Find Sanctuary on the Oregon Coast

By Gretchen Ammerman | Monday, October 14, 2019

If you’ve never heard a wolf howl, it’s really something to experience. My first time was actually hearing an entire pack howling together. I was so unprepared for the experience I immediately broke into tears. Luckily, I was with Lois Tulleners, who founded the 50-acre White Wolf Sanctuary where I was having this incredible experience, and it wasn’t her first rodeo. 

“People cry all the time,” she said. “I started this place over 25 years ago, and I still get tears sometimes.”

The sanctuary in Tidewater primarily houses Arctic wolves and occasionally other subspecies like tundra and timber wolves. “The wolves here were all born in captive situations.” Lois said. By captive, she means small cages, or in many situations, at the end of a chain. “Once they come here, they’re here to stay.”

Before my visit, I have to admit to some trepidation about seeing wolves in cages, but once I entered the grounds, that fear was dispelled. “It’s hard for us to get good photos because the fences make people think the wolves are in cages,” Lois said. “When I worked at the zoo and other sanctuaries, it always hurt me that the wild animals couldn’t run, so when I built this place, it was extremely important to me that they would have lots of room. We’re also set up so that we can move them around a lot. In zoos they call it enrichment; we just call it moving the wolves. Even as big as their space here is, the wolves use it all.” 

For the protection of its furry residents, the sanctuary is intentionally hard to find and the address isn’t on the website. Visits are by appointment only and include a thorough tour of the property that lasts about two hours.

And though I can’t guarantee it, the odds are pretty good that you won’t leave the property without shedding a few (of the good kind of) tears.

To visit the wolves, reservations are required and can be made by calling (541) 528-3588. Visits cost $75 for adults and $25 for kids under 13. 

Have a fun animal encounter story? Share it in the comments section below. And for other things to do on the Central Coast, check out our Daytime Events calendar. For evening entertainment our Nightlife page steers you to the top happenings on the Central Coast.

About the Author Gretchen Ammerman
Gretchen Ammerman received an Environmental Science degree from Humboldt State University and was soon running a state environmental agency in Hawaii. She gave it up for the glamorous life of the freelance writer. This led to steady employment as a newspaper editor in Lincoln City, OR, where she knew she was doing well when the paper was threatened with a lawsuit within a week. Though the work was rewarding, she returned to freelance writing to have more freedom to explore the beautiful state of Oregon with her adopted dog, Scout.