North American Gray Wolf Finds Home as Service Dog

When a truck driver adopted a 6-week-old wolf cub, he was just looking for a companion to accompany him on long hauls. Nick Battles says he had no idea that the North American Gray Wolf would one day save his life.

When a truck driver adopted a 6-week-old wolf cub, he was just looking for a companion to accompany him on long hauls. Nick Battles says he had no idea that the North American Gray Wolf would one day save his life.

Kodie was protected by the Endangered Species Act. At his home in Woodland, Kodie is the protector. The twelve year old evolved from a companion dog to a service dog over the course of a few years.

Battles was diagnosed with diabetes in 2004 and shortly thereafter, realized that Kodie would lick his arm within 30 minutes of him needing to take insulin.

“Kodie started to let me know there was something going on,” Battles said.

After enrollment in a training course Kodie was certified as a service dog.

“It didn’t take him much time; he picked up on it right away,” Battles said. “It’s really nice because now he can go everywhere I go, in stores and restaurants.”

Battles says the decision to take Kodie in was life changing in more ways than one. “He’s just been a really great friend,” Battles said. “He’s really good. I’m bonded to him more than I have been bonded to any other dog.”

When Battle raised Kodie, the wolf pup would fall asleep with his owner’s hand in his mouth like it was a security blanket.

“He acts real independent, but if I get out of his sight he starts to whine and howl,” Battles said. “He keeps a pretty careful eye on what I’m doing.”

Battles says Kodie has traveled to more states than many Americans, loves snow, vanilla ice cream, and for some reason, loves to play with any Chihuahua he meets. Since his retirement,Β Battles and Kodie are spending their days camping and enjoying time together. The pair will be vacationing at Lake Almanor in June.

199 thoughts on “North American Gray Wolf Finds Home as Service Dog

  1. Michele: The dog is 12 and has known no other home, it would be cruel to remove him. Regardless of whether he is wolf or dog.

  2. And it illegal to own one in California. And keeping a wild animal penned up like that is cruel. If this is a wolf, it should be allowed to live life as a wolf.

  3. You may very well be right about Battles Cassandra Godwin, perhaps he was duped. If that’s the case the heat he is about to take will be a shame.

  4. I hope Kodi turns out to be some kind of husky/mix for his sake. As a 12 year-old wolf he wouldn’t make it in the wild.

  5. I’m hoping he was duped so he can keep Kodie. If he wasn’t duped, then he will probably get in a lot of trouble with local animal control.

  6. Honestly, I don’t feel Kodi will be taken away. There’s no way to prove he is F1 and it wouldn’t be hard to prove that he isn’t pure. So with education and a change in Kodie’s label as a “wolf” there shouldn’t be any issue with Battles being able to keep Kodie. The only issue would be the public access rights.

    Edit: County Municipal codes may prohibit wolfdogs so that would be another issue.


  7. @Alyssa Miller………you are preaching to the choir here. “I AM AN ADA PATIENT WITH A SERVICE DOG”!!! The dog that I have on my lap is my service dog. He is 7 years old and was recommended by my doctor.

  8. And let this be a lesson to you all: If you think you are doing something questionable leave it off the internet. There are too many nosey busybodies out there with nothing to do.

  9. Then you should understand why more then anything that this article is HARMFUL!!! And there is no such thing as being an “ADA” patient. The ADA is a set of regulations, you cannot be ADA anything.

  10. Cassandra Godwin, if he was duped and public access rights are lost, we could always run a chipin to get him a ‘proper’ service dog. πŸ™‚

  11. My opinion:
    1. If it’s a 12 year old animal – wolf, wolf hybrid, wolfie-looking-dog, whatever – then it will be *unable* to survive in the wild. It’s too habituated to humans and life with humans, and it *cannot* be released to the wild.
    2. Taking a very much loved, well trained 12 yr old wolf or wolf hybrid (or wolfie-looking-dog) away from his owner of 12 years and put it in some kind of enclosure without access to his friend and owner, would be beyond cruel to both beast and man. It would be kinder to the animal to kill it immediately.
    3. AC would take it and kill it. Or Fish & Game would. Why? See (1) above.
    4. That disabled owner is going to be devastated if his pet of *twelve years* is taken from him. What about him??? What about the human being?

    I am appalled that anyone who knows anything about the animal rights movement and its’ extremist, hateful agenda – that should be *every* disabled service dog user – can even think about taking this man’s quite old pet from his side. SHAME.

    1. So are you the same Joan that was knowingly misinforming the Department of Veteren Affairs about service Dogs, such as ” guarding” and ” Licking my face cause it makes me feel better about myself” are acceptable “Trained Tasks”? The one who stopped running a website and moved to Canada after the government found out that she was Deliberately misinforming them to advance her status amongst her cult of personality?

