Many wolves have found new homes

What happened to the wolves of Howling Acres? I know the sanctuary is closing down, and I'm concerned about what will happen to the animals. Do you know if they were all placed?

— Beth B., Ashland

The Mail Tribune fielded many calls expressing similar concerns after our mid-April story about the closure of Howling Acres Wolf Sanctuary after owners Sherri and Charlie LaBat announced they had run out of time, energy and money to care for their rescued wolves and cross-bred wolves.

We were unable to contact the LaBats directly, but their website reports that a shelter in Sylmar, Calif., took 11 wolves on May 29, and two others went to The Wolves of St. Francis in Montgomery, Texas. Three others found private homes in Oregon and another found a home in Utah.

The LaBats struggled with declining numbers of visitors, dwindling donations and an expensive battle with cancer that caused them to fall $30,000 behind on house payments. Now in foreclosure, their home will likely go back to the bank, Sherri LaBat said in April.

The LaBats started their wolf rescue work in 1991, and they rescued more than 150 wolves over the past 19 years, she said. Caring for the wolves was a rewarding but challenging endeavor, she said, because many had medical problems, and many were abused. All had to be fed, cared for, and have their quarters cleaned daily.

"People shouldn't own wolves as pets," Sherri LaBat told the Mail Tribune. "Wolves are wild animals and deserve to be out in the wild — not kept in people's homes on their couch."

The assets of the LaBats' nonprofit corporation are being liquidated and the proceeds will go to the sanctuaries that took in their wolves. The LaBats themselves plan to relocate to the Oregon coast, Sherri LaBat said.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to

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