Our Team

Laurie Higgins-Kerley

Laurie Higgins-Kerley

Founder and Executive Director

Laurie Higgins-Kerley founded the rescue in September of 2012. She was profoundly changed from time spent with a small herd of horses at her ranch, Dove Creek, who assisted her in healing from a grief stricken state after the loss of her late husband, Dr. Bob Higgins, in 2008. Laurie realized how much horses seem to know when a human is vulnerable and weakened. 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. It didn’t take her long to gather support and form a board, file a non-profit certification, and get to work! Her current husband, Greg Kerley, joined her in 2013 and has been a big influence with the growth of the rescue through his innovative and strategic experience from the financial world. Laurie and Greg believe with the right people doing the right things, success will endure. Together they lead the mission and love the opportunity to serve animals and humans in need of a second chance in life.


Ali McEwen

Ali McEwen

Director of Rescue Operations and Volunteers

Ali McEwen joined the Dove Creek team as Volunteer Coordinator in the fall of 2019. Ali has been an integral part of the Volunteer Program for several years along with her two youngest daughters, McKenna and Kali. Since that time she has gained the title of Director of Rescue Operations and Volunteers, managing facilities and equine care. Her exuberance and compassion for our mission is evident by her consistent commitment to the horses and their welfare. Her most cherished accomplishments in life are being a mother to her 4 beautiful daughters. Ali brings 20 + years of experience volunteering for schools, charities, and serving on various nonprofit boards, clearly demonstrating her heart for service.

Horses have been an important part of Ali’s life since she was a child, which she feels inspires the passion she has for them today. Her leadership skills inspire many to join our community and become a Voice for the Horse.


Sarah Stephenson

Sarah Stephenson

Head Horse Trainer

Sarah Stephenson joined DCER in May 2023 as a horse trainer. Sarah has a lifelong passion for working with and training horses. She believes that you can never know everything about horses and is committed to not only understanding each horse she works with but also becoming more affluent in different areas of horsemanship. Sarah is currently pursuing her master’s degree in social work from WTAMU with which she plans to become a clinical licensed social worker and practice equine therapy. With these plans in mind, she is committed to continuing to train and teach others about horses. Sarah shares her passion for all animals with her three children and husband, who also enjoy volunteering at DCER! Sarah is excited for the opportunity to be a part of the healing, rehabilitating, and rehoming of the equines that cross Dove Creek’s path!


Natalie Fuller

Natalie Fuller

Assistant Horse Trainer

Ever since she was a little girl, Natalie has loved riding horses. Natalie grew up in a small agriculture-based town around horses, cattle, and many other farm animals. There, Natalie was an active member of 4H and FFA where she showed pigs and lambs. She studied psychology at Hardin-Simmons University where she met and married her husband, Josh. In 2018, Natalie and her family rescued her youngest daughter’s first horse, Scooter. Since then, their little herd has grown to six amazing geldings! Natalie has always had a passion for horses – they are her therapy. Natalie desires to continue to expand her knowledge about horses and she believes Dove Creek is the perfect place to do so.


Erika McGee

Erika McGee

Executive Administrator

Erika has been with Dove Creek for nearly 14 years serving as Volunteer Coordinator for the majority of that time, later becoming the Executive Administrator. She stepped away for a couple years to raise her now 4 year old son, but never truly left as she still assisted Ali and Laurie and served on the Board of Directors. Erika is now a certified EAL Coach and back in the administration role. The horses and the rescue are Erika’s passion aside from being the best mom she can be to her son, and we’re so glad to have her back!


Thank You to our Board of Directors

Laurie Higgins-Kerley, Executive Director
Lexa Craddock, President
Erika McGee, Secretary
Greg Kerley
Steve Birkhead
Julie Puckett
Brandy Sanchez
Whitneyrose Upchurch
Robin Kritser
Chris Rhynehart
Caitlin Higgins Naulu
Lisa Orasco