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Wolf PAWS Inc. is a Tennessee Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation. On July 22, 2014, the IRS approved our application as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization classified as a Public Charity.  All contributions to Wolf PAWS are tax-deductible under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Our tax ID is 46-3490514.



Wolf PAWS 'Positive Awareness Wolf-dog Sanctuary' was formed in 2013 in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, for the purpose of rescuing unwanted, abandoned and abused wolf-dogs, and providing a permanent sanctuary for them in a safe and natural environment; providing an environment where these animals can be studied by individuals and educational institutions to further understand the wolf-dog; and educating the public about the specific care requirements and challenges of owning wolf-dogs, in an attempt to reduce the number of wolf-dogs being euthanized. 


Wolf PAWS is not open to the public. We offer private tours by appointment.

Book your tour online, or email us to schedule a tour at


**Please note: Wolf PAWS is currently full and cannot accept any more animals**

We have rescued animals from various sources including the Jefferson County Humane Society, Young Williams in Knox county, other local and national rescue organizations, as well as from individuals who have to surrender their pet wolf-dogs for various reasons. The wolf-dogs at our sanctuary will live out the rest of their lives with us. Our rescued wolf-dogs were either abandoned, abused, or their owners could no longer provide the proper care and containment for them. There are countless wolf-dogs in need of rescue every day, and it is estimated that tens of thousands are euthanized every year. This is in part due to the greed of unethical breeders who only want the money involved from the sale of their puppies but fail to provide proper education and information to the people who adopt them, rendering them ill-prepared for the realities of owning a wolf-dog as a pet as they mature. Additionally, many breeders misrepresent their animals as wolf-dogs when in fact they are Northern breed mixes - mislabeling a "wolf-dog" can be a death sentence if they get picked up by Animal Control and end up in a shelter where most will not adopt them out for liability reasons. In fact, it is estimated that over 75% of claimed wolf-dogs are mislabeled and are either northern breed mix dogs, or have much lower wolf-content than advertised. Misrepresentation Kills! 


Wolf PAWS opposes breeding of wolf-dogs by BYB (Back-Yard Breeders) and generally discourages owning wolf-dogs as pets. We encourage anyone who is seriously interested in getting a wolf-dog to volunteer at a wolf-dog sanctuary to learn more about these animals firsthand and about their specific care requirements, and to consider adopting a rescued animal instead of supporting breeders. 


Wolves once roamed free in the Great Smoky Mountains, and we strive to provide a semi-natural environment for our resident wolf-dogs. Each enclosure has ample space for the wolf-dogs where they can run at full speed and get their daily exercise, shade trees, and freshwater pools or ponds where they can cool off in the summer heat. We provide mental enrichment through scent games and training, and environmental enrichment for them by providing logs and boulders where they can climb over and dig underneath. They are fed a high-protein diet designed to meet their specific nutritional needs.  


Our President and Executive Director, Jennifer S. Ackley, CPDT-KA, is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer with many years of experience raising and training wolf-dogs and other large breed dogs. She provides ongoing socialization, training and enrichment activities for our resident wolf-dogs. She continues to enhance her knowledge about wolf-dogs, wolves and positive rewards-based dog training methods by reading books and articles, participating in online webinars by International Wolf Center, attending educational seminars on canine behavior at Wolf Park in Indiana, 


Your generous donations help us in our mission to provide a permanent home to wolf-dogs in need of being rescued.


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