CONIFER, Colo. (KDVR) — A second wolfdog, which is a hybrid breed, was found dead at a Douglas county rescue organization, less than two months after another wolfdog was killed.
Now, U.S. Army Veteran David Childress will ride an electric bike across the country to raise awareness of how wolfdogs help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
In March, FOX31 reported a wolfdog named “Saga” at the Mattersville Sanctuary was shot and killed. One person was arrested. Toxicology reports dated May 4 show another wolfdog named “Jupiter” died with a form of poison in his blood. The case is under investigation.
“I’ve been down so many different roads looking for that healing that I found here, and it was only through something that couldn’t talk to me that I could talk to — that non-judgmental open ear that I’ve been able to get from them — that means more than talking to any psychiatrist or anybody else,” he said.
Wolfdog sanctuary helps Army veteran with PTSD
Childress will take his 6-month-old wolfdog puppy Cortana with him in a trailer, making several stops along the way from Fort Myers, Florida, to Cannon Beach, Oregon.
“Cortana is my second chance of learning how to love something more than myself,” he said.
Cortana is part of the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation in Sedalia, associated with the Mattersville Sanctuary. She is one of approximately 17 wolfdogs on the property. Childress said that being accepted by the pack provides healing that is almost indescribable.
“It’s a lot like the family you had in the military, the camaraderie, you know, with your brothers and sisters,” he said.
When Childress leaves for the 123-day trip, he will carry the ashes of Cortana’s sanctuary mates Saga and Jupiter. Childress is still shaken by their deaths.
“I dropped to my knees when I got the call,” he said.
Childress will leave for Fort Myers to begin his trip on Thursday and return on Sept. 11 to honor those lost on the tragic day.