Thursday, November 7th, Shy Wolf Sanctuary will be hosting a free event at FGCU to raise money to buy more land for the more than 20 wolves and other animals (which include “wolf dogs,” fennick foxes, and more). All of these animals reside in the sanctuary’s one-acre complex in Naples. According to the website, Shy Wolf’s mission is to provide sanctuary for exotic animals in need of rescue and refuge, while screening and rehoming those better suited to family life. The rescue’s goal is to educate the global community about the needs of these animals, how they came to be in rescue, and the role and importance of their wild counterparts to create empathy and understanding of the lessons they have to teach, and how each person can make a difference in the world around us.
“They are really attached to these animals with a spiritual connection; they believe that animals in the environment should be treated the same as any decent human being,” said FGCU junior art major Hannah Johnson, who will be leading the event. With such limited space and many animals to house, one of the main reasons Shy Wolf is having this event is so the organization can raise funds to move into a bigger home.
“Shy Wolf has only one acre of land and they are looking to move to 20 to 30 acres of land, and they are trying to make it happen within the next year,” said communications and journalism major Annie Boutz, an FGCU junior and part-host of the event. Shy Wolf Sanctuary is a nonprofit, donationbased facility. Students who wish to make a donation can do so at the organization’s website, shywolfsanctuary.com. Another way students can make donations is at the event itself, where they can receive a treat for their contribution.
“We will be handing out cupcakes and cookies to those who donate over a dollar,” Boutz said. The tasty treats are not the only reason why students should attend the event. The sanctuary will also present more information on internships for various majors and is also offering volunteer positions for students who need to earn some service learning hours. According to both Boutz and Johnson, Shy Wolf needs volunteers and interns to help with the animals and the transitioning into a new home.
“Shy Wolf and FGCU are doing a partnership through Civic Engagement. They are looking for volunteers and interns,” Boutz said. The organization might have two wolves, Chief and Seth, present at the event, said Johnson. Volunteering/interning at Shy Wolf Sanctuary would not only earn students some service learning hours, but will provide them with an unforgettable experience.
“Shy Wolf Sanctuary is an amazing place to go and volunteer. They have really transformed what they have to help animals. You would never guess it was a backyard; it is like a jungle. It is a great educational experience and has changed the lives of volunteers,” Boutz said.
Boutz would also like to add some safety information for students on the importance of learning the difference between domesticated animals and wildlife.
“Knowing the difference between domesticated animals and non-domesticated animals is so important because especially here in Florida, people need to know what are pets and what are not pets. Shy Wolf takes in animals that are not pets, and they try to keep them in their natural habitats as much as they can.”
Boutz is not the only one who has had a positive experience volunteering at Shy Wolf. Johnson had a transforming experience working at the sanctuary while earning her Colloquium hours this summer.
“It is super personal and up-close. You learn so much about the animals, like their temperament and where they came from. It is just a great experience, especially if you have never been out with wildlife. My advice to potential volunteers and interns is to make the most of your experience there. Learn as much as you can about the animals and why they are in the sanctuary in the first place,” Johnson said. She added that Shy Wolf is looking for consistent volunteers and interns who will help out for at least the semester.
The Nov. 7 event is free and will be at the Veteran’s Pavilion. Students who have any questions or wish to contact Shy Wolf Sanctuary directly can do so at 239-455-1698.
Photo courtesy of Marco News