I am Jeremy Albrecht, Director at Shy Wolf Sanctuary, an exotic animal sanctuary in Naples, FL. We are a 100% rescue sanctuary full of animals that were normally bred to be pets, a few non-releasable wildlife rehabs, and a lot of extremely dedicated volunteers. We operate as a 501-c3 non-profit and survive solely on donations. Currently, our number one initiative is to purchase a new property and relocate our facility. This will give us the ability to expand our operation exponentially, so a lot of our energy and fundraising is being spent on realizing that dream.

Proof: https://imgur.com/a/RsTq9jG

You might recognize us from the "Girl with the giant wolf" posts. Here are the posts that made our boy Yuki famous: https://www.reddit.com/r/interestingasfuck/comments/asx9pv/you_wouldnt_always_guess_it_but_wolves_are_very/ And https://www.reddit.com/r/interestingasfuck/comments/ataark/im_the_girl_from_the_giant_wolf_post_heres/

Reddit made Yuki famous and since he has appeared all over the place. https://www.georgetakei.com/florida-animal-sanctuary-steps-in-to-save-giant-wolfdog-after-his-owner-dumps-him-at-a-kill-shelter-2630328683.html https://www.boredpanda.com/rescue-story-dogwolf-yuki-shy-wolf-sanctuary/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

We are also very proud of a program we developed called the “Healing Hearts” program. It is a public outreach program where we attempt to bring abused, neglected, and abandoned people together with abused, neglected, and abandoned animals. You can read more about that program here: https://shywolfsanctuary.org/education/healing-hearts/

You can visit our web site and our social media here:






Here are links to some of the video content we have produced:

How to surrender your animal the right way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw2E7jX3pJg

Celebrating Wolf Awareness Week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GmDS-ckKdE&t=13s

Hurricane Preparedness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Am7rUvCsVdU&t=6s

World Wildlife Day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0rolfJjnFY

EDIT We've been gilded! Thank you so much!

Comments: 199 • Responses: 67  • Date: 

GeenMachine77 karma

What does a captive wolf eat? Are they able to digest domesticated dog food or does it have to be a diet of mostly raw meat / live prey?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary85 karma

Ah! I can finally use one of my video answers! I'll let our volunteer coordinator Caitie explain.


CheeseCurdCommunism38 karma

Interesting, I didnt know Wolves ate every other day. Is that to keep them accustomed to a more in the wild feeding regiment where they would have to successfully hunt each day?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary60 karma

In nature wolves make or scavenge a meal and eat as much as they can stomach because the next meal is never guaranteed. Last I read about it I believe the number was something like 15% of wolves "hunts" are successful. So yes, we feel that an every other day feeding schedule is very natural to our animals. Our little guys like the raccoons, foxes, skunks, prairie dogs get fed daily.

Sluice_Mountain6 karma

May I ask why you keep prairie dogs? We have a farm and they destroy our fields, rattlesnakes breed in their holes, and some carry the plague. They are more pests than companions in my experience! Do they make good pets? Thanks for doing this AMA, Yuki is a good wolf boi :)

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary31 karma

Well we are in the business of rescuing animals and unfortunately people purchase them as pets. Prairie dogs are social and communal animals so what happens is people buy one and its ok for a few months but then that animal begins behaving the way it's job would indicate. If you ended up with a little female that would be taking care of babies in the burrow you might do ok, if you end up with one of the big bull males that would be standing guard then that animal is going to bite you every chance they get because it's very literally the job they were born for.

I have said this before, and I swear it's true. I would rather get bit by one of our wolves than one of our prairie dogs. Getting bit by a prairie dog is like running your fingers through a sewing machine except there are 4 needles instead of 1.

Adithya125049 karma

What is the most misunderstood knowledge about Wolves by the general public ?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary114 karma

That they eat grandmas?

One of the things that I think surprises people when they visit our sanctuary is that they expect the wolves to be sort of "large and in charge". That they are fearless and in control of the situation, and I think it's very disarming for people when the animals present themselves as timid and curious. So I guess my answer is that wolves have been demonized by our fairy tales and movies to be the big bad guy all the time, when really they are the shyest guy in the room.

Adithya125027 karma

Are their fur as soft and cuddly as a Dog.

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary61 karma

A full-blooded wolf's fur is actually pretty coarse. They have a lot of water resistant guard hairs on their backs. They can still be pretty cuddly though.

shadownova42041 karma

As someone who had a wolf malamute cross when I was younger, he was a giant terrifying looking beast.

