1. Wolf Creek Weimaraner Rescue has been rescuing Weimaraners since 1999. Tell us how Wolf Creek got started.
I rescued my first Weim from an Oak Ridge Shelter. At that time, you rarely saw Weims and certainly not very often in shelters. I was able to place this particular Weim, but upon rescuing my second, could not give him up and kept him as my own. From there I began rescuing every now and then when one would come my way. After meeting my friend Laura, we began to see an increase in Weims needing rescue. We housed most of the dogs in our personal residence. This took a toll as the number of dogs taken in increased. I remember the years when there were only a few each year. Once we began to see double-digit numbers, we realized the need to form a nonprofit group to help with funding and the numbers of dogs coming in. Thus, Wolf Creek was officially formed by a small group of adopters and volunteers.
2. Why Weimaraners?
Something about their eyes and sleek noble looks got me interested in the breed. They fit my lifestyle, their personality similar to my own, and they are just a dynamic breed to own if you are a person who loves to have a breed that loves to be with you. They are loyal breed and once attached are your best friends.
3. What is Wolf Creek’s mission?
To seek out and place Weimaraners that need homes and ensure that the people who adopt them understand them and their needs. We also provide temporary shelter to those dogs passing thru our program. Wolf Creek also ensures that each dog’s medical needs and challenges are met.
4. Tell us about Wolf Creek’s Adoption Program.
We require an application be completed. Once we receive it, then we conduct a phone interview and set up a home visit as well as a vet check. This process goes through several committee members before it gets to final approval and adoption occurs. Only about 40% of the applicants that apply are approved. We are very thorough in our assessments of potential adoptive homes. Not everyone who thinks they want a Weim truly needs one.
5. Tell us about Wolf Creek’s Foster Program.
Our foster families are important as they spend time with the dogs in their home setting and get to know the dogs. This helps us be more accurate in our placements and the needs of each dog. Often dogs we get have issues, some small, some larger scale. Foster homes provide stability and allow a dog in need to be in a stable environment. This often helps us place them quicker than the dogs in the kennels that must spend their time awaiting their “Forever Home”.
6. As Weim owners know, Weims are special dogs that require special owners. What type of person would be the ideal Weim owner?
Weims need owners that are focused on them and can make sure that they get plenty of exercise and attention. Single, active people who are not family focused are excellent, Couples or singles who enjoy spending time with their dogs and do not have children are best, as well. This is not to say that they don’t do well with children but the majority of our surrenders come from families who have multiple children and decide to get a Weim on top of that or those whose lives have become too busy or their focus is on the kids. 80% of our surrenders are from homes who have 2 or more small children and the dog becomes last on the list. Weim owners must be focused on their dogs and must enjoy having a constant companion, curled up on the couch with them or helping them with everything.
7. Tell us about your pets and do you own Weims?
I have never owned anything but a Weim. 18-years experience with them has given me a wonderful and knowledgeable perspective on them. It has also been 18 years of learning how to outsmart them. I have owned 8 weims – some rescue and some from puppyhood. Each has a special place in my heart and special memories. I currently have a wonderful little girl who was somewhat handicapped at birth. She has Spinal Dysraphism which is a spinal defect from birth. It is a malformation of the spinal cord which gives the nerves a narrower protective encasing. This causes her gait to be erratic – and is often characterized by “bunny hopping” when she runs. Also, when she scratches her ear with one leg, the other will do the same motion at the same time. She has learned to adapt and is actually quite fast and loves to swim. She is a beautiful girl and Momma definitely loves her. I also am the caretaker of a female who is paralyzed. This particular Weim had a blood clot in her spine which caused her to be paralyzed from the hips down to her toes on the rear end. I have had her in my care for about a year now. She is very sweet and has a will to live and try to be a normal dog. She requires lots of patience and requires that someone be very attuned to her needs and schedules. This means helping her to go potty, making sure she gets exercise in the pool or in her cart. She has 2 cool carts and can run and play almost like a normal dog . We have been doing rehab exercises to help prepare her for the potential to walk again. But I’m not sure she will. This dog has taught me the most about commitment and determination. I am considering adopting another boy dog as I do miss them. Between boys and girls in this breed, the boys are the sweetest.
8. How many volunteers does Wolf Creek have?
We have many people who help or volunteer from time to time. Many folks who adopt from us help as they can. It’s hard to say exactly how many. Most of our adopters come back as volunteers. We have many folks who have been helping us since before we formed the nonprofit entity.
9. Has the economy affected Wolf Creek’s adoptions?
I don’t feel it has, but it has affected the number of dogs being surrendered or showing up in shelters. We have had many adoptions through this downturn of the economy.
10. How many Weims does Wolf Creek rescue in a year?
Most often around 40-60. We generally have anywhere between 12 and 20 in our program at any given time. To date, Wolf Creek has placed over 300 Weims.
11. What is the most tragic case Wolf Creek has encountered in its rescue efforts?
There have been a few cases that have been so hard to believe and very emotionally draining. I think the one that stands out most is Grayson, who we pulled as a neglect and ignorance case. He was chained to a makeshift box for shelter along with several other breeds. He was a large, handsome boy. He was friendly to most people, but not to other animals. After spending several months in the kennel, I was able to bring him to my home. Once working with him, we began to see signs of aggression and unpredictable behavior. He did bite Laura and cornered her in the kitchen. The reality of what he had been through set in and we realized we could not save him from the filthy, neglectful life he had lived before. We had to euthanize him as his chances were extremely slim he would be adopted. This is a tragedy, as sometimes in rescue, despite our best attempts, we cannot help them.
12. What is the happiest outcome Wolf Creek has experienced?
We have many success stories. I think Ruby’s story is the most memorable. She had been dumped at the shelter by her owner who just told the shelter that she was sick. He had used her to breed and apparently was through with her. Indeed, she was haggard in appearance. She had the most haunting face when I saw her in the shelter. I still to this day remember that face. Unfortunately, the shelter required that she be spayed before she left the shelter and this caused her great distress, and by the time we got to pick her up, she had gone downhill to a delicate state. I remember spending the Christmas holiday praying she would make it. We had our vet doing home visits with us, medicating and keeping us supplied in IVs and other items that kept her alive. A few days later Ruby, did pull out of it and, after losing an unbelievable amount of weight, began to come around. She continued to do well, and not long afterward, we had folks seeking to adopt her because of her story and her will to live. She lived to a ripe age of 12 and had a wonderful life after being adopted. Something she probably never knew before.
Thanks, Amber. For more information about Wolf Creek, go to: http://wcweimrescue.org/
I’d like to add that my husband and I adopted a Weimaraner from Wolf Creek Weimaraner Rescue and were impressed with their adoption process and their commitment to ensuring these beautiful dogs find their forever homes. We adopted a beautiful girl who has turned out to be absolutely the best dog we’ve ever had. (That’s Emma to the right.) I’m committed to these dogs and have vowed never to be without one. They are truly special and the best companion dogs (I call them hu-dogs because they at times seem more human than dog).