Our Team

Laurie and Greg Kerley

Laurie and Greg 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 daughters McKenna and Kali. Since that time she has gained the title of Director of Operations, 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 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 integral 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.


Chelsea Landes

Chelsea Landes

Head Horse Trainer

Chelsea grew up riding and competing very successfully on both the national A rated circuit and the local hunter jumper circuit. As a Junior rider she was focused on Hunters, Jumpers and Equitation, as well as numerous regional Medal Finals, honing her proficiency at these competitive skills. She was recruited to ride for Missouri State Equestrian team and competed at IHSA Regional and Zone finals. Chelsea focuses on developing and improving confidence in horses and riders at all levels, with a particular passion for strengthening the connection and communication between horse and rider. At DCER, Chelsea uses her expertise to help horses solve problems and improve their skills. This partnership with horses creates consistent and willing partners, allowing them to work confidently and responsively.


Hannah Martin

Hannah Martin

Assistant Trainer

Hannah has been riding since the age of 12. She grew up in the quarter horse world showing in Western pleasure and Hunt Seat Equitation. She eventually bought her own warmblood mare and found a love for Eventing. Her mare’s sensitive and athletic nature-inspired in Hannah a love and passion for helping horses who have had a troubled past. She loves being able to see horses improve dramatically in the training program and eventually find new homes. Assistant to Chelsea, Hannah has learned to be a quiet rider that horses can trust. Her character traits of honesty, integrity, and good work ethic lay the foundation for success with each horse at DCER.


Patty Roberson

Patty Roberson

Executive Assistant

Patty joined the Dove Creek team in November 2021 in the business office. After attending Arizona State University in 2017, Patty spent 5 years working in recruitment. She worked for a legal non-profit recruiting students interested in pursuing law, and most recently, at a tech staffing company in IT recruitment. Patty has a proficiency in marketing and public relations as well as a remarkable ability to complete tasks in a timely manner. Her hard work, youthful energy, and social media skills are a pivotable part of our team.


Savannah Sommers

Savannah Sommers

Ranch Maintenance

Savannah joined DCER’s team in the spring of 2021 from Wallis, Texas. Her attention to detail in every task is one of her top skills and is much appreciated by everyone at DCER. Through her deliberate care, she contributes to the beauty of the pastures, upkeep of the machinery, and all-around duties of maintaining a ranch. We feel that Savannah’s willingness to take on any job puts her in a category of her own! She is usually accompanied by her best pal, her dog Ada, who is either on the tractor with her, riding in the truck, or running alongside a kabota. We are grateful to have Savannah on our team at DCER!


Board of Directors

Thanks to Our Board of Directors

Laurie Higgins-Kerley, Executive Director
Phillip Shipley, President
Greg Kerley, Treasurer
Erika McGee, Secretary
Pace Bixler
Lexa Craddock
Julie Puckett
Todd Rasberry, Ph.D.
Brandy Sanchez
Whitneyrose Upchurch
Katelyn Waggoner, DVM