Wolves are Wild: A Collection of Narratives About Rescued Wolves and Wolfdogs

Authors: Molly Gayle Vorhaus*, Department of Environmental Studies, Gettysburg College, Monica Ogra, Department of Environmental Studies, Gettysburg College
Topics: Animal Geographies, Communication, Qualitative Research
Keywords: Exotic Pets and Pet-keeping, Wolves and Wolfdogs, Cultural Perceptions and Misconceptions, Critical Pet Studies, Sanctuaries, Multispecies Ethnography
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The objectives of this geographic storytelling project are to heighten public awareness about the issues wolves and wolfdogs experience in the exotic pet trade in an effort to minimize their perpetuation. Informed by work in Animal Geographies and Critical Pet Studies, this project examines the place-based dimensions of wolf-dog hybrid existence: Where and what is the place of wolf dog hybrids in contemporary US society? To address this question, we attempt to employ a combination of archival research, in-depth interviews, participant observation at a wolf and wolfdog rescue sanctuary, and a multispecies ethnography approach as key steps in the creation of an original work of children’s literature devoted to these issues. Through storytelling, poetry, and original illustration in the resulting book we seek to: a) share a representative collection of narratives of captive wolves and wolfdogs; b) reverse harmful misconceptions about these animals commonly used in storytelling and other media; and c) foster a greater understanding of the role played by the network of wolf and wolfdog rescue sanctuaries as an emergent key site for both conservation and rehabilitation of exotic pets.

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