McKinley is a twelve-year old wolf living at Mission: Wolf, an educational wildlife sanctuary for wolves and wolf-dogs who have been born into captivity and abandoned or surrendered by their owners. These creatures are torn between their wild instincts and their habituation to people, and so are unable to fend for themselves in the wild even though they long to be free. McKinley was born in Wolf Country USA in Alaska and purchased as a pet by a young couple in Colorado. She grew up with them, understanding them as her pack, her people, her family. But when the marriage fell apart, McKinley’s pack dispersed and left her behind. The couple sold their home and left McKinley chained in the backyard, where she was discovered by the realtor. She was shuttled to the local dog shelter, where she was surrounded by strange dogs and stranger humans. She was mishandled and bit a dogcatcher out of fear. This is a death sentence for a wild animal — the law dictates that McKinley would be put down and tested for rabies. But thankfully, advocates from a wolf rescue stepped in to prevent her euthanasia and facilitated her safe transfer to Mission: Wolf. She arrived in 2008 when the aspen leaves began to fall and the crisp autumn air promised change. She was timid and rightfully reluctant to trust humans, but when we introduced her to a handsome male wolf from Texas (aptly named Texx) she grew into her inquisitive and composed demeanor. McKinley and Texx have lived together at Mission: Wolf ever since, far enough away from people to heal, recover, and grow. She has warmed up to the Mission: Wolf staff and is flourishing in this new stage of her life. Mission: Wolf is home to twenty-nine other wolves and wolf-dogs who all come from the same source: humans. For 32 years we have worked to provide a natural, peaceful home to these abused, surrendered, and abandoned animals while educating the public about the importance of keeping wild animals wild. It is our deepest ambition that one day we will no longer need to exist—that wild wolves can roam the mountain ranges that still bear the soulful howling echoes of their ancestors.