But he was the kindest boy in the world and would beg for belly rubs.

That being said I do not recommend the average person go out and adopt a wolf/husky hybrid. They have a massive amount of energy, require real space and are definitely not for the faint of heart when it comes to training. Buyer beware.

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary22 karma

I couldn't agree more.

TJ_Fox38 karma

Did your sanctuary benefit at all from Wolfenoot donations last year? We loved the idea of the "holiday" and marked it with a donation to a local wolf sanctuary/education center.

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary43 karma

Ya know, I don't know that we did, but we probably didn't do a very good job of marketing to that either. I have added that to my calendar, thank you!

TheFinalDeception37 karma

So I just wanted to say I love the work you are doing, and please give Yuki and all the other animals a good scratch behind the ear from me and tell them they are a good boy/girl. I even donated, sorry I could not give more.

But I guess my question is could you please give an option for anonymous donations? I hate when my name/address and other information is required, I almost backed out and canceled my donation because of it, I ended up just putting in fake information.

I understand why you might want this info, but I don't want my info being sold, I don't want a thank you notice or to be asked for another donation, I just want to donate and have that be the end of it. Even if you promise to not do any of those things I don't really care, I try to be careful with my personal info and requiring personal information to donate feels wrong to me.

with that being said if anyone else wants to donate it's https://shywolfsanctuary.org/donate/

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary46 karma

Thank you very much for your donation, every little bit counts.

Thank you for your suggestion, we have a board meeting on Monday where I will bring this up.

TheFinalDeception21 karma

Thanks, and I hope I did not come off harsh.

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary25 karma

Not at all, it's a good suggestion.

carjumper35 karma

Do you get to interact with the cat rescues you have as well? Are they also from people who thought they would make good pets??

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary106 karma

We have rescued quite a few big cats over the years and all but one of them were captive bred to be pets. The one exception was Glory, a small female cougar who was bred to be a canned hunt animal. We interacted directly with all of those cats. We currently have two, a bobcat that we do interact with when he's in the mood and a Cougar (or Panther since we're talking Florida here) that we do not directly interact with. The reason is, our Cougar was played with rough as a cub and the owner neglected to instill the commands that are so important when raising a big cat. Our Cougar is a big, friendly, affectionate cat but if we went into the enclosure he would end up accidentally hurting us. He just doesn't realize that our human skin doesn't hold up to those claws of his.

He gets a ton of attention through the fence though, and loves to purr.

TheHatredburrito30 karma

In your opinion, are most incidents where an exotic animal hurts their owner done by mistake (e.g. a big cat playing too rough), or caused by instincts taking over? (e.g. human turned their back and big cat pounced)

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary54 karma

That's a great question.

I would say that most of the incidents I read about I come to the conclusion that it was handler error. A good example of that would be whenever you see an alligator handler get injured. I have read about plenty of situations where an owner has underfed an animal to the point where it has to choose between starving or eating the owner. Things like primates or birds have a communal nature and a lash out towards an owner can be a social cue. We had a lemur come to us because it bonded with the owner's boyfriend and started beating up on the female owner.

When we have any kind of incident at our facility it is nearly always a warning bite. The last time I was bit, it was because one of the wolf-dogs had managed to bury a piece of chicken so when I approached the animal it defended the chicken. This, of course is handler error. First by the feeder, and then by me.

SeriousSteve2319 karma

How strong are warning bites? Like half-strength? They must be scary because you have a wolf looking at you and he's essentially telling you "I could have bit off your arm, but I didn't. Careful..."

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary58 karma

They are extremely minor compared to these animals capability. I do a lot of the sedation, capture, and transport and I can not tell you how many times I have deserved to be bit and have been let off the hook. I really mean it when I say that our animals really don't want to bite people.

Look at it this way, these animals are operating as if they are wild right? So the number one priority of a wild animal above all else is self preservation. Getting into fights, is not a good self preservation method when you are a bad infection or a broken leg away from death. So what these animals have learned to do is intimidate. They know that if they intimidate you enough that you will walk away on your own.

We have a full blooded wolf named Chatima that needs eye drops twice a day. As soon as she sees that dropper bottle she starts growling and by the time you get into bite range she is snarling at you. When the drop hits her eye, she immediately stops growling and that's because the intimidation didn't work and she had no intention on ever biting.

