Riot had previously belonged to a Californian woman who bought Riot with the intention of breeding her. But when Riot grew to be bigger than she expected, the woman realized she didn't have the space to keep Riot, and surrendered her to Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary.
Riot was initially placed in an enclosure with an arctic wolf named Doc. While Riot and Doc were a good match, he was eventually moved in with another arctic wolf. Besides, everyone had an "intuitive" feeling that Cinder and Riot would be a good match, according to Castellanos.
On the day of Cinder and Riot's introduction, everyone held their breath.