Born on April 1, 2005 in Ohio
Arrived at Mission: Wolf on September 25, 2005
Soleil (French for “sun”) was born at an exotic animal breeding facility in Ohio. A West Virginian man with a fascination for wolves bought her, convinced she could be a pet. Soleil, as most wolves and wolf-dogs are, was very scared of all humans. So much so that she would often pee in the house out of terror. Her owner, upon seeing this behavior, decided to place her in the back yard on a 30 foot chain. Soleil remained very scared of people, and would run to the end of her chain trying to escape them. Her owner finally became so frustrated that he decided that the only solution to his situation was to kill Soleil. Luckily, a neighbor who had been watching these events unfold offered him another solution, and Mission: Wolf was fortunately contacted.
After much planning and worry, the neighbor coordinated with a volunteer pilot from Flying Paws, an amazing group of big-hearted people devoted to helping homeless animals find a forever home. Flying Paws collected the young Soleil in West Virginia on September 24th and flew her half way across the country. The pilot met one of our staff members in Illinois and handed over Soleil. From there, Soleil and our staff member made the long 18 hour drive back to the refuge, where the rest of the staff waited in excited anticipation. Just after sunset on Sunday, September 25th, Soleil arrived at her new home. As she took her first timid steps around the vet building, the staff quickly fell in love with her.
In October of that same year, we took in another wolf puppy named Orion. It didn’t take long for the two pups to bond with each other and start rough housing in the vet building. As they spent time together with their surrogate dog-mother, Kona, Soleil and Orion really came out of their shells. They started to trust the staff and greet visitors in their enclosure. We even had the grand ambition of helping them grow into traveling ambassador wolves, but Soleil and Orion had different plans.
As they matured, they became more independent and kicked Kona out of their pack. We tried to separate them and introduce them to older wolves for guidance, but they wouldn’t hear of it. Both Soleil and Orion challenged their mentors while still less than a year old, something that we’ve never seen before. In short order, the two were back together and raising themselves.
Soleil has come a long way since her arrival to the refuge. She will now at least approach most staff and is learning that scratches and ear rubs can be fun! With Orion as her constant companion for 12 years, staff considered them to be the most bonded pair of wolves at the refuge, until Orion unfortunately passed away in late 2017. Despite this loss, Soleil has been doing well, and we are hopeful that we can find a suitable partner to keep her company in her golden years.