4_0_4error30 karma

Favorite or first rescue story? (How when where,etc)

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary80 karma

My first rescue was a 6 wolf-dog rescue in Belle Glade Florida. The owner had past away un-expectedly and the family had no idea what to do with the animals. By the time we got there the animals were in really touch shape. Most of their ears were bleeding because of fly strikes. This is where an animal's ears open up due to a huge number of fly bites, once the wounds are open, the flies will continue to bite and essentially eat the ears from the tips down. Two of the animals had maggots on their ears when we got there. It was a grueling rescue as it was July in Florida and one of the animals had a den it had dug that we didn't notice right away so even though we had captured 5 of the 6, we had to sit and wait for hours for number 6 to come out of the den for water. We still have two of those animals today. Takoda and Bear.

My favorite rescue was an escaped wolf-dog (not ours but a private owners) that was running free in Cape Coral, FL. We chased that animal for hours and eventually the situation culminated with me paddling around a remote canal at 2am floating on two pool floaties while other volunteers stood on the dock and spotted for alligators. We eventually captured the animal and returned them to the owner, but my god was that exhausting.

Adithya125027 karma

Reddit has sort shot and buried PETA what is stance about them ?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary129 karma

Alright so speaking for myself, and not Shy Wolf Sanctuary, my stance on PETA is simple. PETA is an extremist group, and extremist groups are usually pretty counter-productive to their cause. Their attack on Steve Irwin was in extremely poor taste and was very personal to me given the fact that without Steve Irwin's inspiration there is a very good chance I am not doing this AMA today.

Rightmeyow25 karma

Do you guys do an “awooooo” with the wolves?

Thank you for all you do!

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary51 karma

We sure do! I love the way a new volunteer or a visitors eyes light up when they hear them howl for the first time. Not long ago while I was doing the intro for some visitors they started howling and I noticed one of the visitors had a very emotional response. Afterward I told her she needed to volunteer with us, and she's been a regular volunteer ever since.

Here is a howlalong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uMBaDkncaA

aliceroyal23 karma

I'm in Orlando, but I can see myself making the day trip out to Naples to visit. Do you guys do scheduled visits/tours like some of the other sanctuaries in the area, or should we sign up to volunteer for a day? Wouldn't mind putting a little work in at all. :)

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary41 karma

We do scheduled visits and we're usually booked out a solid year in advance. One of the beautiful things about our volunteer policy is that we don't require any kind of time commitment so by all means. Get your paperwork in and come on down!

Also, are you aware there is a lesser known sanctuary in your area called In Harmony with Nature? It is run by Kim Kapes, a woman we work with a lot.

http://www.ihwn.org/ Check it out!

hughk23 karma

I guess that when you get a rescue, it is probably not the best behaved animal. How do you manage the behavioural issues?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary46 karma

We simply work around them. We have a level system of 1-5 and the way I like to describe the levels is the higher the level the more difficult the animal is to handle safely. When we get a new animal, they start at level 5 and have to "earn" their way down. We identify trigger behaviors, and document and communicate them. For instance, we had an animal that would get aggressive every time he say someone make a pointing gesture. We currently have an animal that sneers and growls if you touch the top of his snout. We have another female that is a sweetheart until you approach one of the holes she has dug.

Many of the animals have been the victims of abuse and neglect but at the very least are un-socialized so most of the animals we get are pretty terrified initially and slowly come out of their shells as they get exposure to the volunteers and learn to associate us with nice things like pets and treats.

For extreme situations like our Cougar or our Coyote Morgan, we design the enclosure with a guillotine system so that we are never directly sharing space with them.

Metorks15 karma

I live in an area with an abundance of coyote. I even encountered one running through my neighborhood just before dawn not too long ago (I was driving, and he was sprinting in the other direction). We hear them almost every night.

What makes the coyote more extreme than some of the wolves/hybrids?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary12 karma

Different animals present different challenges. Coyotes are very difficult to work with because they are much quicker to give warning bites. If I turn a corner and accidentally walk up on one of our wolves it's always going to be flight before fight. The coyotes are the other way around. Now the good thing is of our 5 coyotes, 4 of them will stay the heck away from you when you are cleaning around them. They will do their part to avoid an interaction but Morgan....Morgan's not going anywhere and that's an issue.

ccoady23 karma

Do you get many complaints on the howling of the wolves? My sister lives next door to your sanctuary, and they're used to the 2 or 3 time a day synchronized howling, but sometimes when they have visitors, they seem to think they'd be bothered by it.

