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Red Wolf Sanctuary gets wolf puppies

RISING SUN, Ind. (Rich Jaffe) -- A well known local wildlife sanctuary has three brand new, very fuzzy residents... wolf puppies!

The Red Wolf Sanctuary, located near Rising Sun, is already home to a number of aging wolves as well as other animals.  But owner Paul Strasser decided he needed to bring some new life into the operation.

In a story you'll see only on local 12, Rich Jaffe got to hold a piece of the future and it promises to be a "howling" success!  Barely three weeks old, there's no mistake these "puppies" are wolves.  They already know how to howl!  Last weekend sanctuary director Paul Strasser headed for Minnesota to pick up the latest additions to his red wolf pack.

He told Local 12 News, "The whole idea is the next generation has opportunity to hear that.  It is one thing to sit there and look at a can of dog food with a picture of a blue eyed wolf on it but we actually had a blue eyed wolf years ago, and for these people to see this for the next generation.  You and I've been doing this for a long time so who's gonna take over and what's gonna be left for them?"

What's the toughest part of raising wolves?

Strasser says, "To have a three pound squirming little monster with very very sharp claws who really wants that bottle or wants to climb in the slop it takes a lot of patience and getting used to no sleep because they would be at the mom cafe which serves 24 hours a day."

While this place is called the Red Wolf Aanctuary it's actually about a whole bunch of other critters as well.  Like Akima the red fox.  Almost all of the animals here started out as someone's "pet."  The cougar came from a house trailer she shared with a 15-month-old baby and five adults.  A bear came from a hot parking lot cage at an orchard. 

The 450- acre sanctuary is fueled almost exclusively by donations but there's always more to do.  Like an outdoor bear facility they'd like to finish.  As for the wolves, in the wild their life span's only about 4 years, but here they may live a couple of decades, happily.

Strasser tells Local 12, "They will have a great life here.  It's just a matter of getting them from point A to point B so that's why they're inside.  Right now they are existing off their mothers immunity, but that's only good for weeks.  We will start vaccinating them in two weeks for distemper, parvo, all the diseases that kill a lot of puppies."

With the help of these little guys it looks like the future at Red Wolf will be a wild one.

The Red Wolf Sanctuary is primarily an educational facility.  They give tours to groups and classes on a regular basis.  A 501-C-3, they're funded almost exclusively through donations. 

For more information about Red Wolf CLICK HERE.

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