Ohio wolf-dog sanctuary looking to expand

Local News

CHESAPEAKE, OH (WOWK) — If you’re out in the wild, a wolf’s howl might be a sign of danger. But for the staff at the Southern Ohio Wolf Sanctuary, a howl is music to their ears.

While the sanctuary doesn’t rescue full-blooded wolves, they have possibly the closest animals you can find in the animal family. Wolf-dogs are the main attraction for sanctuary owner John Deboard and his volunteers.

The animals are carefully placed within the sanctuary based on their personalities and social skill levels. While some may take more time to adjust to a friendlier lifestyle, others are kindhearted by nature.

Deboard says a majority of the wolf-dogs in his sanctuary are friendly, but can take time to adjust to new people.

I’m one of those that believe “You get out of it, what you put into it.” So, you have to consistently work with the dog just like you do with any other dog.

John Deboard, Sanctuary owner

Each wolf-dog has to undergo DNA testing to calculate the ratio of a wolf to domestic dog. One of the wolf-dogs with the highest percentage of wolf genes in the pack is also noted as one of the friendliest in the pack.

Cheyenne has the highest percentage of wolf genes at approximately 86%. Photo courtesy of WOWK-13 News Staff.

Cheyenne is a 7-year-old wolf-dog and has been tested as having 86% wolf genes. Cheyenne is also noted as having the most friendliest personality in the pack and Deboard’s personal wolf-dog.

Even with the large area, Deboard is hoping to expand their operations in an, as yet, undetermined location in another state. And are currently raising money to fund that project.

Our goal is to hopefully expand and make it bigger and bring more awareness to the animal.

John Deboard, Sanctuary owner

For more information on the sanctuary and its expansion plans, click here. To meet the pack, click here.

Watch 10 minutes in the containment area with four wolf-dogs below.

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