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary39 karma

So I get that question from visitors pretty much every time the animals howl for the first time while they are there. The answer is no, we don't get complaints about the howling as it only goes 4-6 times a day and lasts a few minutes at most. They do not howl at the moon at night like a lot of people might think so it's not waking or keeping anybody up. I think the noise pollution generated is quite a bit less than living next to the standard barky dog. I should know, both of my neighbors have barky dogs.

chchchcheetah21 karma

How do you feel about people showing off their wolf dogs on social media as "great pets."

For me, I'm sure that there are people who make it work and have great relationships with their animals. But in general I kind of hate that this can (internationally or not) encourage people to seek out an animal that they are more than likely incapable of caring for properly. It just seems maybe a little irresponsible and I'd like to see more education on those type of posts as to why their pet may not be for everyone.

Overall I guess I just don't want to encourage more breeding of hybrids since many seem to end up in crappy situations (not their fault). Having worked, paid and unpaid, in animal rescue, I've seen a fair share of this with domestic animals literally bred to be companions.

Idk. I don't want to mess with owners doing a good job with happy animals either. But I also kinda feel like many people that want certain animals as pets just want to feel special and unique, which to me is plain entitled. Like we have plenty of already fully domesticated creatures we as humans created for that purpose, and you want something else?? Just a tricky line to walk I guess and it seems like public ed on animals and their care in general is the best bet.

Tl;dr How do you feel about people showing off their exotic/wild pets on social media and the continued breeding of said animals? And sorry for rambling, and thanks for all the work you do!!!

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary33 karma

This is an incredible question, and I'm so glad you asked it.

I agree with your concern whole-heartedly. Not long ago there was a video that got a lot of traction on Reddit of a Fennec fox running circles around it's owner as she sat on the couch. I saw it and thought well great, 10,000 people just saw this and thought "I want one" and some of those people will actually go out and get them. The problem is, nobody is posting videos of Fennec foxes pooping all over the counter or making burrows in your couch cushions. Nobody is putting a video of their fennec biting the pudding out of their fingers on youtube. Situations like that create a false sense of what ownership of one of these animals is like.

One that comes to mind was a story called "I take my wolfdog on epic adventures because i hate to see dogs locked away" or something like that. It had gorgeous photos of a beautiful animal cuddling with and following his owner everywhere. So not only was the animal in the pictures questionable in terms of being a wolf-dog but it painted an extremely false picture of what having a wolf-dog is like.

All that said. People gotta be people. I don't think it's reasonable to expect people who love their animals to be socially responsible with how they portray them. It's just part of the landscape of what we do and always will be so I just try to accept it.

fourleafclover135 karma

There is a guy on YouTube with a Fennec Fox that tells people they are not good pets. He does show the bad side of them. I wanted one for years although I hate the exotic trade. Being a trainer of dogs and horses made me feel I could handle it. Then I began researching them the more I read and watched this guy the faster I decided not too.

More people need to research even dog breeds before getting them.

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary1 karma

Thank you for pointing this out to me, I looked and I think I found it. Lucy the Fennec Fox right?

Jgross32817 karma

Can you say hi to Rocket and Jasper for me? Sending love from NY and missing my time with you guys.

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary19 karma

Of course I will! Both are doing well, although Rocket seems to be getting a little crankier. Send me a private message so I know who I'm saying hi from!

hughk15 karma

How much exercise does one of your wolf-dog mixes need compared to a normal dog of similar size?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary31 karma

They are extremely high energy as most of them are mixed with one or both of the sled dogs. A siberian husky was born to run and will often become destructive if not properly exercised. I would say wolf-dogs are comparable to that.

hughk9 karma

What do you do to exercise a wolf-dog? A husky, even energetic can normally be taken out easily as they are ok around people. Does the same apply to wolf-dog or do you have to keep to private land?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary25 karma

Honestly, we mostly allow them to exercise themselves. We provide them large enclosures and do as much enrichment as possible in the form of toys, etc. We do have a few animals that walk ok on a leash and we will walk them around the perimeter of the property. Most of our animals nope right out of there when they see a leash.

Martijn_de_Oud14 karma

What is your favourite soup?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary23 karma

I think I'm going to go with Clam Chowder.

