Healing Hearts Expands Program with new partners

Shy Wolf Sanctuary’s Healing Hearts program now reaches more children in southwest Florida with the addition of Youth Haven and PACE Center for Girls.

The Healing Hearts forms partnerships with area organizations for an educational encounter with its resident animals. Because exotic animals come to Shy Wolf Sanctuary from abused, abandoned and neglected situations, a magical healing connection is made with humans who have had similar experiences in their lives. These animals teach humans about kindness, forgiveness, trust, gratitude, courage and unconditional love.


Youth Haven provides emergency residential shelter for boys and girls ages 6-18 in Southwest Florida. Being removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment, these children enter a safe and loving environment where they can heal, learn to trust, and become confident. Youth Haven’s mission is to protect and empower children and strengthen families in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration.



PACE believes in girls. PACE Center for Girls in Southwest Florida provides the opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy. Focusing on a balanced and holistic approach, PACE’s non-residential program supports, empowers and guides middle-aged to young adult girls to succeed in life. PACE is nationally recognized as one of the most effective programs to keep girls from entering the juvenile justice system.

Healing Hearts program guests visit Shy Wolf Sanctuary and experience an animal encounter with some of the resident animals. They learn about the animals, how they were rescued and that these animals live the rest of their lives at the sanctuary. After the visit, guests have fun working on artprojects from painting wolf houses to making holiday ornaments and other animal inspired items. Finally lunch is enjoyed next to captive-bred cougar Cimarron’s enclosure.

During this creative experience, healing happens to help build confidence and self-esteem. The guests receive a very special necklace with wolf Indy’s hair enclosed in a glass vile. Indy is blind, but she is always happy and finds her way. The children love wearing their Indy necklaces because “the wolf walks with them” to give them courage and strength to find their way.

“It is a moving experience to watch these children interact with our animals,” said Deanna Deppen, Executive Director of Shy Wolf Sanctuary. “You can actually see the healing take place.”

If your organization would like to become a partner in our Healing Hearts program, please contact: education@shywolfsanctuary.org.

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