Texas Traveler: St. Francis Wolf Sanctuary

North of Houston, outside the small town of Montgomery, there is a house where lobos in limbo live, the St. Francis Wolf Sanctuary. The sanctuary, a non-profit organization staffed entirely by volunteers, aims to provide a permanent home to captive-born wolves and wolf-dog hybrids that are too wild to be kept as pets, yet too domesticated to survive in the wild. Many of the animals come from backgrounds of abuse, but under the care of founder and octogenarian Jean LeFevre they're able to live out the rest of their lives in relative comfort and care.

Organizing a trip to the sanctuary took a little perseverance. Their website is full of inaccurate information -- from hours of operation to suggested donation prices -- and the first time I called I left a message that was returned a few days later. The second time I called, the person on the phone tried everything in her power to persuade me not to come -- it was going to rain, it was going to be crowded, it was going to be a long drive. When I persisted in trying to make a reservation (which are required), she caved -- only to tell me "Oh, it's not very busy today. All those tours are scheduled for tomorrow."

Once we arrived at the sanctuary, though, the bad taste had left my mouth. LeFevre lives in a huge, modern house at the end of a country road, and the wolves live in enclosures on her large property. As we pulled into the gate I spotted several signs warning in big letters: WOLVES.

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Shey is an experienced blogger, social media expert and traveler. She studied journalism at Oklahoma State University before working as a full-time reporter for Houston Community Newspapers in 2005. She lived in South Korea for three years, where she worked as a freelancer.
Contact: Brittanie Shey