Since lots of people are curious and have been asking lately, I have decided to write up a list of some of the animal sanctuaries and nature centers I have obtained the naturally shed fur I incorporate into my jewelry from. Also listed are some of the many different ways I give back to the sanctuaries and nature centers to help support the animals who have so generously allowed me or another volunteer to collect their shed fluff.
So here they are!
1. Wolf Mountain Sanctuary in Lucerne Valley, CA
Business Phone: (760) 248-7818
Wolf Mountain Sanctuary is run by my aunt, Tonya Littlewolf. I began making jewelry that incorporates naturally shed fur from the wolves she rescues about ten years go. Special beaded bracelet and necklace jewelry designs made for Wolf Mountain Sanctuary are created specifically with each wolf's personality in mind. Wolf Mountain Sanctuary's specialty designs are ONLY sold at Wolf Mountain Sanctuary's on site gift shop. I have also given generous monetary donations to Wolf Mountain Sanctuary over the years.
Because I am the sanctuary founder's niece, and a volunteer, most of the fur I obtain from Wolf Mountain Sanctuary has been personally brush from the wolves by me.
2. W.O.L.F. Sanctuary in Laporte, CO
A few years after I started making jewelry for Wolf Mountain Sanctuary, I was inspired by a friend and supporter of W.O.L.F. Sanctuary to create some pretties for their gift shop as well. I contacted W.O.L.F. Sanctuary to see if they might be interested, and they were! I was quickly inundated with fur brushed by animal care volunteers from their resident animals, and made nearly 300 individual pieces of jewelry for their on site gift shop, as well as for some of their auctions and fund raisers.
Because I need some funds to purchase supplies to make more jewelry for the sanctuary, W.O.L.F. Sanctuary allows me to keep a small amount of their resident wolves' fur to create some of the jewelry I sell online. Any special designs I have created specifically for W.O.L.F. Sanctuary can only be purchased from W.O.L.F. Sanctuary.
3. Fox Wood Wildlife Rescue in Concord, NY
After making jewelry to help wolf specific sanctuaries for several years, I decided I wanted to help other kinds of animal rescues and sanctuaries as well. So, I did some research, and ended up calling Fox Wood Wildlife rescue to inquire if they might be able to collect some naturally shed fur from their resident foxes and coyotes during the spring. The lady who runs the rescue is very sweet, and even offered give the shed fur to me free for my own purposes! However, I insisted that she accept at least some small donation in return for the animals' fluff. Since she does not have a gift shop of any kind, we decided that I would donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each jewelry piece that contains her animals' fur to help her rescue.
4. Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples, FL
Shy Wolf Sanctuary is not just a sanctuary for wolves, but also many other creatures! Shy Wolf Sanctuary's residents include foxes, bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, prairie dogs, sugar gliders, and many other species of animal.
From Shy Wolf Sanctuary I obtained naturally shed fur from several different species, including foxes and wolves, and use profits from jewelry containing that fur to sponsor Shy Wolf's lovely resident foxes.
5. Wolf Mountain Nature Center in Smyrna, NY
One summer I decided to take a trip to northern New York State. It was there I came upon this beautifully constructed nature center that is home to not only wolves, but coyotes and Arctic Foxes as well. I immediately fell in love with the place, and decided to sponsor their adorable mated pair of Arctic Foxes. Wolf Mountain Nature center allows people to purchase naturally shed fur from their resident animals at their on site gift shop, so of course I just had to grab as much as I could afford. Purchases of any jewelry containing the shed fur from Wolf Mountain Nature Center allows me to continue to sponsor their beautiful Arctic Foxes.
6. Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, ME
For the past few years, I have been visiting the Maine Wildlife Park. The park takes in animals that are human habituated, handicapped, or otherwise cannot continue living in the wild. Their animal habitats are large, lush, and impeccably maintained. There, I pay to scrounge around animal enclosures during the spring shedding season with an attending volunteer. If I'm lucky, I will find tufts of fur from their resident animals. If I am even more lucky, a curious creature may show itself, and allow me to snap some pictures.
My greatest experience at the Maine Wildlife park was having a sweet, beautiful Gray Fox vixen allow me to crawl part way under her wooden platform area with her and remain there by her side out of the sun. Although she has since passed away, just having been in her presence is one of the most memorable and cherished experiences of my life.
If I gather enough naturally shed fur from the Maine Wildlife Park, any jewelry created using it will help me to pay my way in order to collect more tufts from their animal habitats, and to sponsor their resident Gray Foxes. In either case, the park gets paid.
7. International Wolf Center in Ely, MN
I found out about the International Wolf Center while searching for educational props for lectures given by some of the sanctuaries I volunteer at. Of course, I ended up sponsoring three of their resident wolves. For each wolf, I was given a few tufts of their naturally shed fur. If I decide to use this fur for any of my jewelry, profits I make from said jewelry will be used to continue sponsoring the International Wolf Center's resident wolves.
Anyway, I hope this journal entry helps to answer some questions about where and how I obtain naturally shed fur, and how I give back to the animals.
Thanks for reading,