Annette Golden – Operations Coordinator
Claralynn Schnell – Executive Assistant
Claralynn is a native of the Pacific Northwest and has a love for nature, animals and kids. Wolf Connection has allowed her to merge her talents and dive into the greater good. Claralynn served for 5.5 years in the US Army and uses that loyalty, dedication and determination at Wolf Connection. Claralynn is mom to two handsome little boys, Logan and Kolten. Between her love of being a mom and wanting the world to be a better place for her children to grow up, Claralynn has embraced everything that Wolf Connection stands for.
Leo Leckie – Lead of Education
Prior to joining the family here at Wolf Connection®, I lived among the wild wolves of Yellowstone
National Park for ten years as a wolf guide and wolf historian. It was there that I observed and learned
about the intricacies of wolf behavior and family/pack dynamics, and the many amazing stories that
wolves have to tell; stories that I still share in person and in print today.
It was in Yellowstone that I also met Teo and Renee Alfero for the first time. They had come to speak to
our Winter 2018 Retreat’s clients about Wolf Connection® and Wolf Therapy®, and I was immediately
impressed and impacted by their compassion for and knowledge about wolves. I remember saying to
myself at the time, “I really need to make it to Wolf Heart Ranch someday to see this amazing place for
Little did I know that, only months later, I would find myself in Los Angeles and headed to the Wolf Heart
Ranch for a personal tour by Teo and Renee. During my February 2019 tour, I learned more about the
life-changing Wolf Therapy® practices and programs that connect humans and wolves … and I was
Flash forward a few more months, and the stars aligned and the universe opened doors in such a way
that I was now living in Los Angeles. I soon sought out ways to join the dynamic Wolf Connection® team
and, like one of the 12 Wolf Principles, lend my individual talents to the benefit of this incredible pack.
And today as Lead of Program Education I am blessed to call Wolf Connection® home, and to be a part
of something meaningful and empowering for humans and wolves alike.
Michelle Lima – Pack Health Assistant
Laurie Cousins – Program Lead
Laurie is a mindfulness-based teacher, integrative somatic practitioner, and trauma-informed nonviolent parent educator. She is on the clinical team at Hope Integrative Psychiatry in Sherman Oaks and where she has a private practice. At the Wolf Connection, Laurie collaborates and facilitates in various human empowerment programming that offers deep integration and healing, and has the honor of volunteering on the pack care team. She draws from different wisdom traditions, healing modalities, personal life experience and the inspiration of her two children to guide her in helping youth, adults and families overcome adversity, heal, and embrace their innate resiliency
Micha Thomas – Program Lead
Micha is a pre-licensed therapist, certified coach, creative director, and founder of international organization weREWILD, a research-based psychological, anthropological, and story-centered resource, emphasizing therapeutic engagement with the natural world. Micha holds a masters degree in counseling psychology, with an emphasis on depth psychology, from Pacifica Graduate University, and is working towards her MFT licensure. Micha pulls from her years of leading teams within the entertainment industry and non-profit sector as well as personal experiences to lovingly collaborate with the human program team and wolves at Wolf Connection as well as the participants.
Jennifer Thompson – Wolf Connection Host
My animal rescue work in Los Angeles, spanning over 15 years, included meeting a dear soul (and rescued wolfdog) named Arrow. After personally knowing a wolfdog and learning about the fate of most wolfdogs in the United States, I was led to the gates of Wolf Connection. Each wolfdog has so much to teach our guests and our volunteers. There is a sacred space that only animals (especially the wolf) can find within humans. I am honored to experience and witness this life changing exchange. When not at Wolf Connection®, I spend my time working with organizations around the globe, helping them to reach their goals through their most valuable asset- their people. I am thrilled that I get to take the lessons of our pack into the corporate world!