      1. I know exactly who you are talking about. Sadly, she is not moving to Canada and is still trying to pull the same BS with the VA. It is because of people like her that is causing the VA to only allow dogs from ADI programs.

  12. And pray tell me, what is your dog TRAINED to do. A doctors recommendation doesn’t make it a service dog. If you go there, I’m asking.

  13. Alyssa, I am also curious! Sheryl – what is your dog task-trained to do? A simple recommendation from a doctor does not a Service dog make!

  14. ADA changed its guidelines. There are no longer provisions for any other animal than a dog. Michele Enenstein was correct in her citation of the law. I am glad she included the link so more people can become educated instead of repeating ignorance.

    1. Oh, someone got upset because the correct laws were pointed out. Sorry about your ego but I’m sure you’ll get over it.

    2. Now more people with a bruised ego. How about living in reality instead of cooing over a wild animal being kept penned up?

  15. @Alyssa Miller….I suffered a severe head trauma, neck injury in 2007. Do you want me to go into the gory details of what happened here?

  16. Sheryl, that isn’t what was asked. We are asking what your dog is trained to do to mitigate your disability.

  17. Sheryl, they’re not asking you what happened. They’re asking you what task your sd performs.

  18. I can imagine them being that I have a chiari malformation AND was in a MVA the same year you were. However, that doesn’t answer the question of what your dog is TRAINED to do to mitigate your disability.

  19. FiveSibes isn’t helping…

    and honestly my thought is that if Battles finally wakes up and realizes Kodie doesn’t qualify as a service dog….those that actually care can help the most by actually helping him raise money to train or go with a legitimate program that does provide legally protected service dogs.

  20. We’re not douches. This is a legal issue that effects our lives and our ability to use our REAL service dogs in public.

  21. I don’t care if someone has a pet hamster, they are DOMESTICATED! If my neighbor suddenly got a wolf, we’d have a real problem.

    But if someone called their hamster a service hamster, I would just laugh in their face.

  22. Not that I have to answer to you but I will for the sake of all of you with no compassion. I suffer severe seizures from a head trauma that I sustained in 2007. He notifies me when to take my meds 20 to 30 minutes before I have one. If I were to take the meds every hour of every day, I would not be able to function with a job. As it stands I am able to go back and earn a living. Now then again, thank God I have a dog that has no wolf in him as I would not want to face what this man is about too.

  23. I’m not with the sd community on this one. I do believe in responsible ownership of wolfdogs of all contents including High Contents that look nearly pure. I know of a few breeders whose animals have very little dog and are almost pure. I don’t object to wolfdog ownership at all because they do make awesome companions for the right person.

  24. I feel sorry for all the military that need service dogs or any animals to help them survive each day. This has turned into a witch hunt.

  25. I have no issues with a trained dog being used for PTSD, nor do I have any issues with someone legally owning a wolf dog with proper stewardship of it. And Sheryl, thank you for clarifying that you have a dog that does work instead of a laprat with a doctors note as you originally described it.

  26. @Alyssa Miller……….I never would EVER describe my dog as laprat with a doctors note. You just said that, not me.

  27. You’re the one who said your dog was a service dog because of a doctor recommendation. A doctors opinion NEVER makes a dog a service dog. TRAINING makes a dog a service dog.

  28. Sheryl, where are you even getting that crock of bull from re: military? We aren’t arguing AGAINST legitimate service dogs – most of us that are outraged indeed have legitimate service animals. I, myself, have a service dog who mitigates my disability and personally want to empower those who do want to go the route of having a legitimate, properly trained service animal. But I cannot stand by while misinformation is being tossed about and while this man is getting ass-pats for having 1) an animal that is illegal in his own state 2) an animal is is claiming is a Service dog, when wolves and wolf hybirds are not legal or protected under the ADA. People can have wolf hybrids as pets, that is fine – but when you start taking part in a behavior or practice that could have severe repercussions for not only yourself, but the entire SD community then yes, I will speak up.

  29. You said small dog on your lap with a note from your doctor. Plenty of people with fake service dogs say the same things

  30. “assertions that Kodie is not a wolf are based on an opinion formed by looking at a picture.” The same person tried to tell me about my hybrid and never once seen him except through a picture. I just ignore the know it all myself I did my homework before I jumped into the challenge of owning him and still learned a few things from him. I know what I have.

  31. Kim, breaking the law is NEVER cool. You really need to read the comments with the applicable laws posted.

  32. Lets clarify, I didn’t want to write a book, I tried to keep it short so that this didn’t get out of hand. I spent 2000.00 to have him service trained to notify me when meds are needed. My doctor suggested I get a service dog to help me as I live in a small one bedroom apartment and a LARGE dog was not needed for the task in hand. To each his own on their request on what service dog is needed. I chose a small breed and he was trained. Is their anything else you need me to clarify?

