My boyfriend’s family gave him a trip for 2 as a Christmas present to the speedwell forge bed and breakfast at the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania. So naturally I was extremely excited as well as he, thankfully his family scheduled it for March since the weather has been so crazy this winter and the car doesn’t do well in the snow. Conveniently it was planned just a few days after my birthday and during my spring break from classes! We were lucky enough to land warm weather for Saturday and Sunday while we were there as the snow didn’t hit the area until Monday.
If you haven’t heard of the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania then you should go check them out at wolfsanctuarypa.org because they are truly an amazing place with amazing, and very kind people. It is located just near Lancaster, PA in Lititz. During our short stay at the speedwell forge B&B we gained a wealth of knowledge by not only the staff and volunteers who worked at the sanctuary but also of the history by Dawn whose parents founded the wolf sanctuary as well as other visitors who frequent the B&B and come from all over to volunteer with the wolves. The Bed and Breakfast itself is on the National register of Historic Places and is growing in popularity.
During our stay that Saturday they had over 200 people during the day and another almost 200 during the full moon tour. Not that I blame visitors because it truly was a fantastic day to be out there and the wolves were up and absolutely active. The wolves are separated in different packs on different areas of the land (I was surprised to see how large the largest packs’ area was which lead me to assume that they set aside a certain amount of land per wolf per pack, but I’m not 100% on that so please don’t quote me.) and require little attention from the staff in that they will clean themselves and ultimately care for themselves. They are fed a variety of foods and or dog food. It was nice to hear that a number of food establishments donate scraps to the sanctuary as well as locals’ alert the sanctuary when they see fresh road kill. We did learn that they must be careful when removing any wolves for vet appointments or any other reason they need to be taken out because the wolf could ultimately lose its rank or be completely rejected by the group. I won’t go and tell you everything because; you really should learn it from the pros.
The sanctuary is currently working towards upgrading the different packs’ fencing which is quite nice. Many of the wolves pay no attention to the people however we were made aware that some of the rescues were from pet owners so some of them are quite friendly towards humans. The laws on owning a wolf hybrid pet vary from state to state, with NY being the strictest as many of the rescues are from New York. If an animal is 65% wolf or more they can find a home at the Wolf Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is working towards the goal of saving these wolves and introducing them into a habitat that is more to their nature.
We attended the Full moon tour Saturday night after a quick 10 minute drive to visit Lititz for a bite to eat we headed back to the Sanctuary grounds to go experience the wolves. The later it got it did get cold but I’m glad the day had been so warm, I couldn’t image in it worse weather but it was nice to have conversations with visitors, volunteers and enjoy the music around the bonfire as well as of course, hearing the wolves howl. Did you know it is the responsibility of the alpha male to initiate the howl?
I was able to snap some photos the morning after the full moon tour, though I probably should have gotten them the day before since they were all pretty tuckered out from the night activity.
People as far away as Australia (Hey Amber come visit!) come to check out these amazing wolves and spend some relaxing time at the Bed and breakfast which, by the way Dawn is quite the cook! We spent our night in Bill’s Room. Each room or cottage is named. You can personalize your experience with rose petals, gift baskets or receive a massage. (I didn’t look too much into it as we are more engrossed in the wolves than anything.) However, our room had a fantastic view of the property. It was very elegant as was the rest of the house with antique furniture (well what do you expect being near Lancaster right?) and ornate molding and with full modern amenities.
Strangely enough I was most impressed with the heated bathroom floor of all the wonderful things at the bed and breakfast. I immediately wished we had it in our house. My toes have never been so toasty warm in a bathroom before. Another nice aspect was that because we were at the bed and breakfast we had access to the wolves and could go visit them even during off tour hours. This was nice since we wanted to see the wolves before our departure so we went and spent an hour and a half after breakfast.
I was a little sad to see there wasn’t much in the gift shop to bring something nice home for my sister and brother but I also know the primary focus is on the wolves so it is reasonable. We wound up purchasing two baseball caps that we figured we could use when down at the park and got the kids two magnets of our favorite wolves.
If you plan on visiting check the website or even better subscribe to their newsletter to find out upcoming performances, events and all things wolf.
Have you ever been to an animal sanctuary or a Bed and Breakfast? I can’t wait until I go back!