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.