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Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary launches Canid Christmas Campaign

The Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary hopes to raise $43,000 for their 43 wolfdogs this holiday season through their Canid Christmas Campaign.
The Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary hosts their first annual Canid Christmas Campaign from Nov. 20 to Dec. 30, for wolfdogs like Juneau to celebrate Christmas and go into the new year.

In order to give wolfdogs a chance to enjoy the holiday and start off the new year on the right paw, the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary hope to raise funds through their Canid Christmas Campaign from Nov. 29 to Dec. 26.

The Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, located in west Rocky View County about a 20 minutes' drive from Cochrane, is home to 43 Wolfdogs – canids who carry a percentage of wolf genes. The campaign seeks to raise $1,000 for every wolfdog in their sanctuary, which means the overall goal is to raise $43,000.

Fundraising and events manager for the sanctuary Kara Dowhaniuk said this is the first year of the fundraiser, which launched on Nov. 29 to align with Giving Tuesday. Coming on the first Tuesday after the American Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday, Giving Tuesday is a day dedicated to global generosity.

According to Dowhaiuk, the recently launched campaign has already exceeded her expectations.

“We had generated over $10,000 on a single day,” Dowhaniuk said in an interview on Nov. 30. “We are well on our way to our goal and people are very willing to get involved and help the wolfdogs celebrate Christmas.”

Several forms of donations are being accepted by the sanctuary. Donors have the option of donating money to specific packs of wolfdogs in the sanctuary, dropping off goods listed on their website to the sanctuary, or purchasing items listed on their Amazon Wishlist.

“We do look for treats, because they are used on tours for the public so they can interact with the wolfdogs,” Dowhaniuk said. “And we are also looking for chew-grade toys, so things like firehose, polyethylene balls, stock tanks as swimming pools for the wolfdogs the summer time to cool off, and additionally some lumber because we build them enrichment structures.”

Dowhanuik says compared to regular dogs and other animals, wolfdogs are more difficult to take care of. Many of them come from various backgrounds, and their habituation to humans depends on how much of their DNA is from wolves, and how much is from dogs.

The campaign ensures the unique animals have the proper materials to provide them a new lease on life in a healthy environment.

“With us having 43 wolfdogs, we feed on average two pounds per wolfdog,” Dowhaniuk said. “That means we feed them 86 pounds of food per day, and that’s quite a bit.”

Compared to traditional animal shelters, the wolfdogs in the sanctuary will live the rest of their lives on the grounds as permanent residents, since they are considered to be unsuitable for home settings.

“We are really never going to have these guys going out into the public setting as a pet, so that means we have to ensure that the rest of their lives is high quality because they can live for 16 to 18 years of age,” Dowhaniuk said.

As an employee with the sanctuary for four years, Dowhaniuk said this experience works as a way to connect both the animals in the sanctuary with the community.

“We’ve had lots of people come and ask how they can support us,” Dowhaniuk said. “Lots of people are wanting to drop some of the physical goods at the sanctuary which is totally accepted, and we also have gotten a lot of monetary donations.”

For more information on what or how to donate, please visit

Daniel Gonzalez

About the Author: Daniel Gonzalez

Daniel Gonzalez joined the Cochrane Eagle in 2022. He is a graduate of the Mount Royal University Journalism program. He has worked for the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta and as a reporter in rural Alberta for the ECA Review.
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