From the Den of Erika Burns Andres:


Experience is who we are. It is what makes us, forever teaching and molding us and ruling our view points, and emotions, and our knowledge, and communication skills.

Experience, when learned from, and applied; helps us to become better people in this world if we apply the lessons from the experience, and comprehend the experience.

In my personal journey with wolfdogs and wolfdog community, I have learned that it is a journey of continued learning. This journey occurs online and offline.

I have found it best to stay humble, and try to keep in mind that we are all students. I was a breeder before Facebook times. This made online a peak of the desired education of  the things I wanted to learn further. 

I figured out quick it was going to be an experience to learn from, but  I would have to learn by tuning out the distractions that come with it.

The first Facebook wolfdog I ever saw was (Loki), that belonged to Cindy Matthews. I recall going wow that is one of the best wolfdogs I have ever seen. 

He looked so much like the very first one I saw in my childhood at age 6. The one I saw at age 6 was my first inspiration. However Loki was my first online inspiration. 

Later I recall seeing pictures of (Shango) that belongs to Sharon Green it was love at first site again. My goal was to always breed down in content, then back up.

However, the very first two wolfdogs I saw on Facebook became inspirations for me to try and mold and mimic far as looks. It never happen, but lead me to the very looks so many see today from us. 

I recalled learning why wolf hybrids were now called wolfdogs. We always called them hybrids in the 90’s, the online wdc educated and explained why wolves and dogs do not produce hybrids. 

This took some adjusting to far as using the correct terms. But eventually I settled to be politically correct. I recall thinking to myself , I need to mold my animals like this one or that one. But found I kept getting distracted in education with arguments and unwanted drama being new to Facebook.

So my next focus was, (who do I want to be like and get more of a productive experience) ? And this is not to offend anyone. But I wanted to be like Sharon Green.  She educated , but was never biased, never really took part in drama, or attacks on people. And would ask questions in further learning. This gave me a guide as to what personality is the best way to learn, and still be able to coexist with as many in the wolf dog community as possible. 

Aside from the obvious education, a few things I learned were as follows.

Never assume just because people say something is fact. 

Get to know people on a more personal level.

In most cases, never give up hope that people can change.

Approach is essential to education.

Remain humble, and never be afraid to ask questions.

Educational experience goes better when we educate with genuine concern.

I  try to keep in mind that we don’t truly know others back ground, genetic influences, or life circumstances that influence their thinking or learning process.

I learned to be greatful for any progress fellow owners may venture to make, as humans have free will. They don’ have to do anything or any change. So when we see that change acknowledge it.

I have met so many that have influenced me in my journey of betterment. 

I have met some that are models as to what I do not want to be. And others that I have seen a love, a passion, a logic that serves as all id like to embody.

I have seen so many change for the better, and while I don’t know what changed their heart, aside from gaining a true love for wolfdogs and fellow owners. I can say that I feel education and the experience of the wolfdog community is indeed getting better for new comers to remain unbiased, focused on education, and in turn better in education than those before.

We now have even more to learn. Genetic testing such as Embark, is a new look into wolfdogs that gives insight far deeper than pheno ever could. So once again it is something to have to comprehend and learn more about and expound in education from there. For me it has been a learning experience from the time the wolfdog community began to embrace it. So now I have a mental check list to aide in my experience of the wolfdog community. 

1. Analyse for positive logic and learning.

2. Practice good human relation skills.

3. Find someone who conducts themselves in a way you coincide with to be a positive asset to the wolfdog community, and by example encourages you.

4. Never feel content. As it slows learning and evolving for betterment.

5. Ask questions, and fact check the answers.

6. Have genuine concern.

7. Recognize your gifts and stick to those as we all have various gifts. When we try to go beyond our gifts it can mess up education for others.

8. Learn about wolves and wolfdogs and all the core basic essentials. 

9. Learn from the mistakes of others as well as my own past.

10. Learn about Embark and what it means for wolfdogs, and what it means for previous education and future education. And what it means for a breeder and their breeding program. And learn how it can be a rescues dream come true. For even more informed placement. 

11. Try to keep in mind just as much as we love our animals , try to offer the same genuine love for your fellow humans. Lack of compassion for our own kind is not natural, but should never be limited. I’ve figured out many humans have that issue. But I can’t judge because I really had a pretty good upbringing that taught me to do these things. I do fall short at times for logical reasons.

