Shy Wolf Sanctuary rescues Arrow, an 8-month-old Wolfdog

Because of a network of foster families, Shy Wolf Sanctuary is able to extend its shelter beyond its gates.

(Sept. 12, 2022 – Naples, FL) Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education & Experience Center was founded because there is a great need to rescue exotic animals which cannot be placed in a wildlife sanctuary or adopted out through domestic animal shelters. Daily, people reach out by phone, email, and social media about wolves, wolfdogs, and other captive exotic animals in urgent need of rescue. Though the Sanctuary is regularly at capacity, low and mid-content wolfdogs are placed with experienced foster families while waiting for their forever home. More fosters are needed to save more lives, however, as the need far exceeds availability.


“Our volunteers are the key to Shy Wolf’s success and longevity. It takes a special person with a big heart to help animals transition from challenging situations into a forever home,” said Deanna Deppen, Executive Director of Shy Wolf.

One of Shy Wolf Sanctuary’s most recent rescues is Arrow, an eight-month-old mid-content wolfdog that had escaped his home for the second time and survived being hit by an F250 pickup truck traveling 50 miles-per-hour. Recognizing he was in over his head, Arrow’s owner reached out to Shy Wolf Sanctuary for help in caring for a wolfdog pup that he loved dearly.


Through a developed network of wolfdog foster families and rescue volunteers, Shy Wolf Sanctuary was able to pick Arrow up quickly and get him the follow-up care for what turned out to be minor injuries. Arrow is now recovering with a local foster family that is experienced in caring for wolfdogs and their unique abilities.


Wolfdogs are more intelligent and independent than their domesticated counterparts, but their personalities develop much the same way. With the right home and family to train him, Arrow will continue to be outgoing, friendly, and playful. He will just need plenty of space to run and burn off his energy along with clear boundaries and acceptance of who he was born to become.


Shy Wolf Sanctuary does not breed, buy, or sell. All of the animals that pass through the Sanctuary or its network of fosters have been rescued or surrendered from a variety of situations. Adoption placements through Shy Wolf require pre-screening to ensure families are educated and prepared to bring a wolfdog into their home. Families that are interested in fostering or adopting a wolfdog are encouraged to fill out an adoption application for review. Approved fosters go through the same process as adopters prior to receiving their first rescue. Shy Wolf staff and volunteers work hard to match the animals in need to the right home, temporary or permanent, and continue to support the animal for the duration of its journey and life. That may include behavioral advice, medical assistance, or simply sharing in the challenges and triumphs inherent in fostering or adopting these unique animals.

Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education and Experience Center was founded in 1993 and formalized into a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2001. While the organization was founded because of the need for animal rescue, it has grown to incorporate educational and therapeutic animal encounters throughout the region. In 2021, more than 8,000 people in Southwest Florida learned about animal care and rescue through Shy Wolf’s education and outreach program. Additionally, through the Healing Hearts program, the Sanctuary hosted more than 550 therapeutic animal encounters for at-risk children, people living with special needs, grieving the loss of a loved one, and veterans living with the invisible scars of war.

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Florida Weekly article on Arrow 09/14/22