Black Mountain farm provides sanctuary for “myth-understood” Wolfdogs

BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. (WLOS) — “Without dogs, there would be no wolves” is a phrase Nancy LaPorta trademarked nearly 20 years ago, and the connection between the two species drives her passion today.

LaPorta is the founder of Full Moon Farm Wolfdog Rescue and Sanctuary, a Black Mountain-based nonprofit championing the cause of what she calls a “myth-understood” creature.

“Wolfdogs are the bastard child of the canine world,” LaPorta said. “Wolf people don’t want them because they think they are dogs. Dog people don’t want them because they think they are wild animals — and they’re not. They are domestic animals.”

One common myth, she explained, is that domestic dogs are bred with wild wolves to produce the Wolfdog.

“A Wolfdog in America today is a product of Wolfdog to Wolfdog breeding — three, four, five generations removed from that pure captive-bred wolf,” she said.

Laporta said the difference between a wild animal and a captive-bred animal is “night and day.”

She has provided a home for nearly 700 Wolfdogs since founding Full Moon Farm in 2002. The 17-acre sanctuary near the Buncombe-Rutherford county line is run entirely by volunteers.

LaPorta got her first Wolfdog, named Red Cloud, as a wedding present for her now ex-husband in 1994, seeking a healthier animal than the Doberman they lost to cardiomyopathy just before the dog’s seventh birthday. Most of the 40 Wolfdogs at Full Moon Farm are between 12 to 17 years old.

The majority of Woldogs, LaPorta said, are some combination of Huskies, Malamutes and German Shepherds, with varying percentages of captive-bred wolf in their DNA. The contribution of wolf genetics can help create a healthier, “intelligent, opportunistic, problem-solving animal.”

But Wolfdogs are not for everyone, she said.

About 10 of the residents at Full Moon Farm are adoptable, Laporta said, and she is quite selective before placing them. She requires an in-home visit and a sturdy 6-to-8 foot fence as a minimum.

LaPorta emphasizes that the first consideration of prospective owners is where they live, as many cities and counties, and even some states, have made the Wolfdog illegal.

Laporta says they are not allowed in the cities of Asheville, Greenville, or anywhere in Henderson County. She adds the animal has been stigmatized and marginalized by myth. “There are so many laws and regulations against Wolfdogs that are poorly written ordinances based on non-fact.”

Cat people make better Wolfdog owners than dog people, she said, because “cat people understand aloof, they understand, ‘my terms… not today.’ Dog people expect blind obedience. Wolfdogs fall in that middle.”

LaPorta made an automotive analogy to sum up the independent, intelligent and athletic Wolfdog, and the importance of the selective placement of her adoptable animals:

“Golden Retrievers are like Kias; Wolfdogs are like Ferraris — and not everyone should drive a Ferrari.”

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BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. (WLOS) — “Without dogs, there would be no wolves” is a phrase Nancy LaPorta trademarked nearly 20 years ago, and the connection between the two species drives her passion today. LaPorta is the founder of Full Moon Farm Wolfdog Rescue and Sanctuary, a Black Mountain-based nonprofit championing the cause of what she…

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