Nestled on all sides by the Los Padres National Forest and only 70 miles from the Westside of Los Angeles, the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC) offers permanent sanctuary to wolves, wolfdogs and other animals in need. The brainchild of Dr. Lorin Lindner and her partner Matthew Simmons, LARC currently has 19 rescued wolves, wolfdogs, and coyotes. However, that is soon to change!
Right: Dr. Lorin Lindner gets a wolf kiss from Rider.
Lindner and Simmons are leaving on December 8th to do their most ambitious rescue yet. Thirty wolves are slated to be destroyed by the State of Alaska if they are not immediately removed and that is the aim of this quickly planned trip. “We are not going to wait a moment longer to rescue these majestic animals – regardless of how adverse conditions get,” exclaimed Dr. Lindner, and she was not just referring to the 30 below weather. The wolves are currently part of a criminal prosecution of a roadside attraction outside of Anchorage where they have been kept on 7 foot chains their entire lives. Lindner, Simmons, and their crew of both volunteers and employees have been busy building “super-sized” wolf-proof enclosures to ensure these magnificent animals get to live the rest of their lives in as natural a setting as possible. “No more chains, ever,” Simmons asserts.
Each one of these wolves will need to have a sponsor through Lockwood’s “adopt a wolf” program. Besides helping the wolf, sponsors receive an annual holiday calendar, photos of their wolf and special visits for the sponsors and their friends. Sponsors are allowed in the “shooting pen” to take photos with “their” wolf – the only way a wolf should get “shot.” Please see LARC’s website to make a donation towards the care of these wolves:
Simmons, a decorated combat veteran helped LARC launch its Warriors and Wolves program which pairs returning combat veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere with wolves that have been rescued from abusive and exploitive situations like roadside shows and ill-equipped zoos.
Helping these wolves integrate into their larger society — an actual wolf pack — is similar to the transition required by veterans who have difficulty reintegrating into society after being in combat and who face such issues as post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. Both wolf and man have experienced traumatic events that require the rebuilding of trust in relationships and that’s a big part of what will ultimately enable them to integrate into their respective societies. Caring for the wolves also helps the veterans gain confidence and the new job skills they need to secure full-time employment and a permanent place in the community.
Right: Denali is one of the wolves in need of sponsorship once off his chain and safe at LARC.
LARC also brings wolf ambassadors to schools, agencies, and other special events and teaches about wolf family life, the threat to wild wolves, and the importance of wolf preservation. School trips to LARC include wolf education tours and talks (Lindner was originally an animal behaviorist before switching to humans!).
LARC holds Volunteer Days on the third Saturday of every month and welcomes people with everything from construction skills to cooking expertise (to feed the volunteers). Donations are always helpful, too (LARC is a 5013C tax-exempt IRS-recognized nonprofit animal charity).