By Jamie Leary


FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– A wolf-dog hybrid, rescued from abusive conditions earlier this month, was worse-off than doctors imagined. Now, Skye is on her way to a full recovery.

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Officials with the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary in Laporte say Michelle Cole, who is affiliated with the Humane Society in West Virginia, learned the 7-year-old hybrid was at the Mercer County Animal Shelter. Her husband, Tom Cole, is a pilot and the couple reached out to the sanctuary to see if they could give Skye a home.

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“They graciously transferred Skye over 7 hours of flight time via private plane,” Jessica Kole with the sanctuary stated.

(credit: Wolf Sanctuary)

Skye arrived at the Northern Colorado Regional airport in Loveland on Tuesday. She was taken for a checkup after her arrival and veterinarians discovered a life-threatening condition.

(credit: Wolf Sanctuary)

Skye had emergency surgery at Colorado State University on Wednesday. By Friday, Skye was already feeling better. CBS4 was able to check in with her following her post-operative x-ray.

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“This was after her surgery. These were just taken today. You can see, she has a nice diaphragmatic outline the whole way. You can see her heart, you can see her lungs, so you can imagine how hard it is to breathe when you have all that up in your chest and it’s not supposed to be there,” said Dr. Valerie Johnson.

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Johnson is the regular veterinarian for the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary

The x-ray prior to surgery showed serious signs of blunt force trauma. Johnson pointed out just how obstructed her lungs were when Skye arrived.

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“The right side and even a little bit over was all completely covered with organs that are supposed to be in the abdomen.”

Skye has gained 13 pounds since the Kole family brought her to Colorado.

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“She is a fighter and we will do whatever we can do help this beautiful girl,” Kole stated.

On Friday, she was able to walk around outside and explore.

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Johnson sees these cases all too often. She says she see many neglected wolf hybrids.

“I mean, it’s heartbreaking and it’s hard sometimes to not hate all of humanity but there are so many wonderful people like the people that saved her and the people who are going to take care of her when she gets back to the sanctuary. So while it’s heartbreaking when you see them at the sanctuary, you see them start to come back to life, that’s when it’s all worth it.”

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Johnson realizes why people love hybrids but speaks from experience when she says, wolf-dogs do not make good pets.

“These animals need a lot of help they do not make great pets and that’s why we end up with them wolves are not dogs and there’s no good way to care for them.”

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The sanctuary is asking for donations to help cover the cost of Skye’s surgery and medical care. You can make a donation here.

Jamie Leary

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