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Shelter Saves Giant Dog, Then DNA Test Shows Why It’s So Big

By: Carol Kingston | Last updated: Dec 14, 2022

A Longtime Animal Lover

Nancy Smith is  a huge animal lover! So much so that she decided to found an animal sanctuary. Her main goal was to help all the animals in need that she could. At the sanctuary the animals have an amazing environment and even a rehabilitation center for the injured animals that they get.

Each member of the team has been hand picked to ensure a top notch team of passionate and driven individuals. Although each of the members have amazing experience, none of them had ever encountered. However, not a single one of them has encountered anything like this in the past.

A Heart Of Gold

About a decade ago, Brittany Allen started working at the shelter. She knew EXACTLY the steps she needed to take as soon as she saw the rescue dog. He was definitely the most intimidating animal she had ever seen! Although he scared her a bit, they had an instant connection.


When she learned what had happened to the rescue before he was taken to the shelter, she was very angry.


She Got A Strange Call

One day, Nancy Smith received an extremely strange phone call. This was just one day before she was heading to Florida where she was going to be picking up an animal from the Broward Animal Shelter.


The caller refused to identify himself and would only tell her that he wanted to surrender his pet. When he was asked the reason behind the surrender, he explained that he grew “much larger” than he had ever thought would happen.

Time To Get Help

The puppy was quite young but was still big enough to scare the man. His pet was already showing some key features that the man had never seen before.


The puppy developed massive claws and quite large teeth. This was very shocking to the breeder. The man was starting to realize he was over his head with this animal.  It was time for him to face the facts and get help. This is why he decided to call Nancy Smith and ask for some help.

Exotic Breeds

When Nancy asked the caller why he was having so much trouble with the animal, the man explained himself. Before choosing a dog, he had done a lot of research on different types of dogs. He read up on many types of exotic canines and even delved extensively into reviews. He took owning a pet very seriously and he wanted to be well-equipped with the information he needed to choose the most suitable canine.


When bringing a pet into your household, it’s a long-term commitment, so he felt like it was worth his while taking time to be sure. When he had gone over all the reports, he made his decision. To be well-prepared, he went out and made all the necessary purchases. He bought a bed large enough for a regular dog, a good quality collar, a tag engraved with Yuki, his name, dog shampoo, and a leash for going out on walks.

Everything went smoothly with the pup. But what happened was unbelievable. The dog kept growing and growing and growing – without stopping. When the dog had outgrown the largest dog bed available, the owner began to worry.

Too Much Trouble

The man had wanted a big dog, but what he got was not what he had expected at all. In fact, no one could have possibly been prepared for the size of this animal. By the time the little pup was 8-months-old, he had already grown to a height of 8 feet! He had quickly become taller than his owner! He had been bought from a breeder, who was also in shock at what he saw.

Very quickly, Yuki grew too large to even be inside the house. The man went out into the yard and built him a sort of shelter. You couldn’t really call such a structure a dog house, because it was so big. So even with him living outside, the man’s problems weren’t solved because Yuki continued to grow!


It Was Urgent

Nancy listened the man’s story about how he had gotten this beast. She regrettably informed him that the shelter was already at full capacity. She explained to him that he would be the first to know when a slot opened up. This was not the answer he was looking for and explained to Nancy that this was not an acceptable answer.

The man first insisted that a “friend” had bought the dog from a breeder but then realized that it was not the type of dog he thought.  Not happy with the conversation with Nancy, he called a different shelter.


A Gigantic Beast

After Brittany Allen received the phone call at home that an animal was left at the shelter, she felt sick. She was so upset that she jumped in her car and raced over to Broward County Shelter, where the animal had been dropped off. She knew that something strange was going on and someone had been lying to her.

When she arrived, she took one look at the huge beast and was in shock. Without noticing, her jaw dropped as she stared at this abandoned animal. Underneath his thick layer of fur, she knew quite well the strength of his muscles.


Call For Help

After seeing the animal and the situation this man was in Brittany needed some help. She had no clue who to call but then remembered that Nancy would be coming down in a couple days and had been around shelter animals for a long time. She hoped Nancy would be able to help.

