To the Editor:
Sixteen miles east of Asheville sits the beautiful little town of Black Mountain. It is surrounded by tall, green mountains and cold, clear trout steams.
Atop one of these mountains lives a fascinating lady and 74 wolfdogs. I refer to Nancy Brown and Full Moon Farm. It is not a breeding facility or a display zoo, but an animal shelter for these misunderstood animal who have ended up here due to mankind’s ignorance, neglect or brutality.
Many people think it would be cool to own a wolf. It is not. They are a high maintenance animal, super strong, fast and intelligent. They can eat 20 pounds of raw meat, run 15 miles per hour all day, and jump over eight-foot fences. They will not touch anything with preservatives. They look you directly in the eye, and seem to read your thoughts. They can spot a phony or arrogant person a mile away, but love mentally challenged children and have a therapeutic effect on them.
Each animal has an entirely different personality, and may hate one person and love the next for no apparent reason. It is a sobering experience to hug an animal that can kill you with one bite.
This facility is run solely by volunteers, and gets no funding other than donations. It is always over capacity and short on money, but every animal there has excellent medical care, a special, but expensive, diet, usually a companion or two, and love, something in short supply nowadays.
Some of these animals are trained and adopted out to people with the special talent to care for them. Some are so fearful of people, through abuse, that they will never accept their friendship again. Full Moon Farm respects their wishes, and keeps them high up in a wooded area where they only come in contact with their caretakers.
There are only about a half dozen of these shelters nationwide and they work together somewhat to accommodate wolfdogs. Full Moon Farm has three or four times as many animals as the others. Money is always tight, but the animals always come first and get everything they need. No animal is ever “put down” except for extreme age or incurable illness.
These animals range from nearly pure wolves to pure mutts who would be killed by an animal shelter just for looking “wolfy’. Shelters will not adopt out these animals, and they would all be dead if not for the efforts of Nancy Brown and staff.
Dogs kill about 400 people a year, but wolfdogs never kill anyone. I know of only one wolf fatality, years ago in Alaska.
In places like Yellowstone, Glacier, and Chernobyl, Russia, where wolves have been re-introduced, they bring nature back to normal, and birds, animals and plant life re-establish the state thrown out of balance by overhunting, grazing and farming. With hunters taking the trophy animals and nothing to take the sick, small and deformed, you soon get herds of just such animals.
I urge everyone to log on to FullMoonFarm.org or Facebook Full Moon Farm to see these animals. Once a month on the Saturday nearest a full moon, visitors are allowed in for a “haul in” and picnic lunch.
I was allowed to stay overnight once, and to hear that many animals howl in harmony is an experience you will never forget.