PuppyBreath13 karma

Have you read the book “A Wolf Called Romeo”? If not, you should. That’s all.

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary11 karma

Yes! It was actually one of the first wolf books I read. Another great one is called Part Wild by Ceiridwen Terrill who is a lovely woman.

kyliekyliekylie12 karma

do you think it's possible to fully train a full-blooded wolf to be a house pet like a dog?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary49 karma

I think there are some pretty incredible animal trainers out there that have done amazing things with animals. For the average person who acquires a full blooded wolf, I think it is extremely unlikely. I am not exaggerating when i say that every animal in our sanctuary was bought under the guise that "this situation will be different" and obviously that turned out to not be the case.

That said, I really try to not speak in absolutes when it comes to animals because they always find a way to throw you a curveball. There is always an "exception" out there. So I guess my answer is, sure someone out there has probably been successful, but I haven't met them.

kyliekyliekylie8 karma

do you think, with your training and exposure to them, you'd keep a wolf as a pet?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary46 karma

I have had two wolf-dogs. It cost me 2 couches, all the molding in my home, and like a million screens. I would say my training and exposure to them is exactly why I wouldn't keep one as a pet.

Gocards1233214 karma


Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary13 karma

I have, but it's been a while. I'm probably due to watch it again. I do try to talk about trophic cascades as much as possible because of that video.

Gocards1233217 karma

Amazing documentary and it’s only 5 minutes long. Thank you for you service with the wolves!

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary10 karma

We couldn't do it without our supporters. We actually just released a video about that.


Awkward-Bird11 karma

Is there ever a point where these wolves are past social rehabilitation with other wolves? Where they are unable to socialize properly anymore? If so, why?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary12 karma

That is a really interesting question. I guess I don't really know what is actually going on in their head. We certainly have animals that are much harder to pair up than others, but I am not sure if that is because they are "past social rehabilitation" or because they are just picky and/or a cranky-pants. I am going to have to see if I can find some more information on that, great question.

Coolguy13579118 karma

Are you ever scared dealing with animals generally thought to be dangerous?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary17 karma

I don't think "scared" is the right word. I don't feel fear as much as I just make sure that I understand the gravity of the situation and exercise as much caution as I can. I can tell you when the last of my nerves left was the day i took my first bite. If you do this long enough it's going to happen sooner or later and I think people have a tendency to build it up in their minds. Then it happens and you put a couple band-aids on it maybe get a stitch or two and try to learn from it.

GZBlaze6 karma

What’s your opinion on people owning wolfdogs? At what point does a wolfdog become a dog, and at what point does it become a wolf? Thanks!

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary5 karma

Well I can tell you this, it has nothing much to do with what percentage wolf they are. We have high content wolf-dogs that act like dogs and low-content wolf-dogs that act like wolves.

My opinion is that a very, very small percentage of people have the where with all to maintain a wolf-dog. They are certainly out there. The problem mainly lies with the breeders and their screening process I think, but I make it a personal policy to not talk down about people including breeders and owners. I think it's important to keep the messages positive when talking about our animals.

avtime16 karma

Is that a wolf in the picture?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary10 karma

If you are referring to Yuki he is a wolf-dog. He is 87.5% wolf according to his DNA test.

pm_me_awkward_memes6 karma

Thanks for doing thus, I live in Pinellas and didn't even know this sanctuary existed!

I assume you've heard of big cat rescue in Tampa? What are you thoughts about their strictly hands off stance on caring for their sanctuary animals? Why does your sanctuary differ from this?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary21 karma

There is another place in Naples that we do a lot of work with called the Kowiachobee animal preserve.


They have a similar stance on their large cats. My opinion is that Big Cat Rescue and Kowiachobee's policies are designed with safety in mind and I absolutely applaud it.

Our past big cats we have interacted with, but our current one we don't. He was played with rough as a cub and that makes him dangerous to handle. Almost all of our other big cats were raised at Shy Wolf as cubs which gives us the opportunity to put our stamp on them. That said, the difference between the danger quotient of a 90 pound wolf and a 500 pound Tiger is enormous and those facilities have a lot of liability to worry about.

pm_me_awkward_memes6 karma

Thank you for the response! If I may ask a follow up?

Are you at all worried that interacting with your animals will give the wrong impression? That people may think they really would make good pets for the average owner?