Nancy received the call from Brittany but was not much help since she was far away. She also remembered the call from the man she had spoken to the day before and it seemed weirdly similar.


Reasons For Suspicion

What was the reasoning for suspicion? Simply because on the previous day, Nancy’s shelter had received a phone call from a person who was insisting on surrendering his pet. He would not leave his name, which was already suspicious.

Nancy had an odd feeling about all of this. She had spoken with the unidentified caller but felt uneasy with the conversation.


Come Quickly!

No one at the Broward Animal Shelter had ever seen such an animal, in all the years they had been open. They had to tie Yuka outdoors, but they just couldn’t believe their eyes when they looked at him. They were not prepared for such an animal

Calling Nancy Smith, they begged her to come quickly. They wanted to get help for the creature as quickly as possible. After that, they knew they would need to contact the authorities. After receiving the call from Brittany about this animal being left at the other shelter, Nancy jumped into her vehicle and headed over there.


Lies About The DNA

When she arrived at the Shelter, she found herself looking in what could be described as a mixture of awe and fear. Seeing his eyes, which were staring back at her, she began to feel pity. It was soon clear to her that the person who had abandoned this animal had lied to her.

Well, it wouldn’t take long to find out more about this animal, once the DNA tests came back. But in the meantime, she hoped, for the animal’s sake, that he wouldn’t have to pay the price.


A Weird Connection

Brittany Allen was no new-comer to seeing animals being abandoned by their owners. She already had 10 years of experience at the shelter where she worked. Although this newest rescued animal was her most intimidating, she felt an immediate connection with him.

Looking into his piercing eyes, she was furious. She would do whatever it takes to find out where this animal had come from.


A Humongous Beast

As long as she lives, Nancy will never forget what she saw when she got to the animal shelter. There was a huge, hulking animal pacing back and forth in a cage. He had enormous jaws that hung wide open, releasing its hot breath as it panted. Its long claws would tick on the cement floor as he walked back and forth.

The scariest part was the size of the beast’s head and teeth. She had chills down her spine as she analyzed the beast. She knew he couldn’t be a wolf or a dog, but was stunned when she heard what the staff member told her.


Dumping The Dog

The staff had found the animal tied up outside their shelter when they arrived at work. Even though it was recorded as a stray, Nancy knew exactly who had left him there.

It was not a coincidence that she had gotten the odd call from the man with a large animal the previous day. Instead of waiting for her to call back with space for the dog, he took it upon himself to dump Yuki at the closest shelter.


Pity The Pup

Nancy was furious that someone would abandon the animal like that.

Her first step was to have some DNA testing performed, but the results were shocking!


Direwolf-like Creature

The dog was more like a Direwolf-like creature. When he was left at the shelter, he was in reasonably good health compared to a lot of the animals that ended up in the sanctuary.

He surprisingly had a very outgoing personality and loved to greet everyone who came by. Despite his terrifying appearance, the team started to consider him their ambassador.


Illegal Dog Breed

Nancy and her team at Shy Wolf Sanctuary conducted a DNA test on Yuki. The results of the test only confirmed her worst suspicions.

His DNA test confirmed that Yuki was 87.5 % Gray Wolf, 8.6 % Siberian Husky, and 3.9 % German Shepherd.

He was a high-content wolfdog — a breed that is illegal to own or breed in Florida.


The Truth Behind Breeding Wolfdogs

Throughout history, you will see that humans have always had quite an intense fascination with wolves. Because of this there has been a rise of wolf-dog hybrids. Many uneducated buyers and breeders have attempted to create a breed that has the beauty of a wolf but is as friendly and loyal as a dog.

Many of these individuals don’t know the consequences of  this action. If effects both the wolfdogs and themselves.


DNA Gamble

It is extremely risky to create a wolf-dog hybrid. You will never know the traits each dog will inherit. There is absolutely no way to tell which wolf traits will be dominant in each puppy.  Some puppies will look like wolfs but act like dogs while others will look like dogs but have the personality of a dangerous wolf.

Because of this, some states do not allow the ownership of a high-content wolf-dog. Most times, what they thought was a good idea turns bad and the owners do not realize until it is far too late!


