Published DateTo the editor:
I agree with Sabra Morton's request and genuine concern to know what happened with Fred Keating at Loki Clan Wolf Refuge. Loki Clan Wolf Refuge (LCWR) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that depends on public donations for support, and that support base has the right to be informed as to what was taking place that demanded immediate changes at Loki Clan Wolf Refuge.
Fred Keating started Loki Clan Wolf Refuge many years ago and over the years has received the generous support of many in the Conway area in the form of donations of land, food, needed supplies, and financial support. With this generosity, new larger enclosures were built and more wolves in need were taken in. However, as with many organizations, there were a number of dirty secrets going on in the background, hidden from public view. These secrets first and foremost put wolves' lives and care in jeopardy and secondarily put Loki Clan Wolf Refuge at regulatory and financial risk. Numerous efforts were made by the board to work constructively with Mr. Keating to resolve the issues. These efforts were ignored and resisted.
Loki Clan Wolf Refuge wished to protect the privacy of Fred Keating and not have to bring this out in such a public way, but I feel obligated to respond to recent letters.
The following undisputed facts are a few of the reasons why Mr. Keating is no longer at Loki Clan Wolf Refuge:
Due to inadequate basic and medical care of the animals at Loki Clan Wolf Refuge, Mr. Keating has been under investigation for animal cruelty for quite some time by the State Dept of Animal Welfare and Animal Control. The board has been unable to convince Mr. Keating that wolves and wolf-hybrids under the care of humans and in a human-manipulated environment require veterinary care. This lack of veterinary care has resulted in animal suffering and neglect.
Mr. Keating (not the board) has had an ongoing legal battle with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for over 10 years, resulting in astronomical fines. Loki Clan Wolf Refuge cannot continue without a sound working relationship with the USDA.
Due to mishandling of funds, Mr. Keating has left Loki Clan Wolf Refuge with more than a $5,000 tobacco tax bill from the Dept of Revenue. So while the animals at Loki Clan Wolf Refuge were being denied basic proper care, Mr. Keating was adding tobacco expense to Loki Clan Wolf Refuge, money donated by the public for animal care.
As a rescue organization we have the legal and moral responsibility to care for the animals in the best possible way. The board made the difficult decision back in December to remove Fred Keating due to the issues listed above. This change was necessary. The USDA and Animal Welfare are not simply out to get anyone as some might have you believe. These governing authorities are put in place to protect innocent animals, who often suffer under human hands. The rules and regulations set forth by these authorities require only the most basic care for the animals. I'm ashamed and embarrassed to know that Loki Clan Wolf Refuge, under the leadership of Mr. Keating had been fighting these authorities over their requirements for basic animal care for so long. In a court hearing that Loki Clan Wolf Refuge is facing, the USDA has agreed to work with Loki Clan Wolf Refuge under the stipulation that Mr. Keating not live on the property, not work on the property, and not visit the property. This mandate is why Mr. Keating is no longer at Loki Clan Wolf Refuge.
The board has a multifaceted plan to provide the best possible care for the animals and regain the community trust. Loki Clan Wolf Refuge has a monthly "fence party" day where we gather volunteers to help with building fences and other big projects that take numerous people to complete. Our first fence party this year was Saturday, June 9, with a monumental turnout. Some of the volunteers were new; some have been attending these "fence parties" for years. All came with one goal in mind and that was to help Loki Clan Wolf Refuge to help the animals. They were there to support the animals. These generous folks come from all over to "Lend a Helping Hand" (the Loki Clan Wolf Refuge motto). A new large enclosure was built which will soon house wolves from smaller enclosures. For folks interested in "Lending a helping hand," Loki Clan Wolf Refuge encourages you to come to the sanctuary on the second Saturday of next month, July 14, so you can see exactly how we are building a brighter future for the animals we hold in our care.
Board member, Loki Clan Wolf Refuge
Owner, K9 Mountaineer Club