Kim DeFisher is the president and founder of a non-profit wildlife rescue called Arctic Fox Daily (AFD), based in Williamson, New York.
AFD is a rescue that provides a forever sanctuary to captive-bred or non-releasable foxes as well as wolf dogs.
Very Interesting Animal
One day, Kim received a call from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, informing her that they were about to go do a confiscation of animals that were put in a pretty severe hoarding situation.
Kim was asked to take in Dakota, a black wolf dog.
“I don’t really have a lot of experience with wolf dogs at this point. I told them I would be okay with taking in Dakota temporarily. He steps out of his vehicle, I’m sitting back like ‘Holy cannoli, this is a huge animal he’s very angry,” said Kim.
She also shared a scene which is engraved into her memory. Dakota had to be dragged into the enclosure, and as soon as they got him in, it was as if he knew that he was in a safe space.
Kim, just like with all of her other rescues, decided to get close to Dakota to try and form a relationship with him.
To her surprise, as soon as she approached him, he started jumping up on her chest and shoulders and even started giving her kisses.
I immediately formed a very close bond with Dakota and I was like ‘Okay, this is permanent’.
Dakota truly did change the course of Kim’s life and career as she started taking other rescued wolf dogs as well.
Just three months after Dakota’s arrival, Kim got an entire acre ready for a wolf dog enclosure.
However, Dakota wasn’t too cooperative when he first arrived.
Kim described him as being very naughty and very rude, and she was very shocked when she noticed that he completely took over not just the rescue, but the whole living area.
When Dakota first came in, my parents who live right down the road from me, my dad texted me one night and he said ‘You have completely changed the canine dynamic on our road’.
Whenever Dakota would howl, he would be joined by a choir of the neighboring dogs who had never howled before, as well as the coyotes in the woods.
@arcticfoxdaily Replying to @Chelsea 🖤 Awoooo 🐺❤️ #wildlife #rescue #sanctuary #fox #wolfdog #wolf #howl #animals #fyp ♬ original sound – Kimberly DeFisher
Kim decided to do a DNA test on Dakota, where she learned that he was 55% gray wolf, along with mixes of an Alaskan Malamute, a German Shepherd, and a Belgian Sheepdog.
There is a big misconception that just because a wolf dog has wolf DNA it means they have to be aggressive. Oftentimes the higher percent wolf that wolf dogs have the less of a chance they have of being aggressive.
Kim reassures us that in general, wolves are flight animals, meaning that they will not attack unless they absolutely have to. This is unlike the lower-content wolf dogs, which will make sure to let Kim know if they become displeased.
Over time, Kim’s relationship with Dakota grew stronger, and eventually became unbreakable.
This majestic animal became the reason why Kim fell in love with wolf dogs and started rescuing them more and more.