12. Just because some articulate better than others, it is best to consider the message than the format. Example; If a person says, (wow the stratus clouds look divine). That is wonderful and educated indeed. However; if another member says, ( The thinner clouds are very pretty).  It is the same concept just written in two different formats that say the same thing. Education is not governed by articulation alone, but knowledge. Always consider the facts behind the knowledge, regardless of format.

13. Get to know members on a personal level,it will save a lot of heart break, and you might just make a great friend or two in the process.

I have tried to make all these things into a checklist to be a better member, better educator, better breeder. And a better friend. 

In the process of going by this guide, I have met rescues that were so nice and logical. That care so much about the animals. I have made some really awesome friends along the way as well. I have met many, but I swear I knew Samantha Tambor in a past life. It’s like I went to school with her or something. It’s honestly hard to explain. If anyone can get through to me and make since of things that don’t add up to me, it’s her. 

There are others that have a place in my heart as well. And have helped so much with my education and experience in the wolfdog community. Kim Miles, Jerry Mills, Kat Woldancer, Janice Mcguire, the late Donald Lewis, My customers/friends, Juan Cypress Creek. Bobby B and I use to talk years ago, I actually like him. Though his experience has made him become very reserved. 

Certain people’s drive has also inspired me. Back when there were forums Cindy was like an investigator I learned much from her research. Christa Ward was the first to try and understand my program with breeding lows. And actually made me feel she really was asking for the right reasons. She was the first ever I shared my goals with. 

I was always totally terrified of rescue views. Rescues that changed my mind that rescuers can be logical and have a heart based on logic love and compassion for the animals and people were as follows.

Natasha Handcock
Nancy Brown
Justine T
Sonia S
Connie Howard
John Deboard
Malinda S
Melissa Greene 
Stephanie A
Deborah S
John Smith

There are others as well, but those names come to mind first.

Passion for education is as follows

Greg Largent 
Deanna M
Samantha Tambor
Natasha Handcock
Kim Miles
Jody Haynes
Rose P
Kat Wolfdancer
Richard Vickers
George S
Laura Loft
Stephanie Alcorn

There are so many I can’t name them all. As I continue this journey the above guidelines of learned experience is what has made my journey of experience positive, educational, and perception changers. I hope to continue to learn more, and see us all change for the betterment of each other, the betterment of wolfdogs and the future of wolfdogs. I hope that my place in the community online and offline can be a positive one and others may learn from it. If I could say any meaningful advice, it would be to love equally. The rest will work itself out if that one key factor is truly followed. Forgive equally. The biggest challenge of the wolfdog community is the wolfdog community.  I look forward to the day all can truly see that. 


Animal Advocate of the Year Named at ‘Bark & Wine’ Fundraiser


La Plata County Humane Society (LPCHS) announced the recipient of the 2017 Animal Advocate of the Year –  Paula Woerner, Owner and Director of Wolfwood Refuge. The award was announced at the LPCHS annual fundraiser, the Bark and Wine event, held at the Doubletree Hotel October 28.

“We were so honored to present the 2017 Animal Advocate of the Year to Paula Woerner. Wolfwood is the result of Paula’s deep passion and determination to care for wolves and wolf-hybrids from all over the country. Her commitment to our community, our youth, and to educating all of us about wolves is invaluable. She is a true hero to all of the animals who come into her care.” – Michelle Featheringill, Executive Director.

Wolfwood Refuge is a wolf and wolf-hybrid sanctuary, which began in 1995 when Paula rescued her first wolf, Winslow.

Wolfwood is a wonderful sanctuary of wolf-habitat enclosures, located in Ignacio, Colorado. Paula and her amazing team of volunteers have taken in wolves and wolf-hybrids from all over the country, including the “Alaska 9” pack. Currently, 60 animals call Wolfwood home and each lives in a habitat suitable to their individual needs; although no animal lives alone. Many of the animals arrive with injuries and behavioral issues, which are treated and rehabilitated. All of the residents of Wolfwood live out their lives in a peaceful and beautiful refuge.

The incredible work done on behalf of wolves, as well as Paula’s natural teaching abilities, have made Wolfwood truly a must-visit animal sanctuary. Paula does provide tours at no-cost to visitors, and is a wonderful community partner, working with other non-profits in our region. As she never charges fees for visitors to Wolfwood, the sanctuary is supported through generous donations from many supporters.