Valerie Fresh – Host, Program Assistant & Lead of Day
Stephen Rivera – Program Assistant, Photographer & Lead of Day
The pack seems to call you in from any distance and always in right timing. 40 miles away I was engaged in a silent howl, launching my own rockets of desire for more depth, more expansion, more inner peace and more connection. A good friend of mine was journeying west for a temporary stay and was looking into visiting WC. I couldn’t turn down the invitation to join him. My first WC experience was a community hike at the ranch. It’s hard to know exactly what to expect from a “Wolf Sanctuary” but i was hopeful it would be a really interesting story if nothing else. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes on the property to recognize that you are in a unique and special space, one with a deep intention. At the arena Teo spoke of future plans for the ranch and ‘potential volunteer’ obligations. When he mentioned training to hike the Wolves (two of my favorite things) i raised my hand like a gitty teenager with genuine excitement and asked “When can i hike some Wolves!?”. Teo laughed and handed me a volunteer application. Little did i know it would be much more than that, it was the response to my silent howl for more connection and presence, exactly what i meant to find. Wolf Connection is a way of being, a way of learning, a way of teaching, a way of sharing, a way of expanding. It’s a sacred space that knows what we really need and calls us home to it the moment we join hands in silence as morning clouds settle over the mountains and Wolves howl each other back into balance. And for that i am forever grateful.
Chris Perry – Resident Photographer
Cutting my teeth as a professional photographer years ago, my main focus was on wild wolves and bears in Alaska and now Yellowstone. Although I photograph most everything, my passion has always been and will continue to be deep in nature. When I was asked to photograph and do some videography of the wolves at Wolf Connection, there was no hesitation as it appeared to be a natural fit.
Doris Glassberg – Lead of Day
After receiving an intriguing email from Wolf Creek Restaurant to come meet and take photos with some wolves I just had to go. I met Teo with his “Wolf Truck” and then met Maya, Rocky and Zimba: three stunning wolf dogs who changed my life forever. I began going on the monthly community hikes and eventually became a volunteer a few years ago. I am so honored to be a part of Wolf Connection®. It is a place where you can hear wolves howl, hear a Raven’s wings brush the air, and listen to the wind through the trees.
It is a place where you learn many things and meet people from all walks of life. You can hike by a stream, discover your wild spirit or watch the wolves just be. It is a place of challenges and of healing. I love this place.
Brenda and Dave Aubry
My husband Dave and I have been wolf advocates in Alaska for years so when we arrived in Acton and heard the distant howling of a wolf-pack we knew we had to find them. After searching, we found Wolf Connection® and have been there ever since.
Not a day goes by that we don’t count our blessings for being able to work with these amazing animals, care for them and learn from them.
It is wonderful to be a part of the pack (both human and wolf!)
I first heard of Wolf Connection® in the Antelope Valley Press. After reviewing the phenomenal website more than a few times and learning so much from that source in itself, I signed up for the Community Walk in June. I was extremely touched by experiencing the wolfdogs close up and hearing each of their stories and quickly realized I would like to be a part of their lives. After hearing “the group” howl that same day I believe they were telling me they agreed!
The overwhelming added bonus in volunteering is becoming a part of such a dynamic, positive, and influential organization. Wolfdogs, youth, adults, and community outreach, nature, the environment … WOW! I am amazed at the diversity of what is offered at Wolf Connection® and the warmth, kindness, and caring so apparent. To be part of the “good things in life” gladdens my heart indeed.
A past docent at the Los Angeles Zoo I was honored to be in the position to teach about, and in some cases, introduce others to the animal kingdom. I enjoyed my time there and look forward to that feeling and experience again this time for the wolfdogs!
I am very appreciative to Wolf Connection® for allowing me the opportunity “to give and to receive” and to learn from the staff, volunteers, and the wonderful wolfdogs!
The way I stumbled upon Wolf Connection® was timed so perfectly it had to be some sort of kismet. Having recently decided upon a career as a veterinarian and embarking on my educational journey, a friend asked if I would like to accompany her to a wolf/wolfdog rescue. After visiting the compound, I felt like I had just been “home”. It wasn’t a place or home I had been to before; nevertheless, the scenery, wolves and people all had the markings and feeling of it. The experiences I have had at Wolf Connection® are unparalleled to anything in my life before, including meeting my best friend Neo (wolfdog) at the ranch! I have grown in areas I had previously believed were lifeless, I have watched others grow (both two, three and four legged), and I get to serve in something greater than myself. I am grateful every day for my time at Wolf Connection® and I hope that I can continue my own education and to educate people about wolves and wolfdogs wherever I go.