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Wolf Sanctuary Tries To Recover From Devastating Floods

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A wolf at the sanctuary (credit: CBS)

A wolf at the sanctuary (credit: CBS)

La PORTE, Colo. (CBS4) – Last summer dozens of wolves in Rist Canyon survived one of Colorado’s biggest wildfires — the High Park Fire. Now the wolf sanctuary is trying to recover from last month’s devastating floods.

There are 29 animals at W.O.L.F., the wolf sanctuary that’s a 180-acre haven for the animals. They’re too wild for the average family, yet not wild enough for the great outdoors.

“A lot of the dogs are wolf dogs, wolf-hybrids, not necessarily pure wolves,” Rob Proulx with W.O.L.F. said.

For 18 years the sanctuary has provided a refuge for the hybrids, many from abusive backgrounds. But last month’s flooding threatened to take all that away.

“There was a lot of washout,” Proulx said.

Proulx says waist-deep waters washed away roads and damaged enclosures, but luckily all animals survived. Floodwaters also brought down ash from last summer’s wildfire, coating some of the wolf pens.

“That’s a whole lot of material just waiting to come down the hillside,” Proulx said.

On Saturday dozens of volunteers from across the country cleared debris and fixed enclosures, helping the sanctuary to get back on its feet.

“We are cleaning up this amazing wolf sanctuary and hoping and helping out and just getting ready for the winter,” volunteer Danielle Robinson said.

“Just so much debris needs to be cleaned up for this sanctuary to be able to function again,” volunteer Tony Safford said.

Employees say much of the work is preparing for the upcoming winter where the burned and now flooded terrain is worn away.

“A lot of it is just getting logs in place to hold that stuff back, and then a little bit of crossing our fingers,” Proulx said.

The sanctuary is still able to house all the animals they have for now. With no other place exactly like it in Colorado, they hope it stays that way.

“If that goes way, washes away, or burns away, what have got for them except kennels?” Proulx said. “And that’s no life for a wolf or a wolf dog.”

LINK: W.O.L.F. Wolf Sanctuary

Colorado Floods: How To Help

The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.

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