Edit: I guess pack animals like wolves are way different. I personally come from a bird of prey sanctuary perspective. We have a lot of imprinted screech owls becuase people think they're cute and don't realize they're awful pets. While we do glove train all our birds, we are absolutely not allowed to pet them in front of guests to avoid the wrong impression.

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary6 karma

I am copying and pasting this from another question:

Yes I do, but as management you have to ask yourself "Am I really going to forbid the volunteers that mean so much to this organization to post their experiences on their social media?" I like to think that the fact that every photo is going to be in the context of the facility that people will realize that they aren't pets anymore, but it's hard to say.

pureblood5 karma

Absolutely incredible. That Healing Hearts program sounds like a class act.

Do you guys allow public visitors? Tours? As a photographer I'd love to have the opportunity to take some photos of those amazing creatures. In Broward but would love to come visit sometime x

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary5 karma

We do, you can schedule a visit on our website and we love photos. I'd say around 25% of the photos in our calendar are guest taken photos, and we always give photo credit so come put that camera to work!

Macdeise335 karma

Is it open to the public at any point? My parents have a place in Naples and I would love to come and visit and support in some way. You all rock!

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary6 karma

We are in residential area so we are not "open to the public". We do allow people to visit by appointment.

dunvilsteev5 karma

Do you have to cut their nails? and if so, just how does that take place?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary11 karma

We generally don't. They live on sand so that does a reasonable job keeping the nails under control and if they do get a little long we don't need to worry about that bowing up their toes.

That said, I feel confident in saying that we do not have one canine in the sanctuary that is going to willingly allow us to cut their nails so if for some reason we need to do that, sedation will be required. We also jump at the chance to cut them if we are sedating them for other reasons.

nooneisanonymous5 karma

Do you have a favourite wolf?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary18 karma

Well Tien was legendary. He had made such an impact on our area as an ambassador animal that the Naples news put his obituary in with all of the people when he passed.

I had what I felt like was a special connection with an animal that came to us named Rebel. His owner was terminally ill with lung cancer and he was headed to the shelter unless we stepped in, which we did. We paired him up with Dancer and it was a wonderful pairing. A year and a half later, Rebel died of lung cancer. Don't smoke around your animals!

waterboysh5 karma

I imagine the exotic animal sanctuary community is rather small, but full of dedicated people. I'm just curious, do you know Carl with Single Vision in Melrose, FL? I've been there a few times and he definitely has a lot of passion for what he does.

I guess that's my only question. I think people like you are awesome!

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary5 karma

I do not know Carl but I do know the facility. Passion is really the fuel that runs anyone that does this. Thank you for the compliment!

cocoboco1014 karma

Hello, I am originally from Marco Island so I am excited to see something close to my home town. My question is this, how much time do any of the big cats need to acclimate to the sanctuary? When i lived on Marco (about 9 years ago) they were a pretty big problem when it came to pets (a bobcat actually killed my Tabby) obviously this could be because they were hungry but I feel like the behavior takes a bit to ease out of them. What is the process and how long does it typically take?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary11 karma

It really depends on the individual animal. Right now we have two big cats, a bobcat and a Cougar/Panther. The bobcat had a really difficult transition into our sanctuary, he fasted and really struggled for a long time. In order to keep his appetite up we fed him live mice, something we have never done before, and we knew he had been raised with house cats so we went to the humane society and adopted a huge cat that was going to be euthanized. Someone once said that "They have a bobcat that has a pet cat" which is really fitting. This really helped and now our bobcat is doing very well but it took a couple years to get him there.

Our Cougar on the other hand, is as laid back as can be. Almost 2 years ago we had to evacuate all of our animals from the sanctuary due to a wildfire. Our Cougar absolutely took being moved to another facility in stride and he settled right into his temporary home. So much so that the little female cougar adjacent to him kind of fell in love with him, she was none to happy when we came to get him.

lollipoop74 karma

Where is your experience from? How did you even get into this kind of work?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary5 karma

YES! I get to use another one of my video responses!


arghyematey4 karma

Are you ever worried that posting pictures on social media with people posing with wolves inadvertently sends the message that wolves would make cool pets?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary8 karma

Yes I do, but as management you have to ask yourself "Am I really going to forbid the volunteers that mean so much to this organization to post their experiences on their social media?" I like to think that the fact that every photo is going to be in the context of the facility that people will realize that they aren't pets anymore, but it's hard to say.

arghyematey3 karma

Thank you. This is something that I struggle with myself. It is cool to have a close bond with animals but it’s also hard to know how to responsibly share the message with the public about such beautiful animals.

