Kristi Krutsinger is just learning to walk again after she had to have half of her leg amputated following a wolf attack at her wolf rescue facility in Paso Robles.
Krutsinger says the wolf attack is taking a toll not only on her family but on her wolf pack as well.
"This was an amazing animal. Never did I have a problem with him. Never did he bite me, but that wasn’t that animal, this was again the heart of the wolf," said Krutsinger, CEO of WHAR Wolf Rescue.
Kristi was preparing to switch the wolves at her rescue facility from play time to lunch time when the attack happened.
She says the pack saw her as their queen, but a combination of improper footwear and a lack of a physical barrier allowed Enzo, a full-blood Mexican Grey wolf, to make his power move.
"I just blame myself, you know, I broke policy, I wore the wrong shoes," she said.
The wolf chewed her foot, ankle and part of her shin until a volunteer worker risked his life to save hers, freeing her with a shovel.
The San Luis Obispo County Department of Animal Services euthanized Enzo.
"I’m cautious but I also know after doing this with my mom for over 20 years there’s that healthy amount of fear that you always have to have and you should never lose that," said Melanie Krutsinger, Kristi’s daughter.
The facility is back up and running and the staff is working closely to follow protocol.
Kristi’s daughter, Melanie, says the family, both human and wolf, is affected by this incident.
"Whenever we’re down a man, you feel the weight all over, and now we’ve essentially, we haven’t lost our leader but essentially she is missing in action type thing," Melanie added.
According to the Krutsinger family, there have been no reports of public bites or attacks since they opened about 20 years ago.
"Our safety moving forward will always remain very strong, but now the focus is obviously is presenting it on internal staff members and directors and ensuring their safety."
They say they handle full blood wolves and hybrids differently as full bloods never make public appearances. According to the facility, there is no public threat and never has been.
You can help with Kristi’s recovery process by visiting her GoFundMe page.