Owner Dove Creek Ranch and Founder Dove Creek Equine Rescue
Laurie Higgins-Kerley founded the rescue in September of 2012. She was profoundly changed from time spent with a small herd of horses at Dove Creek who assisted her in healing from a grief stricken state after the loss of her husband in 2008. Laurie realized how much horses seem to know when a human is vulnerable and weakened as they showed her this by coming close, offering a deep connection, making her part of their herd. This was a salve for her broken heart and eventually her insight and reflection ignited a desire to assist them in "their world". Those that needed a second chance, some time to mend, and heal from the hand that life dealt them, which she had experienced and understood. Being with her small herd of horses was a place of connection that she now says is a gift of grief. It seemed Dove Creek was the perfect place for this to happen. It didn't take her long to gather support and form a board, file a non-profit certification, and get to work!
Head Horse Trainer and Ranch Foreman
Frank Castillo brings a life time of experience working with horses and cattle to his position as Foreman and Head Horse Trainer at Dove Creek Ranch and Equine Rescue since 2013. His horsemanship skills and knowledge have helped many of our rescues rehabilitate and go on to be adopted into safe and loving homes. We get the experience of watching him fearlessly work with a trembling horse for hours on end, his steady patience guiding the horse to a new way and a better life. Frank brings a tremendous amount of creativity to Dove Creek with his uncanny ability to partner with horses and lead them out of trauma, building trust and establishing a good foundation from which they can grow and evolve - in other words, giving them a second chance. Frank has a plethora of training skills he uses to coerce a horse back from being fearful around humans to being a skilled and reliable mount.
Business Administrator Dove Creek Ranch and Volunteer Coordinator Dove Creek Equine Rescue
Erika began at Dove Creek in August 2010 as a volunteer groomer for the horses at the ranch until the rescue was started in September 2012. She eagerly volunteered to be on our Board of Directors and moved quickly into managing the Volunteer Program. Erika has been a stalwart supporter of our cause with her fierce commitment to our mission. She has done an excellent job managing our organization administratively on a volunteer basis through the years and is exemplary in her compassionate action and love for all the animals that come through Dove Creek’s gates. Erika is always willing to offer her assistance to wherever needed - an aspect of character we greatly appreciate that has been an integral part of our success as an organization. Dove Creek Equine Rescue is lucky to have Erika on board as we go forward.
Weston, Frank’s son, has been at Dove Creek as long as Frank and wears many hats. He is our medical technician for the injured and sick animals. His patience and gentleness with horses requiring daily medical treatment is greatly appreciated at the rescue because of the willingness it takes to doctor acute and chronic injuries, which are quite often at Dove Creek. The successful outcome of many a horse is in part due to Weston’s assistance in their rehabilitation process. Whether he is riding a new horse or repairing fence, Weston does the job with integrity and diligence. We are grateful to have this young man on our staff!