The High Desert Wolves Rescue

It was one of the largest rescue operations the national wolfdog rescue community had ever seen and in the end, every animal was saved.

Photography by Johanna Siegmann and Caroline Wolf

In the fall of 2018, Apex Protection Project joined a small team of rescuers to attempt the impossible – rescuing over 200 wolfdogs and northern breeds from an out-of-control breeding facility in Northern California that was being closed down by the county. The county originally gave the team six days to save as many of the animals as we could before they stepped in and euthanized them all. None of the national organizations were available to help, so it was left up to us.

Our team started working around the clock and in six days, we were able to find placement, vaccinate, spay/neuter and transport 40 of them off the property to their new homes. The first transport was led by Apex’s Co-Founder Steve Wastell in Apex’s transport RV, which is retrofitted with enough kennels to have transported the most vulnerable safely- nine mothers, all of their puppies, and three pregnant females. With our initial success, we were able to convince the county to grant us another 30 days to save the remaining animals.

We all immediately jumped back to work to beat the clock and find placement for the remaining 160+. Our days were spent searching for sanctuaries across the country who had space, hiring qualified veterinarians and transporting them to the breeding facility from in and out of state, overseeing the building of proper containment at the new properties, and either transporting cross-country personally or coordinating transport. It was one of the largest rescue operations the national wolfdog rescue community had ever seen.

In the end, every animal was saved.
…including our own little Ryder who became Apex’s mascot and symbol of hope at a very challenging time when, although there was little hope of saving them all, we all persevered – and succeeded.

In the end, the rescue operation cost approximately $150,000.00 which we were able to raise from supporters all around the country.
What many don’t realize is that even today, the rescue is far from over. The amazing sanctuaries and rescues who stepped in to save these animals in an emergent situation are now responsible for them for the rest of their lives and that’s extraordinarily expensive.

Apex never would have been able to dedicate the time, energy, and resources it took to save these innocent lives if it weren’t for our donors who believe in and support our mission. You can join us in our mission of saving more lives by making it financially possible – make a donation today by clicking the link below.

*The High Desert Wolves Rescue Team: Plan B to Save Wolves, W.O.L.F. Colorado, Apex Protection Project, Wolf Mountain Sanctuary, Dogwood Animal Rescue Project, Lori Wynn, Kim Kahl, Sara Movahedi, and Loren Crabb.