Legal Victory Guarantees Analysis of Wildlife Services’ Killings in Northern California    Coyote photo by Tom Koerner, USFWS.

In response to a lawsuit filed by wildlife advocacy groups, a San Francisco federal court today approved a settlement requiring the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services to implement numerous protections for wildlife in Northern California, including a ban on traps and aerial gunning in designated “wilderness areas.”

Today’s settlement also requires Wildlife Services to analyze the environmental impacts of its killing of coyotes, bobcats and other wildlife in 16 counties in Northern California.

The ironically named Wildlife Services is a multimillion-dollar federal program that uses painful leghold traps, strangulation snares, poisons and aerial gunning to kill wolves, coyotes, cougars, birds and other wild animals — primarily to benefit the agriculture and livestock industries.

“This is a big victory for California wildlife targeted by this federal program’s horrifically destructive war on animals,” said Collette Adkins, a Center for Biological Diversity attorney representing the conservation groups involved in the lawsuit. “We’ve saved hundreds of animals that would have suffered and died in traps set by Wildlife Services over the next several years. That feels really good.”

Under the court order approved today, Wildlife Services must provide, by the end of 2023, an “environmental impact statement” that analyzes the effects and risks of its wildlife-killing program in California’s North District. The North District includes Butte, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity and Yuba counties.

Pending completion of that study, which will include robust public commenting opportunities, the court order imposes several measures to protect wildlife in the North District. It bans the use of M-44 cyanide devices, den fumigants and lead ammunition. It bans aerial gunning and any use of body-gripping traps, such as strangulation snares and steel-jaw leghold traps, in designated wilderness and wilderness study areas. The order also requires Wildlife Services to implement several measures to protect California’s endangered gray wolves from being accidentally killed in traps set for other carnivores. These measures include a ban on Conibear traps and non-breakaway snares in areas used by the wolves.

“Wolves are just starting to return to their native habitats in Northern California, and this settlement provides needed interim protections to protect wolves while a detailed environmental study examines whether lethal wildlife ‘management’ options should even be on the table,” said Kristin Ruether of Western Watersheds Project. “It is long past time that federal agencies stop the killing of native wildlife at the behest of the livestock industry, and ultimately we hope that the added public scrutiny will force a shift to nonlethal options.”

Last year Wildlife Services reported killing 1.6 million native animals nationwide. In California alone this total included 3,893 coyotes, 142 foxes, 83 black bears, 18 bobcats and thousands of other creatures. Nontarget animals — including protected wildlife such as wolves, Pacific fisher and eagles — are at risk from Wildlife Services’ indiscriminate methods.

“For over two decades, Wildlife Services has relied on cruel and outdated methods, such as steel-jaw leghold traps, in California — despite a statewide ban on private use of such devices,” said Tara Zuardo, Animal Welfare Institute wildlife attorney. “Today’s decision from the court ensures the environmental analysis of the program’s killing of wildlife will receive a much-needed update. California wildlife deserves this protection.”

“Wildlife Services’ lethal ‘control’ is ineffective, wasteful and cruel,” said Michelle Lute, wildlife coexistence campaigner for WildEarth Guardians. “We are changing this clandestine government program state-by-state until wildlife and people are safe on our public lands.”

“With this victory for wildlife we have demonstrated that Wildlife Services has failed to use the best available science and continues to rely on ecologically destructive and ethically indefensible management practices,” said Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Project Coyote. “It is past time that this rogue agency shifts to more effective, humane, and ecologically sound ways of reducing conflicts between wildlife and agricultural interests.”

“Thousands of California wildlife will now have a much needed reprieve from the federal killing agency,” said Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “This settlement sends the powerful message that Wildlife Services’ indiscriminate killing programs will not go unchallenged.”

The victory announced today is the result of a lawsuit filed in June by the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Project Coyote, the Animal Welfare Institute and WildEarth Guardians.

2017 San Diego Wolfdog Walk November 4th and 5th, 2017 Location: San Diego, California

This is the 2017 San Diego Wolfdog Walk.  Please  come and visit with like minded wolfdog owners and interact with the public so they can learn about our chosen breed.

