Our Team

Laurie Higgins-Kerley

Laurie Higgins-Kerley

Founder and Executive Director

Laurie Higgins-Kerley established Dove Creek Equine Rescue in September 2012, inspired by her personal healing journey. Following the loss of her late husband and father of their 4 children, Dr. Bob Higgins, in 2008, Laurie found solace in the company of a small herd of horses at her ranch, Dove Creek. This experience profoundly affected her, as she discovered the horses’ innate ability to offer compassionate presence to humans in vulnerable states. The horses’ support became a healing balm for Laurie’s grief, eventually sparking a desire to give back to these empathetic creatures. With newfound purpose, she gathered support, formed a board, obtained non-profit certification, and launched Dove Creek Equine Rescue. In 2013, Laurie’s current husband, Greg Kerley was inspired by her passion and drive and joined the cause with purposeful action. His background in finance has significantly contributed to the rescue’s growth through innovative and strategic approaches. Together, Laurie and Greg continue to develop Dove Creek Equine Rescue, a thriving organization dedicated to equine welfare and human-animal healing partnerships.


Ali McEwen

Ali McEwen

Director of Rescue Operations and Volunteers

Ali’s lifelong connection with horses, which began in childhood, inspires her current passion for equine welfare. In the fall of 2019, she joined Dove Creek as Volunteer Coordinator, quickly becoming a cornerstone of the Volunteer Program alongside her two youngest daughters, McKenna and Kali. As her role expanded, Ali assumed the position of Director of Rescue Operations and Volunteers. In this capacity, she oversees barn management, equine intake, healthcare, and adoptions. Her unwavering commitment to the horses and their well-being is evident in her day-to-day work, reflecting her deep-rooted enthusiasm for Dove Creek’s mission. With over two decades of experience volunteering for schools, charities, and serving on various nonprofit boards, Ali brings a wealth of knowledge and a genuine spirit of service to her role. Her dedication to Dove Creek exemplifies her passion for both horses and community service, making her an invaluable asset to the team and the animals they serve.


Erika McGee

Erika McGee

Executive Administrator & Led By Horses Program Coordinator

Erika’s journey with Dove Creek spans nearly 14 years, during which she has served in various roles. Her involvement began in 2010 when she volunteered to brush and groom horses on the property. Later, she stood alongside Laurie when the decision was made to establish a horse rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption organization at Dove Creek. As interest in Dove Creek Equine Rescue grew, Erika stepped up as Volunteer Coordinator, co-creating the program with Laurie. She took a brief hiatus to focus on raising her son, now 4 years old, but remained connected by assisting Ali and Laurie and serving on the Board of Directors. Erika has since become a certified EAL (Equine Assisted Learning) Coach, contributing to programs and sessions in the Led By Horses program. In 2023, she took on the role of Office Administrator for DCER, further expanding her involvement. Beyond her dedication to being an excellent mother, Erika’s passion lies with the horses and the Rescue. The team at Dove Creek is thrilled to have her continued support and multifaceted contributions.


Roger Brandt

Roger Brandt

Head Horse Trainer

Roger Brandt was born in Fort Worth, Texas and raised on a ranch with his family in the Texas Panhandle. He attended Clarendon College on a rodeo scholarship where he rode saddle broncs. Roger also showed cutting horses, and in 2010 was the NCHA Reserve World Champion in the amateur cutting class. In 2012, he was the Texas High School Rodeo State Champion in Cutting, and the Reserve National Champion in Cutting at the National High School Rodeo. Aside from training horses, Roger also enjoys making bits and spurs, fishing, and just being outdoors. He’s greatest passion though lies with horses and that’s why he’s the perfect fit for Dove Creek. He supports Dove Creek’s mission and vision and believes in giving troubled horses and humans a second chance in life.


Natalie Fuller

Natalie Fuller

Assistant Horse Trainer

Natalie Fuller joined Dove Creek in 2022 as the assistant horse trainer. She and her husband Josh have been married for 21 years and are proud parents to two daughters. Natalie’s background in psychology complements her lifelong connection to animals. Raised in a small agricultural town, she was actively involved in 4H and FFA, showing pigs and lambs. Although she initially left this lifestyle behind after moving away, her passion for horses was rekindled in 2018 when her family rescued Scooter, their youngest daughter’s first horse. Since then, their herd has grown to six horses. For Natalie, horses have always been a source of joy and therapy. She firmly believes in their healing abilities and has long harbored a desire to deepen her equine knowledge. Her role at Dove Creek has provided the perfect opportunity to continue her education and expand her expertise in horse care and training. Natalie’s presence at Dove Creek is highly valued, as her enthusiasm and growing skills contribute significantly to the organization’s mission. 


Caitlin Higgins Naulu

Caitlin Higgins Naulu

Marketing & Social Media Manager

Caitlin Higgins Naulu, daughter of Dove Creek’s Founder and Executive Director Laurie Higgins-Kerley, has deep roots in Dove Creek Equine Rescue. Growing up at Dove Creek, she experienced firsthand the healing power of horses, particularly after losing her father in 2008. In her youth, Caitlin was an avid equestrian, showing horses and participating in AQHA events with her beloved horse, Stepper, before focusing on competitive volleyball. Her academic journey led her to earn a Biology degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Master’s in Environmental Management from St. Edward’s University. Caitlin’s diverse career has taken her across the globe, including shark research in South Africa, horticultural work in Australia, coastal restoration in Cape Cod, urban ecology with The Nature Conservancy in Texas, and water conservation efforts in Utah. Currently, Caitlin manages marketing and social media for Dove Creek while balancing her role as a full-time mother to two sons, Maverick and Lachlan. She resides in Massachusetts with her husband Beau, their children, and their dog, Chili. Her multifaceted background and personal connection to Dove Creek make her a valuable asset to the organization’s outreach efforts.



Thank You to our Board of Directors

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