Shy Wolf Sanctuary | Charitable Organization in Naples
Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education and Experience Center is a non-profit organization in Naples, FL. that connects people and animals through education. Learn More!
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About Us

To connect people and animals through education.

Our Beginning

Nancy and Kent Smith purchased their 2.5 property in 1989. In 1993 they acquired their first animal, a three-legged leopard named Moondance, as a rescue. The very next year they heard about four wolf pups in need of placement and brought them home. In 1999, two important volunteers became involved with Shy Wolf Sanctuary, Michael Kloman and Deanna Deppen. These volunteers invested countless hours in building the sanctuary from 5 big cats and 11 wolves and wolfdogs to the current number of over 30 wolves and wolfdogs. Today, over 30 volunteers support the organization actively.

Our Mission

Our mission is to “reconnect people and animals through education.” Shy Wolf Sanctuary, Education and Experience Center provides sanctuary and rehabilitation to wild and captive bred wolves, and other exotic animals. We work year round to educate the public about the importance of protecting these animals.

Shy Wolf Sanctuary provides a permanent home to over 60 captive-bred or rescued exotic animals every year. The wolves and other resident animals are housed on a 2.5 acre property in Naples, FL and are supported by over 30 active volunteers. Wolfdogs are generally considered unadoptable by domestic animal services and have nowhere else to go. Shy Wolf Sanctuary is literally their last hope.

Every year Shy Wolf rescues between 20 – 100 wolfdogs in Florida and across the country that never come to reside at the sanctuary. Shy Wolf places these animals in foster homes for eventual adoption and works with a network of trusted organizations and rescuers.

Our Future

Shy Wolf is currently located in Nancy and Kent’s backyard…literally!  We are on 2.5 acres, of which about 1.5 is available for our use.  No one who visits would ever imagine what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a small space!

Since 1998, Kent and Michael have built 15 new enclosures  with the largest encompassing 2,400 square feet.  We have used up every inch of space available and want to build a much larger facility benefiting our residents and guests alike.  It will incorporate all of the best aspects of our current location while improving on habitats and features thanks to all we’ve learned in this journey.

To help sustain our cause and care for the animals, our goal is to move to a new facility with more than enough acreage for our animals. For more information on our move and how YOU can help the cause, email us at or donate today!

Board Members

Board of Directors

Deanna Deppen


Nancy J. Smith

Vice President & Founder

Lois DelGrosso


Shane Biltz


Jaime Hewitt, ESQ

Property Development Director

Beth Swiderski

Board Member

Advisory Board

Michael Kloman

Linda Baker

Randy Willard

Emily Willard

Randy Eisel


Sarah Lewis Mitchem


Ginnie Hanco