POSITIVITY is the theme for all interactions with humans and animals alike.

Please note that the Festivities start on Saturday the 4th at Lily Pond in Balboa Park and will finish on Sunday the 5th in San Diego Old Town Courtyard. Starts at 10am both days.

———————————— EVENT SCHEDULE: ———————————–

Saturday the 4th at 10 AM to 1 PM – join us at the Balboa Park Lily Pond for the group walk and interaction with the public. We will be taking lots of photos.

Address to Botanical Building and Lily pond is:  1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Saturday Afternoon starting at 3 PM to 7 PM Join us at the Ventura Cove on Mission Bay for food, and get to know your WDC and bring your wolfers.

Address: 3209 Gleason Rd, San Diego, CA 92109

We will be making Hamburgers with chips and Soda as well as Water. It will be $6.00 per person. You will need to get a ticket for your food. We will have the tickets at the Ventura Cove.  The Ventura Cove has plenty of parking, bathrooms and a fire pit.

Sunday, the 5th, we will be at Old Town San Diego from 10 AM to 12 noon for those that would like to join us.  We will be interacting with the public, going for the walk and doing photos.

More to come as we get closer.

Here is the address to Old Town San Diego:
4002 Wallace StSan Diego, CA 92110

Where did Norwegian wolves originate — and are they hybrids?  (Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix)

Those who oppose allowing wolf populations to expand in Norway claim that the country’s wolves have hybridized with dogs, and that the original wolves were smuggled into the country rather than coming here on their own. They argue this means there is no reason to protect the animals, which are listed on the 2015 Norwegian Red List for Species as critically endangered.

In 1978, twelve years after the Scandinavian wolf population was declared functionally extinct, a handful of wolves was reported to have come west from Finland/Russia to take up residence on the Norwegian-Swedish border. In the decades since, that population has grown and expanded — along with opposition to the animals, especially in Norway.

Kjetill Jakobsen, a professor at the University of Oslo, has recently investigated the genetics of both wolves and dogs on behalf of Norskog, a membership organization for Norwegian forestland owners.

The reason Norskog commissioned the research was because of claims that the appearance and behaviour of today’s wolves is different from what might be expected of a wild population, the group said in a press release.

Among the factors cited for this contention is the Scandinavian wolf’s similarity to dogs in its yellowish colour, round eyes, pointed ear shape, white claws and tail tip.

Another reason for the research was to settle the question of where the wolves actually came from, because some wolf opponents have claimed the animals were smuggled into Norway and did not arrive on their own.

A hint of dog

Jakobsen believes that his preliminary research does not allow him to establish where the Scandinavian wolf comes from. The genes of the Scandinavian wolf are quite similar to wolves from the rest of Europe, he said.

On the other hand, his research does suggest that there has been no recent inbreeding between wolves and dogs — at least not in the material he and his
colleagues have examined.

“We did find some dog variants, and that’s natural. The wolf is the origin of our domestic dog breeds,” he said. “But there is no more interbreeding with dogs in the Scandinavian wolf population than is found in other populations.”

Both new and old wolves

Jakobsen and his colleagues at the University of Oslo looked at 10 wolves that had been culled in recent years and four wolves that were born in the 1960s. These were compared to wolves from Sweden, two from the east, in Russia and two from Slovakia. In addition, the researchers studied dogs from Norway and wolf dogs from the Czech Republic.

“Of course, we wanted a bigger sample size, but the material we studied wasn’t that small either,” Jakobsen said.

Nevertheless, he still believes that he doesn’t have enough data to say with certainty where the Scandinavian wolf population came from.

To protect or not

The question of the origins of the Scandinavian wolf population has been a hot debate in Norway for many years.

The reason the issue of origins is so controversial has to do that the Bern Convention, which protects wild populations of European plants and animals. Under the Bern Convention, Norway has an obligation to protect its wolf population, as long as it migrated here naturally.

The research on this issue to date has established that the wolf travelled to Norway on its own from the north of Finland and Russia.

However, this research has been attacked by wolf opponents, who claim that the wolf was smuggled to Norway.

Two researchers at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Øyvind Øverli and Torstein Steine, ​​have also questioned the wolf’s genetic origins. However, one Norwegian weekly, Morgenbladet, has reported that the two scientists, who have not studied wolves, have been used by organizations and parliamentarians who are opposed to having wolves in Norway.

