animals for monitoring and care. Specialty equipment will be acquired to perform necessary procedures such as x-rays and ultrasounds. There will be basic lab testing abilities as well. Shy Wolf Sanctuary will open this center as a resource to the community through partnerships.
Animal Food Preparation Center
Shy Wolf Sanctuary’s resident animals consume over – 24,000 pounds of raw meat per year, with some animals requiring special preparation of fish or chicken. One of the animal care buildings we construct will incorporate a dedicated food preparation center for more efficient receiving, storage, and processing of animal nutrition. A loading dock, walk-in coolers, walk-in freezers, and industrial-grade kitchen equipment will allow the sanctuary to receive larger quantities of meat to be safely processed and stored.
Property Manager Housing
Animal care requires a dedicated property manager to live on-site. One of the existing houses on 3rd Street NW will be remodeled for this purpose, and will accommodate the property manager and his or her family. The house will be accessible outside of normal operational hours and fenced off from the sanctuary but will have a gate with direct keyed access for emergencies.
Another of the existing houses on 3rd Street NW will enable Shy Wolf to offer room and board to people seeking externships from a variety of majors. Shy Wolf Sanctuary receives many requests from graduate students looking for internships as they pursue careers in zoology, biology, genetics and psychology. Unfortunately, due to a lack of housing, we are forced to turn down the interns. Developing stronger internship programs for graduate students will help us support educational and research projects, as well as sustainably expanding operations.
The last house on the property will be converted to an administration building to support sanctuary operations. It will house the Executive Director, Finance, Donor Development, and all other “behind-the-scenes” needs to run a nonprofit organization.
How can you help?
Volunteer. Donate. Join a planning committee or our Board of Directors. Spread our mission to your friends by hosting a Friend-raiser at your home, clubhouse, or even the sanctuary. For additional information on how you can help move us to the next level, EMAIL us!
We average 50-70 rescued animals at our existing facility. You can help by sponsoring the food, veterinary care, or enclosures for one of our existing animals. Sponsor Our Resident Animals.
Raise awareness by hosting a friend-raiser event where we will bring out one of our ambassador animals to raise awareness for the critical services that we provide. Contact Us.
Volunteer to serve our capital campaign committee. Once our plan is finalized, we will need volunteers to serve a variety of roles. Email our Executive Director Deanna Deppen.