There’s nothing like an animal rescue story. When this wolfdog hybrid was found wandering the streets of Los Angeles, rescuers knew they’d have to work hard to rehabilitate him and bring him back to good health.
Through medicine, patience, and kindness, teams of vets and volunteers did everything they could to help this canine. After the early stages of recovery, rescuers tracked down a friend to chase away the wolfdog’s loneliness.
Read on to learn more about Castiel and Tenali’s stories, as well as how you can help wolf rescues like this one in the future.
In early July 2016, someone in South Central Los Angeles made a call to animal control to report a wandering stray dog. The team tracked the animal to a park, where they were able to tell that the dog was very ill. Its feet were so swollen that it couldn’t even run away.
Nobody knew where this dog came from, and his nervous behavior around people made it clear that he had been through a difficult life so far. The remains of a crude collar were found around his neck, and rescuers wondered if he had been kept as a pet. He was quickly taken to a shelter.
The staff began calling him New Boy, and they soon discovered that he was a wolfdog hybrid. They alerted W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, a nonprofit that specializes in rescuing captive-born wolves and wolfdog hybrids.
New Boy would most likely be euthanized, as wolf dogs cannot be adopted by the general public. They’re less domesticated than their dog relatives, and they have special living and training needs that most people won’t be able to fulfill.
Instead, a rescue team quickly flew to California to bring New Boy to Wellington, Colorado. The group’s vets changed their mind after seeing his condition at the time. They decided to let the animal recover in W.O.L.F.’s infirmary.
New Name, New Beginnings
New Boy was terrified of humans and shrunk into corners to avoid them. After a few days of patience, his defenses dropped enough for treatment. Antibiotics, painkillers, medicated baths, and nourishing food helped to start the healing process.
W.O.L.F. held a contest to rename New Boy. Fans chose the name Castiel, inspired by the angel of rebirth from the American television show Supernatural.
Castiel’s love for food helped rescuers to gain his trust. As he became healthier and more confident, he also started to take up an interest in the other animals around him.
A New Home
“Our Castiel is eating like crazy, showing some spark now that he has energy, and taking naps when necessary,” said W.O.L.F. staff. “His paws are healing well and he’s starting to gain weight. And… he’s always ready for more food, despite the numerous feedings throughout the day.”
On July 19, 2016, Castiel was moved from the infirmary to the sanctuary at W.O.L.F.
A New Companion
She was in excellent health when the call came from W.O.L.F., and just four days after Castiel’s arrival at the sanctuary, she showed up.
Back To Normal
Rescuers knew that Castiel’s new companion would help acclimate him to his new home. Living with another of his kind would also help his overall wellness.
Castiel’s attitude was very nervous and shy after having been alone for so long. Tenali, however, was bubbly and energetic.
“Castiel was overwhelmed by his new companion and remained a bit aloof and reclusive,” W.O.L.F. said. “Tenali had very good instincts, and she gave Castiel the time he needed to feel comfortable with her. She explored her new enclosure, played in her water bucket, enjoyed her daily feeding, and eagerly visited with W.O.L.F. staff who often stopped by with treats.”
Friends For Life
“After a couple of days, [Castiel] started to realize that she wasn’t going to hurt him,” said rescuers. The two wolfdogs began spending more time together, and staffers noticed Castiel’s confidence growing exponentially.
Tenali helped with Castiel’s transition to W.O.L.F. Sanctuary and the two formed a strong bond.
A Good Life
“Castiel… you have come a long way, friend. It has been our honor and pleasure to care for you during your progression along with the LOVE and support of our family on social media.”
Would you like to help Castiel and other wolfdogs? There’s a Guardian Angel sponsorship program at W.O.L.F. Each year, the sanctuary assigns each one of its wolves a Guardian Angel. In return, the sponsor receives several exclusive rewards and news about their wolf’s progress.
Online shoppers should look into AmazonSmile. Amazon will donate a portion of purchase prices to a user’s favorite charity.
It’s also important to note that wolfdog hybrids do not make the best pets for the general public! Wolfdogs have very specific social and behavioral needs—they require much more intensive care than normal, domesticated dogs. Learn more at Wolf.org.