W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, Whose Facebook Page Was Hacked With NSFW Pics, Files for Bankruptcy

Part of a photo posted by hackers on the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary Facebook page. NSFW images and more below.
Part of a photo posted by hackers on the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary Facebook page. NSFW images and more below.

About six weeks ago, the Facebook page of W.O.L.F. Sanctuary was hacked with NSFW images just as the nonprofit was in the midst of an important fundraising campaign.

Now, the organization is filing for bankruptcy. But its executive director says the move has been in the works for a while, as opposed to being a direct result of the hacker's sleaziness.

See also: Videos: Watch Gamer Kootra Get SWATted in Hoax That Shut Down Schools

W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, Whose Facebook Page Was Hacked With NSFW Pics, Files for Bankruptcy

As we noted in previous coverage, the image above -- the banner on the original WOLF Sanctuary Facebook page -- is more typical of the pics shared by the Rist Canyon-based organization, which describes itself as "a nonprofit sanctuary dedicated to improving the quality of life for captive born wolves & wolf dogs through rescue, sanctuary and education." So imagine the surprise of the folks administering the page when three unwanted images suddenly popped up in late August. Here are screen captures of the first one....

W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, Whose Facebook Page Was Hacked With NSFW Pics, Files for Bankruptcy

...and the second....

W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, Whose Facebook Page Was Hacked With NSFW Pics, Files for Bankruptcy

...and the third:

W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, Whose Facebook Page Was Hacked With NSFW Pics, Files for Bankruptcy

Those who clicked on these links didn't get gratification. Instead, they were taken to this spammy commercial site:

W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, Whose Facebook Page Was Hacked With NSFW Pics, Files for Bankruptcy

The timing of the hack couldn't have been worse, since W.O.L.F. Sanctuary was in the midst of a fundraising campaign. Here was the pitch on its Booster.com site:

The WOLF Sanctuary needs to relocate to a safer location. Over the past few years, we've suffered wild fires, flooding, and our access roads have been washed out. For the safety of our wolves and wolf dogs we need to move our facility to reduce the stress on the animals.

In its latest coverage of the organization, the Fort Collins Coloradoan adds specifics to these allusions. The sanctuary's property was threatened by the 2012 High Park fire and devastating floods the following year. The latter is captured in a video shared by W.O.L.F. Sanctuary executive director Shelley Coldiron.

These experiences led to the relocation decision. But in June, before such a move could happen, board chair Mervyn Jacobson resigned in the wake of what the Coloradoan describes as "35 criminal charges related to alleged market manipulation in his native Australia."

Mervyn Jacobson.
Mervyn Jacobson.

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The hack added insult to injury even as it blocked W.O.L.F. Sanctuary access to a page that had collected an impressive 277,000 likes.

Fortunately, during the days and weeks that followed, W.O.L.F. Sanctuary got back control of its page. (Access it here.) Word of what happened likely contributed to more people offering support: The like total now tops 281,000.

That wasn't enough to stave off bankruptcy. But in a message to supporters quoted by the Coloradoan, executive director Coldiron stressed that this development shouldn't be viewed as the beginning of the end.

A Facebook photo of Shelley Coldiron.
A Facebook photo of Shelley Coldiron.

"I want to assure you that W.O.L.F. is not going out of business and all of our animals are safe and will continue to live peaceful and happy lives at the Sanctuary," she wrote. "The mere mention of the word 'bankruptcy' raises fears that donor funds are in jeopardy or have not been properly used. I want to allay those fears. None of W.O.L.F.'s funds are in jeopardy, and donor funds are safe and as always, will be utilized according to donors' wishes.

"I ask our many supporters and followers to continue their loyalty to our cause and our animals," Coldiron added. "We will always put the needs of our animals first. The bankruptcy proceeding is a business transaction that will strengthen W.O.L.F. going forward and create a bright future for our wolves."

Meanwhile, the organization is still selling T-shirts to help fund its relocation. In order to learn more, click here.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.


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