  33. Sheryl, no one is condemning your choice for sd. It’s entirely normal for someone such as yourself to have a small sd. While we have different opinions on size, no one in the sd community is trying to bash the size of your sd because he/she does provide a task as outlined by the ada.

  34. Sheryl, that’s because she assumed you were referring to an ESA. Generally when someone brings up a doctors note it’s because the animal is not a true sd.

  35. Well, Sheryl, sadly enough you get a lot of people with small-breed dogs who carry them about and make claims about them being fully-trained service dogs, only because they want to be able to bring their dog with them into places a pet isn’t allowed. Your original response of having a doctors note did raise some suspicions, only because this is a very common thing for someone with a false service animal to claim. Service dogs come in all shapes and sizes. My guy is only about 40lbs, and I have a friend with a chihuahua PSD. πŸ™‚

  36. @Callie Burgess and Cassandra Godwin……….I just want you both to know I would NEVER advocate a wild breed such as a wolf to be a service dog. That was never my intention. My compassion lies to the fact he has had the dog/wolf since it was 6 weeks old to 12 years. I would never suggest anyone to get a wolf for a pet/service dog/etc. I would just hate to see these two separated since the 12 year bond has already taken place.

  37. I once had the honor of owning a wolf hybrid. It is not for everyone. You have to be educated about these magnificent creatures. There is way to much prejudice with wolves….hybrid or pure. If he has a pure and kept him safe, bravo. This sounds like a very special situation.

  38. Sheryl, I can assure you that it would break my heart to see them separated, but I am just very afraid of the potential repercussions this man could have for not knowing the laws regarding both the legality of wolves/wolf hybirds in his state, as well as the ADA and laws surrounding service animals, repercussions that not only directly affect him – but people like you and me who have legitimate service animals.

  39. Umm Cassandra I know who I was referring to until you can say you physically inspected my dog you do not know what I have just by looking at a picture. No matter how smart you think you are.

  40. Lol Mark you are agreeing with Callie calling your dog a husky mix… Thought you said he was part wolf?

  41. Cassandra it is hard to express sarcasm on a internet just like knowing the background of a dog by a picture. But as smart as you think you are I know you knew that right?

  42. As much as I love that he took in an endangered animal, the fact of the matter is, it IS a wolf. A wonderful pet it may make, but a Service Dog? I wouldn’t risk that. It’s too high stress and high risk of an environment for the Wolf to be in. Things might be okay now, but the risk outweighs the benefits. He needs and can have a service dog, but it needs to be just that – a dog.

  43. It’s a great story. I like it because wolves are being slaughtered into extinction in some of our states that are owned by cattlemen and hunters and think the world should bow down to their desires, which apparently in some states, it has.

    Perhaps if people would start adopting some of the tiny little wolves that get left to starve after their parents are shot from a helicopter, poisoned, trapped, or stabbed, we’d have a chance at establishing a new wolf population once we get rid of the rabble known as “cattlemen” (factory farms) and hunters (who ignore the science and want to make sure they get to shoot whatever they want).

    1. Oh, are you butthurt because someone pointed out the laws to you? I’m sure you’ll get over it soon.

  44. Some of you have way the fuck too much time on your hands to bash this story and attempt to make it your own. he is happy and he loves his pet. And the dog is happy to. Every canine stems from a wolf so a dog is a dog is a fucking dog. Get the hell over it. Good for him. Great story. Of course I have high content hybrids that are better than most humans.loyal, caring, and loving. And gorgeous. Most importantly they are loved.
    Get a life that doesnt include ruining others

  45. everyone you do realize that this man broke the law the moment he took the abandoned cub and did not call the proper authorities when he found it. This wolf cub, it is an endangered species, the cub should have been turned into a rescue group. It was illegal for him to knowingly keep an endangered animal. If he wanted a companion when he drove long halls he should have gone to a shelter and adopted a DOG.

  46. People you can all chill. There hasn’t been a wild animal imprisoned. Because this isn’t a wolf. It looks nothing like a wolf. Whoever told the man that his malamute was a wolf needs their head checked. In fact anyone who can’t tell the difference between a malamute and a wolf needs their heads checked. Good Lord. Does everyone just think any pointy eared dog is a wolf nowadays? Educate yourself.

  47. This is not a wolf. And it’s not a wolfdog, either.

    Nothing against the guy in the story. But if you’re reading this, don’t take this story as evidence that wolves can be service dogs, or even raised as pets like a domestic dog.

  48. This is 100% illegal if it’s a wolf or even part wolf. The ADA doesn’t allow wild animals to be service animals, only domestic dogs and miniature horses are legally allowed.

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