Alternative Spring Break: Mission Wolf

Alternative Spring Break: Mission Wolf

From Kaleigh Ansdell

Linfield College's Environmental & Conservation ASB Program to Westcliffe, Colorado

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We are a group of 10 Linfield students and 2 faculty advisors from Linfield College that will be venturing  to Westcliffe, Colorado through the Office of Community Engagement and Service’s Alternative Spring Break program. We will be working with an organization called Mission:Wolf, located just outside of Westcliffe in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Mission Wolf is a non-profit organization that houses about 40 wolves in their wolf sanctuary and “connects people with nature using hands-on experiential education.” During the trip, taking place March 23rd-29th, our team will work closely with the interns and staff at Mission Wolf, helping to feed the wolves, clean up the habitat, help in the building/rebuilding of some of the sanctuary’s fences, and most importantly, learn about these animals, conservation efforts, and the process of reintroducing them into nature. Mission Wolf describes their goals with these wolves:

“Mission: Wolf is a peaceful sanctuary for captive wolves and wolf-dog crosses.  At present, we care for 38 wolves and wolf-dog crosses.  All of the animals living at Mission: Wolf share a common trait – they were all born in a cage. Right now in the US, there are about a quarter of a million wolves in captivity and fewer than 10,000 wolves in the wild. Most of the captive wolves born each year do not survive to see their first birthday, having been destroyed or neglected.

We figure that if you have a wolf in a cage, it’s good for one thing: to teach people not to put wolves in cages. Every year we travel the country with our ambassador wolves to teach people about the value of wild wolves and the dangers of trying to keep a wild animal as a pet. Our goal is to put ourselves out of business. When we educate enough people that there are no longer captive wolves in need of rescue, we can tear down our fences, turn the wolf sanctuary into a nature center, and listen to the wolves howling in the wild.”

Ultimately, during this trip, we hope to assist in this organization’s mission to prepare the wolves for a life outside of captivity while learning holistically about wolf conservation and its implications for our highest vision of our natural lands. By helping to maintain the wolf sanctuary, we hope to foster an ongoing relationship with the Mission Wolf staff as resources, partake in their mission for these animals, and apply what we learn to our Pacific Northwest context.

We appreciate your help getting us there!

Our team must raise $10,536.00 to go on the trip, calculating to about $900 per participant. We figure that if each of us receive $30 from 30 people, we are set to go! We are extremely excited about this trip, for it is the program's first animal conservation focused trip.

Thank you for helping us to make a difference!


Kaleigh Ansdell, Blake Densley, Andra Kovacs, Colling Morris, Lexi Heredia, Jessie Baker, Katharine Holm, Terran Sobel-Smith, Conner Varnell, and Sofie Webster

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