April 17th, 2012 - 03:28 PM
Wolves as Domestic Pets
Today was a very sad and frustrating day for me as a Wildlife Photographer, Naturalist and Humane Human. A woman contact me today to inquire how she could acquire or purchase a wolf. She had seen the my Wolf Photography Collection on my website.
She was not a wildlife rehabilitation center or zoo keeper, this was a woman who said she" loved wolves so much she felt she just had to have one as a pet." She stated she had "lots of room for it to run."
After taking some time to cool off, calm down and explore what I would say to convince her. This is what wrote in response......
Dear.......... While I understand your attraction to wolves, as I have always been very connected to them myself wolves are wild animals. As such they belong in the wild. They have not been bred in captivity and their wild nature makes them entirely unsuitable as domestic pets in any situation. They are not now nor have they ever been suitable under any conditions. Allow me to share a story with you today that I am hopeful will implore you to end your search.
The sadness thing I have yet to witness in my over 40 years (and I have witnessed many atrocities) was a white wolf now condemned to life in a rehabilitation center. Her previous "owners" acquired her and were convinced they could "make her" into a pet. When her wild nature took over she fatally killed their family pet and attempted to attack the husband. She was eventually cruelly beaten in an attempt to make her submit to human will. When I saw her she was no longer that 'beautiful wild spirit' you admire so much in wolves. She paced relentlessly with her tail tucked between her legs and her head cowering. She jumped uncontrollable at every sound. She stayed near the bars of her "jail cell" until you approached, then she coward and ran away then back again. She appeared to be in a battle with herself. Part of her craved companionship and the other feared any human interaction. I can not tell you how many times this once majestic creature who was once running wild in nature haunts my dreams. That was several years ago now, yet her image still brings me to tears and haunts my soul.
Words alone can not describe what I witnessed in this poor shattered spirit, now a mere shadow of her former self. She is condemned to live the rest of her life in a jail cell because someone wanted her as a pet.
If you truly l do love wolves as much as you say, I implore you from the bottom of my heart as a fellow humane human please end your search now. If I could show you a photo of this sad lifeless little girl I believe it would convince you to reconsider. In reality I am a Wildlife Photographer, yet in my heart I could not bring myself to photograph her. Though I certainly attempted to so that others could see the results of trying to keep wolves as pets. Somehow I felt photographing her might some how rob her of any dignity that she had left in this world.
There are many who would rip you apart verbally if you had written them. Instead I have chosen to speak to that part of your heart that loves wolves enough to allow them to be free spirits as nature intended. Do not break their spirit and cause them such disrespect and indignity.
Author Shelley Myke
I would like to end by clarifying that I have the utmost respect for Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers and respected Wildlife Facilitators. I admire the work that you do sadly as a results of human interference. I have written this article today in hopes that others considering obtaining a wolf as a pet will be moved to have a change of heart.
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