Man Hides Wolves in His Basement and Dreams of Mountain Sanctuary

The stars hang expectantly above the summer meadow on Gledic Mountain in Serbia, a place that is about to become the cradle of recovery for 25 wolves aching for freedom. The wolves are living in small household nooks, a basement and backyard pens which have been salvaged by their rescuer Dejan Gacic, a man who would lay down his life for any animal in need.

Caring for all the dogs and wolves is a monumental daily task.

Dejan began as a dog rescuer. Working alongside his mother Svetlana, he saved nearly 300 dogs who had been in dire need on the streets of Serbia. The dogs were housed at a home-based sanctuary and at a second sanctuary on the grounds of his deceased grandfather’s home.

Daily care of the dogs was a team effort, but when Svetlana died quite unexpectedly during routine surgery, Dejan was suddenly alone in caring for the dogs. At the same time, local residents who had heard of his heroic efforts for the dogs began to ask if he might help with a wolf who had been in captivity for quite some time and the “owner” was about to release her to a canned hunt.

This is Dejan's mother Svetlana. She started the family legacy of rescue many years ago

Dejan thought to himself, “What would my mother do?” and then he did the only thing he could. He leapt in with both feet. He purchased the wolf from the man for a single bottle of liquor.

“They usually call and tell me to come and take the wolf or it will be killed,” Dejan explains of the many times he has been granted permission to rescue a ‘defective’ wolf who simply won’t bring in a premium price when released from his cage and sent running into the woods to be chased by hunters. “I just have no strength to watch them suffer and I have no power to stop it. I never met a hunter who feels sorry for the wolves or for any other animals.”

The wolves would be doomed without Dejan's intervention.

Over the last three years, more than two dozen wolves have made their way into Dejan’s custody. And though he didn’t have a solid plan on what to do with them, Dejan couldn’t stand to see the wolves come to a terrible end. More times than he can count, he has simply hung his head and walked through a group of amused spectators who can’t fathom why on earth this man has arrived to save some “dumb” wolf.

“I’m going early in the morning at 4 am to see injured wolves,” Dejan told us recently. “I am going with my uncle and a vet will come with us. God knows what we will find there. I’m very worried. The last information I have from 2 hours ago is that both injured wolves are still alive and have a chance to survive.”

A pair of muddy pups, discarded by their former "guardian", are now counting on Dejan for food.

“Without you all these animals would be lost,” Dejan told the Harmony Fund last year after receiving his first round of emergency funding to feed both the dogs and the wolves. “To live a hundred lives would not be long enough to thank you. I wish that my mother was alive to see all this. My animals just had their first proper meals after a long, long time.”

Wolves Could Soon Be Roaming Mountain Sanctuary

Over the past year, the Harmony Fund has provided monthly supplies of food and veterinary care for all of the animals and relocated the dogs to a single location. After a series of inquiries and applications at the government level, they are now poised to begin getting the wolves out of their cages and into the mountain air by October.

The wolves could soon enjoy a natural habitat and live in packs.

Though it will not be possible to completely release the wolves, the animals will have a “soft” release in which they will be grouped in packs and set free on large, fenced enclosures. Land is already secured and the municipality is offering use of some of their heavy machinery. The charity would like to begin construction in late August and is scampering to pull together funds for all the materials to create the wolves’ new home.  To get involved, click here.

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384 comments

Sheila S.
Sheila S.2 months ago

Glad I found this unopened e-mail from a while ago. As a defender of wolves, I was touched to read how one man (and his mother before she died) worked so hard to help save these animals. Thank you to him and to Harmony Fund for their efforts.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven7 months ago

thanks for the article.

Kamalini M.
Kamalini M.about a year ago

May God bless this man and also those people who extend their help for this noble cause.

jessica r.
jessica r.about a year ago

A great man and so happy the Harmony Fund has stepped in to help release the wolves into this mountain sanctuary.

Rose Roma
Rose R.about a year ago

At any given moment we can each choose to do the right thing or at minimum be kind and non-destructive. I have never wondered why so many aggressive activities are accompanied by alcohol or manufactured adrenaline.

Alexandra G.
Alexandra G.about a year ago

wonderful !!!

Susan Bowe
Susan Boweabout a year ago

Thank God for people like this man and his late Mother. Wolves are beautiful creatures and they deserve a wild life habitat where they can live and roam at will and not hunted down for so called sport. Thank you Harmony Fund for helping this man who deserves a medal and recognition for what he does.

Virginia Abreu de Paula
Virginia Abreu de Paulaabout a year ago

I feel so moved when I read articles like that,. It restores my faith in humanity.

Nancy Black
Nancy Blackabout a year ago

Kudos to this man. He cares. He walks the walk as well as talk the talk. Beyond sad that our society is so ignorant that people don't realize how important the balance of the ectosystem is as well as the significance of the food chain. Interesting that many religious people don't think about the fact that God created the planet in an orderly fashion, and when we change it we are saying we know more than God or the Creator.

Vivian Ocampo
Vivian Ocampoabout a year ago

Dejan is one good man in the midst of thousands who are uncaring. One good man in a world of mercenary, cruel people. God bless this man for taking upon himself the task of saving animals. He is a rare person, just like a rare diamond. And, of course, he gets it from his Mom, an equally priceless, rare jewel! I praise also Harmony Fund for working with Dejan and supporting him in this herculean task!