Too Wild For A Shelter

Both wolf-dogs and wolves need tons of space to run around. They also need a lot more food than a regular dog. Training wolf dogs requires much more intense training. For people used to having normal dogs, it will take a lot getting used to are used to because they are very high maintenance.

Wolf dogs are usually too tame to survive in the wild but are way too wild to stay in a dog shelter. When these wolf dogs are abandoned, it is extremely difficult to re-home them.


Abandonment Issues Galore

Two decades ago, Shy Wolf Sanctuary opened its doors. Since then, the sanctuary has seen a large rise in the amount of abandoned wold-dogs. It currently rescues 20 to 100 wolf-dogs from different parts of the United States.

In the beginning, their first rescue was a 3-legged leopard. Today wolf-dogs are the most abandoned exotic animals in the sanctuary. Nancy was already thinking about looking for the previous owner, but something happened to change the life of Yuki before she could get around to that.


A Change In Behavior

Not too long after Yuki arrived at the sanctuary, he was walking around and got his leg caught on a palmetto. He hurt his knee on the right rear leg and was left with an open wound.

Because of this incident, Yuki had to have five surgeries to fix the injury.  Around the same time as the injury, the workers at the sanctuary began to notice that Yuki was starting to act a lot more aggressively in his enclosure.


So Many Trust Issues

They began to get to know Yuki a lot more and saw his personality develop more and more. After awhile, he finally let a few women into the cage with him. Yuki did not trust alot of people but he did trust Brittany.

They at least had each other. Neither one had a clue what was about to happen.


Viral Internet Star

Brittany put up a photo of Yuki one day on the Shy Wolf Sanctuary Facebook page. The photo she uploaded showed the true, massive size of the canine. It was immediately evident that he clearly dwarfed Brittany.

Brittany is about 5’4.” Soon after the photo was uploaded, it went viral on social media. So many people expressed their shock when they saw the size of the wolf-dog. Many in fact thought the photo had been photoshopped!


All Over The Internet

Britney came up with the perfect response to these Photoshop accusations. “It’s just his fat angle guys. We all have one.” Left and right, people all over the world were commenting on the picture. Nobody could believe that Yuki existed!

“They definitely are creatures that demand respect. It would be a much different encounter in the wild than what I do with these guys. The animals I work with have never been in the wild and never will be, so they are more socialized,” Brittney said.


Raising Awareness About Wolfdogs

“We show off their adorable moments in the hope of helping people identify with them at least and maybe change their fear response into a healthy respect through education,” she went on, “… And also giving an animal a chance at a decent life when otherwise they would be euthanized.”

People all over the world loved seeing this photo. Soon after the photo was circulating around the world,  the sanctuary had to deal with some terrible news. What could it be?


Yuki Not Being Himself

It had been quite some time that Yuki had not been acting like his normal self. He was not eating much and wasn’t getting excited when his favorite people came around. Even when he was shown his favorite toy, he had no interest.

Staff at the sanctuary noticed him moping about his cage. He would seldom engage in any sort of play time. This was shocking to everyone at the sanctuary and they decided it was time to dig further to figure out what was wrong with Yuki.


Terrible News

After looking into Suki’s health further, they found that he was suffering from cancer. The worst part of the diagnosis was that it was a terminal cancer.

They had of course dealt with sicknesses like this in the past at the sanctuary. They had hoped that Yuki would be able to survive whatever what wrong with him. He was obviously a fighter. Ultimately the team decided that they wanted to make sure that the time he had left was spent making him happy.


Leaving His Mark

Yuki first arrived at the shelter in 2008. Since that day, he had made a made a huge impact on all the staff and visitors of the sanctuary. Everyone always fell in love with the giant dog thanks to his cheeky and fun personality.

He has been living at the sanctuary for 12 years now so nobody was suprised to hear how many people he had left a mark on. However, his mark on Shy Wolf Sanctuary extended even further than the adoration of his fans.


An Impact For Years To Come

Ever since the photo of Yuki and Britney went viral on Facebook, more visitors and support have come in for the sanctuary. To this day, Nancy Smith and the rest of the team continue to raise awareness regarding the plight of wolfdogs! This would have been a harder task if they did not have Yuki with them.