Sometimes all it takes is a little love.
Recently a poor little guy who would go on to be named Castiel brought whole new meaning to the term “lone wolf.”
When he was first found wandering through a Los Angeles suburb, local residents assumed he was an ordinary, though most probably abused dog, due to the makeshift collar he was wearing around his neck.
He was very underweight, infested with parasites, and losing chunks of his fur from mange. The kind residents quickly called a local shelter.
What they didn’t know, though, and what the shelter soon found out, was that this dog was not just a dog.
The pointy-eared, gray-furred dog was actually a wolf-dog hybrid. That meant that not only did he have special needs due to his ancestry, but that he couldn’t stay in a shelter.
Shelters can’t keep wild animals, and if they couldn’t find him a home, the dog, who at the time was known as “New Boy,” would be destroyed.
Wolf-dogs are tricky because they have the needs of both dogs and wolves. While some people lead the kind of roaming, adventurous lifestyles that these hybrids need, most people can’t properly care for one.
Luckily for them, and for New Boy, organizations like W.O.L.F. Sanctuary in Colorado take in these beautiful creatures trapped in interspecies limbo. W.O.L.F. stands for “Wolves Offered Life and Friendship,” and they’re open to full wolves and hybrids.
Read on to discover how New Boy, now named Castiel, not only found a home, but found true love, too.
When Castiel was found wandering the suburbs of Los Angeles, he was thought to be an ordinary dog.
He was even wearing a sort of makeshift collar, which makes his rescuers think he was kept as a pet.
But his skittish behavior and malnourishment led them to believe his home was probably not a good one.
He was first taken to a local shelter, where it was discovered that he was about a year old, and actually part wolf, meaning that he had to be placed into a special facility as soon as possible — or be put down.
When there was no room in California sanctuaries, W.O.L.F Sanctuary stepped in and brought him to Colorado, and his new home.
He was so scared, he refused to leave the corner of the infirmary, no matter what the rescuers tried.
Fortunately, however, rescuers were able to bathe and treat him — which he desperately needed, considering he was riddled with parasites and mange.
As he recovered, W.O.L.F. held a naming contest for him, and the winning name was “Castiel.”
The name is a reference to a character on the show Supernatural, who is an angel of resurrection.
It was inspired by Castiel’s remarkable transformation into a physically healthy, and adorable, wolf-dog.
His fur grew back, his infections cleared up, and he put on lots of weight.
He already looks like a different animal!
It was time for him to go into the sanctuary proper, and meet his new friends.
Because he’d been alone, and possibly neglected or abused before that, Castiel was very, very shy, and didn’t know how to really form connections with other wolves and wolf-dogs.
And obviously, that pack connection is very important when you’re a wolf.
But in the meantime, he was enjoying the outdoors.
W.O.L.F. staff also said he was growing increasingly interested in the other animals. While he wasn’t yet approaching them, his interest was a good sign that he could be social.