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary3 karma

I couldn't agree more.

hoja_nasredin4 karma

I live in Naples. Can I visit this sanctuary?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary7 karma

We do take scheduled visits. You can read more about those on our website which is linked in my original post. Hope to see you soon!

VoodooMamaJuju693 karma

What brought you to this life?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary14 karma


When I was a small child, a beat up raccoon that looked like it had been hit by a car came up on our deck. We of course, threw it a few slices of bread, (Don't feed raccoons!) and it of course continued to return nightly. We named her Regina and I would lay by the sliding doors and watch her for hours. So as far as I can tell, Regina was the beginning of my love for animals.

SingingReven3 karma

On a scale to 1 to 10 how cuddly is an average wolf?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary8 karma

With me? Probably like a 3. They tend to gravitate to our female volunteers and people that have never captured or sedated them. I am neither of those people.

DaBi5cu1t3 karma

Recently a Florida man let a baby alligator bite his balls. Will you let a wolf cub do the same to yours?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary11 karma

I saw that video and no, absolutely not. Although a million dollar donation can change a lot of minds.

idmo3 karma

What do you guys do when hurricanes are approaching? How was it for Irma?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary6 karma


Irma was awful. We didn't lose any animals, we didn't have any escapes, but we had around 30,000 dollars of damage to the facility and we lost some of our largest trees. We went from the entire sanctuary being in the shade under a green canopy to baking in the hot sun and having to string up sun shades.

fourleafclover132 karma

First thank you for what you are doing. I caught two wolf's that were in the city I worked animal control. I never realized how huge they were until that point. The owner was amazing and got the proper land and permits to keep them.

What is your favorite part of working with such amazing animals?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary1 karma

I think my answer will probably surprise you, but there is a line in the movie "We bought a zoo" where Thomas Haden Church turns to Matt Damon's character after a long day of rebuilding the zoo and says "I like the animals, I love the people." That really describes how I feel perfectly. My favorite part of my experience with this is the people I've met.

My favorite part that is animal related is that moment an animal you have been working on for weeks, months, years lets you touch them for the first time. That feeling is exhilarating.

A close second would be a good capture. I feel a very strong sense of satisfaction when we successfully capture an animal. A large part of that is the relief that the animal is now safely in our hands.

fourleafclover132 karma

I understand that feeling of seeing trust and bonding for the first time. I used to work with dangerous and lost cause horses. That first sign of no fear or anger (still fear many times) always brought tear to my eyes. You are right it is exhilarating.

Working Animal Control was a taste of getting that good catch. From trapping to sitting on ground for an hour tossing your lunch to them. Or the ones that just come to you and jump into cab instead of back of the truck. I have my favorite story about a Rotti about that.

Again thank you for your work.

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary1 karma

And thank you for yours! I have a lot of respect for good animal control people because we have had a couple animals come our way that it was pretty clear that animal control did not treat them with much empathy during the capture.

cwar_AMERICA2 karma

Do many wolf hybrids struggle with obesity from over eating or does the every other day schedule keep that at Bay?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary3 karma

So when you interbreed wolves and dogs, you never really know what you are going to get. Will the animal look like a wolf or a dog? Will it behave like a wolf or a dog? In both cases, most of the time it's somewhere in the middle. This also applies to metabolism. I am not a biologist, but wolves seem to have a much higher metabolism than dogs so we can feed them and feed them and they never really seem to gain a pound. Some of our wolf-dogs however, got the dog metabolism and if they get fed two much they will become overweight. We actually have made a policy against giving the animals treats because while one treat is no big deal when every volunteer that walks through gives them a treat the calories add up.

If you look at our web site, Treasure stands out to me as one of our animals that is prone to gaining weight he is a mid-content right around half wolf.

cwar_AMERICA2 karma

I have a f3 Shep on a 20 acre plot and she is very active but is on the slightly heavier side. Her brothers are all heavier as well. I cut all grain from food in a switch and she gets no table scraps. I was curious if this is something you had seen from shorter lineage animals.

Thanks for the amazing work you do. Are you able to recieve Amazon smile funds? I currently give to a wolf sanctuary in Colorado but if you are involved it might be something people can look into?

ETA went and watched the treasure video beautiful animal. I can't fathom how some one could give that up.

