Wolf dog sanctuary helps the hybrids find forever homes

The Southern Ohio Wolf Sanctuary has 23 hybrid animals that were rescued and are now looking for the right home. (WCHS/WVAH)

John DeBoard knows the name of every single rescue dog living in his Chesapeake, Ohio, sanctuary.

Each one is a little different than your average dog.

They all have different levels of wolf running through their blood, which could sound intimidating, but DeBoard said they are all babies in sheep’s clothing.

At Southern Ohio Wolf Sanctuary, DeBoard has committed himself to nursing the wolf dogs back to health.

“You can see where they busted out her canines,” DeBoard said pulling young Willow’s jowls back exposing her sharp canine teeth broken off near the base.

DeBoard said someone broke Willow’s teeth to make it easier for fighting dogs to attack her without her having a chance to attack back.

Another wolf dog, Chandra, was neglected to the point flies ate into her ears until they bled.

“She was the one that we thought we were going to have to give a blood transfusion,” DeBoard said.

DeBoard has traveled across the country rescuing the wolf dogs, training and socializing them, and then finding them homes, but he said it’s not as simple as most pet adoptions.

Many states have a limit on the amount of wolf a dog can have in it. Many areas have ordinances on enclosures for containment, and abused wolves, like any animal, can have lingering behavioral issues.

“It’s all for the animal, not for us,” DeBoard said.

The job is expensive, with veternarian bills and dog food taking up the bulk of the cost, but it’s worth is to save an often forgotten breed and people can help, he said.

“Anything helps,” he said, “all it takes is pennies.”

Southern Ohio Animal Sanctuary is a registered nonprofit company, and donations can be written off on taxes.

The organization registered as a business to donate to through Amazon Smiles. Its Facebook Page has a donate button, and it has an account at its primary veterinarian clinic, Help for Animals, in Barboursville, where people can donate toward any of the group's medical expenses.

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