New research supports previous findings

On behalf of the Storting, the Norwegian Environment Agency recently submitted a report that addressed the questions of hybridization and origins of the Scandinavian wolf population.

Three independent American researchers combed through existing research on these questions. Their conclusion, cited by the Environment Agency, was that “the current literature is adequate to conclude that the existing Norwegian/Scandinavian population derives from immigration from Finland and Western Siberia. In addition, the existing population does not show evidence of hybridization with dogs.”

Nevertheless, Arne Rørå, Norskog’s Managing Director, stated in the organization’s press release that this research review shows the opposite of what was established by the University of Oslo’s research.

“Norskog’s report points out that genetic signatures from the majority of the male animals that founded the Scandinavian wolf population cannot be found in the genetic material currently available from Finland and Russia,” Rørå says in the press release.

An additional study

The Environment Agency is now preparing to fund a new survey to look at an expanded sample of genetic material. The call for proposals to do the study will be announced nationally and internationally.

“The work will probably require what is called a whole-genomic method, or an approach based on very extensive DNA mapping. There will probably be a need to collect new samples, and old samples must be re-analysed. This work may take several years,” Ellen Hambro, Director General of the agency, said in September.

Øystein Flagstad, a researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, was involved in a large study in the early 2000s that showed the Scandinavian wolf population had its origins in a handful of individuals that came from Russia and Finland in the 1980s and 1990s.

“This was a solid study that is well-known and is often referenced,” he said. Nevertheless, he welcomes the new study.

“I know that new surveys using new high resolution methodology can provide an even more nuanced picture of the origins of the Scandinavian wolf population,” he said.

New Videos Highlight NWRC Carnivore Research

Videos Highlighting Carnivore Research – Now Online

Several new online videos are now available highlighting carnivore research at the National Wildlife Research Center’s field station near Logan, Utah.

The National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) is the research arm of the USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services program. At its headquarters office in Colorado and at several field stations across the country, the Center employs scientists, technicians, and support personnel with expertise in a variety of scientific disciplines. Together, these experts develop new tools and techniques for solving problems between people and wildlife.

To learn more about NWRC’s Utah field station, its employees, and their work related to carnivore ecology and predation damage management, please visit the APHIS YouTube site or click on the video links below.


Hybrid wolves reportedly doing well at sanctuary. Waiting for Luna’s DNA test.

Observer-Reporter.  Kathie Warco  October 17, 2017

The wolf dogs removed from a Bentleyville home in August are reportedly doing well as their former owner awaits a summary trial on charges he had them in his Bentleyville home without required permission from the state.

Frederick Frameli, 67, of 120 Spring St., was charged by a state Game Commission wildlife officer with three counts of keeping wolf hybrids without a permit. He was scheduled for a summary trial last month at the same time as a court proceeding into cruelty to animals charges filed against him by the humane officer for Washington Area Humane Society. But the trial on the charges regarding the hybrid wolves was delayed until DNA results were available on the animals. District Judge Curtis Thompson found Frameli guilty on 12 counts of animal cruelty. He was fined and ordered to make restitution to the humane society. Thompson also banned Frameli from owning a dog for three years.

Agents with the humane society, accompanied by Game Commission officers, served a search warrant Aug. 23 at Frameli’s home in response to a complaint from one of his neighbors of possible animal cruelty. They seized four suspected wolf hybrid dogs, as well as 11 German shepherd or German shepherd-type dogs. A veterinary technician at the humane society testified during the Sept. 27 animal cruelty trial that full evaluations of the dogs were done and indicated the animals were either severely or notably underweight. Frameli surrendered all of the animals.

The hybrid dogs were taken to the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania in Lititz, Lancaster County, where the DNA tests were conducted.

DNA tests came back as positive for Akeela, Gianni and Kaya all having a percentage of wolf in their DNA, said Kelly Proudfit, executive director of the humane society. The sanctuary is awaiting results of the test on the animal called Luna.

“They are doing great,” Proudfit said of the four animals. “They have doubled their weight since being admitted into the sanctuary.

“They are healthy now, and stable,” she added. “They will be moved into a natural habitat sanctuary at the center soon for a nice, stress-free, happy life.”

Frameli’s summary trial is now scheduled for Nov. 14 before Thompson.