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary3 karma

We've had quite a few animals in the past that carried a lot more weight. Waya, Viggo, Chief, and Koda all come to mind.

We are on Amazon smile! Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education and Experience Center. Thank you so much for your well wishes.

agravain2 karma

hi Shy Wolf.

how's Nancy doing? I haven't been there since my friend stopped working out there. he used to be vice president years ago

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary5 karma

She is doing well thank you for asking!

Velghast2 karma

Jeremy I have visited your facility twice! Did you guys ever figure out if you might be moving out to Lee County? I have been looking for volunteer opportunities but I loathe going into Collier if I have to, I have been conditioned to believe that the air just smells more smug there.

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary1 karma

Thanks for visiting! We are still working on it and Lee is definitely the target. The process is grueling and long not to mention stressful but I do feel like it is heading in the right direction after a couple of set backs early on.

Just remember that you are driving by the smugness and then walking into the sanctuary where most of us are from Lee county so we bring that Lee county flavor you crave!

Velghast2 karma

I've actually got some open time this summer season if you guys are in any need of volunteers. I know there's never any shortage of help when I visit just thought I'd throw a line out there since I already got a response!

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary1 karma

We always have room for someone knew who is willing to give us their time.


KyrgyzManas1 karma

Have you ever seen Ilsa - She Wolf of the SS? Fantastic movie!

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary3 karma

I have not, but I'm pretty curious now.

SatanMaster1 karma

What do you think of the death penalty for hunters?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary28 karma

I am going to assume you are talking about poachers. I think the death penalty is probably a little extreme, but I would like to see more severe penalties.

jsalbre1 karma

Hello Jeremy Albrecht, I am also Jeremy Albrecht!

What's the biggest challenge you face?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary3 karma

People always confusing me with other Jeremy Albrechts.

The biggest challenge we have is our location. We started in, and continue to reside in a residential area. It is very limiting for many reasons which is why our biggest initiative at this point is finding a new property. Now, this is easier said than done because as you can imagine when everything you do is permit based, there is a lot of red tape to cut through at every turn. Just doing the due diligence on a potential property can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

jsalbre2 karma

Understandable. People always think I'm a motocross team manager or a financial advisor...

Seriously though, I can definitely see that being an issue. Unfortunately I'm neither a real estate guy or someone with power over permits in Florida, so the best I can really offer is a huge "good luck!"

I hope you guys find a nice place with lots of room for the critter to run and play, and no neighbors to complain.

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary2 karma

I am actually really thankful for the motocross guy because he'll always keep me from being easily googled.

Thank you for the well wishes!

merters121 karma

how do you accept recruits ? and can they play with wolfdogs ?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary7 karma

Becoming a volunteer is simple. We don't require any experience or time commitment. Simply visit our web site and fill out the volunteer paperwork, and yes we do encourage interaction between our volunteers and our animals.

ricoza1 karma

Which Naples is the best Naples?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary2 karma

I'm not sure, I've never been to Italy.

kermitthehandpuppet1 karma

Loved visiting u guys. You guys gave me a private tour on my bday. Are you guys opening up a new location that is bigger for the wolves?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary1 karma

We are sure trying. When everything you do is permit based, purchasing and developing a property is a long and expensive process. We are shooting for something around 40 acres and right now our animals are on 1 so it will be a big improvement for all of us.

Granny_knows_best1 karma

How do you keep your rescues safe from gators?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary1 karma

Our property is completely enclosed on all sides and has no standing water on the property. The only wild animals that can get into the sanctuary are going to either be really small or be able to climb so our worries are raccoons more than anything. The reason Raccoons are our biggest problem is because they are the only rabies vector species that can get into our Sanctuary and if our animals kill one, we have to quarantine them.

Fun fact: Fish & Game and the USDA are our governing bodies and neither of them recognize the rabies vaccine in wolves and wolf-dogs so if one of our animals is exposed to a rabies vector species we have to treat the situation like they may have been exposed and it's a huge pain in the butt. Conversely, if one of the animals bites us we have to go get the round of shots and I promise you those shots hurt a lot more than the bite did.

KorisRust1 karma

How significant is the danger in handling the wolves? They seem very friendly with you guys. Is this something your average person could do?

Shy_Wolf_Sanctuary1 karma

Well we are all average people so I guess the answer is yes. An average person with the proper training and attitude.

That said, if you don't have the proper training and attitude yes the danger is surely significant.