Package Deal

Rescued in Oklahoma, wolfdog Riggs, the newest member to the Apex wolf pack, gives Apex Co-Founder Paula Ficara a kiss.

Apex Protection Project, with its wolfdogs, appeared at the Cornucopia Foundation Malibu Farmers Market on Sunday. Apex Protection Project Co-Founders Paula Ficara and Steve Wastell, plus volunteers and three wolfdogs, Apex “Wolf Ambassadors,” were on hand for the Malibu community and visitors to learn more about these animals. 

At this time, Apex Protection Project cares for seven rescued animals.

“Many people definitely romanticize the idea of having a wolfdog companion, but when they reach about a year old and start presenting more wily behavior, people often realize they’ve bitten off way more than they can chew and choose to give up the animal,” Ficara explained. “Wolfdogs are really too intelligent and independent to be pets. For people who have the right lifestyle and are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to give their lives to these animals, they can make wonderful companions, but it is a 24/7 responsibility—very much like having a child.” 

People stopped by the booth, smiling at the opportunity to see wolfdogs—children looked on in awe while volunteers shared stories about the animals. This was Apex Protection Project’s second visit to the Malibu Farmers Market; they plan to return every other month as a community outreach/educational program on the true nature of wolves and wolfdogs. 

Currently, located in Acton, the Apex Protection Project team has long hoped to make Malibu its home—“We’ve always felt Malibu should be Apex’s ‘forever home,’ as its cool climate is much easier on the wolfdogs and the community is so environmentally conscious and has been so supportive of our mission,” Ficara said. 

“An opportunity has recently presented itself and we’re optimistic, but we remain open to all possibilities.” 

For now, Ficara said they are thankful for the time they can spend in Malibu.

“We had the most wonderful time meeting folks at the Malibu Farmers Market Sunday. Everyone was so welcoming and willing to learn about wolves, wolfdogs and our mission. The wolf ambassadors who joined us had a great time hanging out in the grass and breathing in the ocean air, too. We can’t wait for our next visit.”