Little wolves find forever homes during the COVID-19 pandemic

By Alyse Kiara Deatherage

A little wolf named Zephyr, pre-adoption. Photo provided by Little Wolf Rescue

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many people have turned to local rescues to adopt animals to help keep themselves from feeling lonely at home. Little Wolf Rescue is a nonprofit animal rescue based in Pasadena that was started by Ariel Elvira in 2016 and has also seen an increase in fostering as well as adoption since this pandemic started. With the help of fosters, veterinarians, and trainers, they work to rescue, and sometimes rehabilitate, dogs, and sometimes cats, to find them a suitable forever home.

“I started the rescue back in 2016,” said Elvira. “I had recently learned about how horrible the pet overpopulation problem is and how many thousands of animals are being killed in shelters every single year. It seemed absolutely ridiculous to me that there were dogs and cats needlessly dying in shelters simply because people wanted to buy a pet instead of adopt.” 

Elvira’s love for animals instigated the start of the rescue and since the start of the rescue she has helped roughly 250 animals find their forever homes by ensuring that they are taken care of before they are presented to their adopters and by finding suitable homes with owners who can provide them necessary care. 

One of four cats left in a box in El Monte. Photo provided by Little Wolf Rescue

They are a small rescue, so rather than worrying about how many animals she has rescued and adopted out, Elvira prefers to focus on finding the best, most suitable home for the animals that come into her care. 

“When I started I honestly had very little knowledge and experience, but I did my best to make sure I was doing everything in my power to make sure I was getting my animals the vet care they needed and developed a strict application process to make sure I placed them in the best homes possible,” said Elvira. 

When an animal comes into the rescue’s care, they are quickly taken to the vet to ensure that they are up to date on their shots and have been vaccinated as needed. They are given a thorough exam and spayed, neutered, and given dental care if and when needed. Once they know an animal is healthy, they are taken to a foster home. 

“We can only take as many animals in as there are foster homes, so we rely heavily on people opening up their homes temporarily to care for an animal until they are adopted,” said Elvira. “We cover any and all vet care needed and provide our fosters with food and necessities like collars, leashes and crates.” 

Sometimes dogs will come in with behavioral issues, so they will see a trainer who works with the rescue. The trainer will help to “build confidence, provide structure and work with any existing issues,” according to Elvira. 

Squiggle with his forever family in his new home. Photo provided by Little Wolf Rescue.

Elvira and her team are careful to only adopt animals out when they are ready and healthy enough. They always try to ensure that the owner of their new home understands the work and care the animals need. 

“When young puppies arrive in our care, we always wait two weeks before adopting them out to ensure they are healthy,” said Elvira. All animals are given an ample amount of time before they are adopted out, and once they are, the rescue asks the new owners to send videos and photos of the animal in their new home. 

Overall, this pandemic has had a good effect on this and many other animal rescues because more fosters and adopters are willing and ready to take care of an animal of their own. Little Wolf Rescue ensures that all adopters are aware of the time it takes to care for an animal and about the responsibility that will continue after the pandemic. 

“Because of this, we’ve been able to rescue more dogs,” said Elvira. “We’ve also had more adoptions as well although we are careful to make sure they are not impulse decisions simply due to quarantine and that the adopters take into account what their daily life will be like after it’s over and back to normal.”

Parsley, one of four puppies in the “herb litter”, pre-adoption. Photo provided by Little Wolf Rescue.

The positive effects on Little Wolf Rescue and shelters all over have been met with happiness and excitement by animal lovers everywhere. Little Wolf Rescue takes donations by asking those who would like to help to donate to their wishlist on Amazon. As Elvira said, they provide all of the essentials for pet care to fosters, so they appreciate the support to keep their cause going strong. 

You can visit their website here to see how you can get involved, whether it be fostering, adopting, or simply helping their cause to help animals find their forever homes. You can also visit their Instagram, @littlewolfrescue, to see the photos and videos they post of their rescues in their new homes.