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“Really wanted to like this place!”

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary
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Attraction details
Owner description: Visitors are allowed to interact with over a dozen wolves at this nonprofit that is dedicated to rescuing the animals from various unfavorable environments.
Reviewed September 25, 2013

We are all for helping animals and visit ranches, sanctuaries and shelters on a regular basis. I thought some of the negative reviews were a bit harsh but I must agree with some of the comments following our recent visit.

Cons:
-Extreme warm temps seem too hot for these animals. They do have small pools but not sure it's enough during the summer months.

-Flies were nesting/eating several wolves ear tips; just like dogs can get.

-Tour guide rambled for 2-hrs on our 1-hr tour; colorful guide & too political while providing some wolf facts; didn't even take a breather for visitor questions. They should stick to a professional FAQ script.

-A bit unorganized. I suppose this was due to visitors arriving late.

-You can see everything in 15 minutes. I'm not sure what there is to do here for a half-day or full-day tour.

-This is someone's home and animal pens were added to the yard/property; not necessarily a sanctuary.

-Visitors can not wear sunglasses or hats as it frightens the wolves and they must see your eyes; a camera is permitted. Plan accordingly.

Pros:
-Gentleman who greeted us was friendly and appreciative of the frozen chicken donation....we never show up empty handed : )

-Fed a few wolves carrots.

-Pet two wolves & took photos.

-The wish list does note they are looking for new property and hope to increase the pen sizes.

-Tee's, hats and other gift items available.

You must make an appointment to visit the facility. This is a residence and there is not always someone on-site or available for tours. I understand a better time to visit is the winter during the morning when the wolves are howling & more active.

Overall it's a little depressing & I feel sorry for the wolves. We are so touched by people who want to help animals and realize many resources are necessary but this place could be so much better. We really wanted to find the good in this place but left feeling a bit unsettled.

8  Thank DexCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 14, 2013

Although I am all for helping wildlife, especially wolves that have been born in captivity, I am not for keeping them in small pens in a place that reaches over 100 degrees in the summer time. It appears that the wolves are taken care of because they get food and water, but they are clearly in the wrong environment. All of those wolves are northern wolves and belong in a sanctuary in a climate like Colorado, Washington, or Oregon. If everyone there really cared for those wolves, they would have them relocated to an environment more suitable for them. A lot of people are blinded to the conditions of the grounds because they get to see and interact with wolves. While interacting with wolves is an amazing and transforming experience, it's at the expense of the health and well being of the wolves. The place appears to be doing the best they can with what they have. If the founder Tonya Little Wolf, if that is even her real name, cared so much for them she would get her act together and find a more professional approach to taking care of the wolves. Keeping tabs on this place has allowed me to realize that 6 wolves have died there between August 2011 to May 2013, and as I understand it, one more is sick supposedly with cancer. It makes me ask myself if it was natural causes or lack of proper maintenance, care and poor diet. Since wolves are extremely adaptable, they tolerate their surroundings because they have no choice. One of the tour guides a male with long hair, told me that wolves never stop growing. That is not the truth. He needs to do a little research and educate himself before he continues to give tours. Other tour guides gave more wrong information about how many layers of fur wolves have. They only have 2 not 3. I also witnessed abuse while I was there as well. I for one did not like seeing one of the youngest ones picked up by his scruff and slammed hard to the ground for wanting to give a kiss. Tonya did this herself. She said that it is necessary to treat them that way because they are wolves, they need to understand who is alpha. I was shocked to see the abuse first hand especially at a place that calls itself a sanctuary. It makes me wonder what goes on after visiting hours. I rate this place poorly. I hope the $25 I paid was actually spent on the wolves. It looks like she needs the wolves to live off of, the wolves do not need her. They would do much better somewhere else with someone else that could give them the environment they need and deserve. She says she has been trying to move the wolves to a better environment. I pray that the wolves get what they need for their comfort, health, and well being.

22  Thank Gene S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

Leave your sunglasses in the car because apparently if they see their own reflection in them they will think it's a strange wolf and attack.

My boyfriend and I did the 1 hour tour, but they are really great and we were there for at least 3 hours in the end. Very knowledgeable about the wolves and then at the end we were able to go into one of the cages to pet one. Very cool experience.

They really appreciate it if you bring food for the wolves (they have specifics for diets on the website)

3  Thank keara s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2013

This wolf centre is located out in the desert to the NE of LA. Wolf Mountain offers tours (which take around an hour) for a minimum of $25 per person, although there are other options as well. There are around a dozen (socialised) wolves kept here, in small pens - given the size of the site, it's all that's available. The pens all had shade available for the wolves.

The wolves themselves seemed happy enough and they're clearly given a lot of attention by the staff running the centre. They came up to the fence and enjoyed being stroked by the staff. There was no sign of any stereotypical behaviour as is sometimes seen with wolves in zoos.

The staff were enthusiastic and pleasant, although some of the facts on offer were a bit dubious (eg it was mentioned that wolves keep growing through their lives, which isn't the case).

There was an opportunity to meet one of the older wolves up close (as per the photo with this review) and at the end of the tour there was some time spent in the yearlings' enclosure and they were typical young wolves - friendly, inquisitive and wanting to play. The handlers did a great job of keeping an eye on them and making sure they didn't get too boisterous.

All in all, it's a good place to visit. The wolves are cared for and despite the limited room available (and the prevailing climate) they seemed perfectly content. The staff are friendly and the only down-side was some of the information being given out.

3  Thank Retron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 5, 2012

These people are horribly disorganized, inexcusably misinformed about wolves, and they disregard visitors who pay a minimum of $25 a piece for a tour. Our "tour" consisted of sitting around for the entire hour while we waited for Tanya to get her act together. Ultimately, she went into the house halfway through our "tour" and never came back out, while her daughter made excuses for her.

Some disheveled old guy showed up with an armful of laundry and meanly kicked at the two wolf cubs running loose in the compound while he stuffed his clothes into the washer on the back porch--all amidst a screaming match between him and the two women. Then a young Native American man showed up, and the daughter abandoned all the visitors to flirt with him. The three of us finally left in disgust.

The only wolves we got to interact with were the cubs and a very old wolf who just lay there while I scratched him. In fact, I never saw him get up during our entire visit.

I feel sorry for these wolves. They're housed in chain-link pens on hard dirt and rocks out in the blistering desert. If this were a zoo, it would be closed by animal welfare agents. I've visited other wolf sanctuaries, and they are all lightyears better in all respects.

I raised a wolf from 2 weeks old until he died of old age at 14. If I would have treated him like these wolves, I'd never be able to live with myself.

There also is an emphasis on CASH transactions and donations, which makes me think this is basically a scam. We were told it costs $500 a day to feed these wolves. C'mon. I know first hand how much it costs per day to feed a wolf; a 50 lb. bag of feed that costs $25 lasted several weeks.

23  Thank RoseRunLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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