PrideRock originated as the home for us and our various four legged family members back in 1992. Situated on 9 acres of land east of Dallas, Texas, PrideRock is now home to approximately 27 big cats, a couple of remaining wolf dogs, down from a pack of 19, and numerous dogs that have been dumped on our road over the last few years.
Our story actually began way back in the 80s in Abilene, Texas, with a couple of Siberian Huskies, Bo and Tash, who migrated across the state with us, and set in motion our desire for the wolf hybrids. We got our ﬁrst wolf hybrid, Kina, in 1991, and then Konee, a male, shortly thereafter. Together, they produced some beautiful cubs over the years that we intended to sell, but I was never meant to be a breeder because my love for them would not allow that, and l ended up keeping all the cubs. There are two remaining cubs, Lena and Little Bit who are now 16 and 18 and sadly, they will be the end of our generations of long happy lives with our wolves. Hopefully, in the years to come there will be some wolves that will enter our lives once again, but only time will tell.
Now, our lives mainly focus on the cats. Cayman, a cougar, came to us at twelve days old as our ﬁrst cat and left us in 2003. Gabriel, a male lion, followed close behind, as a bottle and ﬁnger sucking baby who slept with us and shared our home with us the first year of his life. Sophie, a tigress, arrived at the age of eight weeks, then Daisy, an older cougar, was a rescue from the Texas Parks and wildlife Department. Sadly, we lost Sophie, in December, 2012 to renal failure alter 19 wonderful years, and Daisy, passed away from cancer in 2001. These losses are always extremely hard for us because they are family members and loved so much.
Good things always follow, and out of the blue, Freddie, a male cougar and Keisha, a lioness arrived at the same time. Freddie was with us for many years before he passed away. He developed cataracts that made his eyes look like marbles. People can be insensitive and would inquire about them, which made us want to put a sign up on his pen that said "please understand that I can't see very well which makes my eyes look different”.
Sinbad, a male tiger followed close behind. He graced our door and took space that was tragically vacated by Hannibal, a much beloved tiger, who died very unexpected. Hannibal was Carol's baby, and her parents drove up from Abilene to be with her because of her grief. It took her days to get through this one. We love them all so much, but it seems that the bond with some is much stronger than others.
In August 1998, we received a call that brought Shealee, a tigress to live with us. She was a joy for many years, and then alter a painful year of skin cancer, we had to let her go in 2011. It was the hardest thing ever, and we miss her to this day. She was one of the best and most loving tigers we ever had. We would have done anything to save her and did do everything we could. Not a day goes by that we don't think of her.
Cougars Apache and Lakota were rescued from an ex-breeder in November, 1999, near Houston, Texas that had moved from his property and left them in a back yard pen. That was a long and hard rescue, but worth it. They also were with us for many years, but have left us with wonderful memories and space that has been ﬁlled with a new resident, Giggles, an older cougar that was rescued near Corsicana, Texas, in 2011. His companion, Tasha, was with us for a short time, and then passed away suddenly. Another one of those events that overwhelm you with sadness. Three of the wonderful memories that Apache and Lakota left us with were named, Chelsea, Kelsey and Catrina, precious cubs that were born on June 6, 1999, before we could get them separated. We are blessed to still have Catrina and Chelsey, but sadly, lost Kelsey to a respiratory infection a few years back.
In January, 1999, Mia f/k/a Queen, was donated to PrideRock following an attack on the owner of the breeding pair known as King and Queen. Unbeknownst to anyone, Mia brought along her own surprises. Jake, Allie and Ruby, her sweet lion cubs were born on April 22, 1999, and it's hard to believe how time has gone by and how big they are now. It seems like yesterday that they were in the house playing, sucking our thumbs, and crying for their bottles! That summer we had our hands full with lots of babies, but loved every minute of it!!
Tigers, Mia, Golden, Kelly and Damien came to us from California in June, 2000. Kelly, Mia and Unfortunately, we lost Damien, and sisters, Kelly and Mia all in the last couple of years. Kelly and Mia, both to cancer, and Damien to a stroke and seizures during the hot summer. Golden, Kelly and Mia had lovingly been known as the Exxon Girls because as babies, they had been featured at the State Fair of Texas that you could pet and hold at one of the Exxon tiger shows that was being put on one year. We happened to be there that year, and never knew that years later, we would have the opportunity to have them become a part of our family! We hope and pray that Golden will be with us for many years to come.
Another group of sisters is Nallah, Nia and Nicki, three precious sisters, Nia being a white tiger, with the others carrying a white gene, came to us from a local breeder, a few years back. They have been delightful, and a new pen was donated to them with a waterfall that they have enjoyed so much. They are the ones that greet you ﬁrst with lots of loving chuffs when you enter the compound and hopefully set the tone for a very enjoyable visit to our refuge!
Other members of our PrideRock family include Pharaoh, a majestic male lion that came to us as cub from a local breeder that had been used for exhibiting throughout the country. He is a big, sweet boy, that one of the volunteers has adopted as her own and gets lots of special attention. Rambo, is one of our biggest tigers and has a very sad story behind him. No tiger deserves a better life than him, and we hope that we have given him the loving home he deserves. Jamu and Kashmir are two brothers that came to us as cubs from a south Texas breeder with a horrible case of ringworm. Most of their fur was gone and all you could see were the stripes on their skin. They spent the ﬁrst few months of their lives in our home being medicated and getting well. They brought us so much joy and continue to do so. They are two of the sweetest boys we have and Carol has bonded with them and interacts with them at every opportunity. Brought in from Virginia last year, are Tigger and Shawna, a pair of tigers that have adapted very well. Tigger is a big boy and we recently moved him away from the activity of the feeding barn and where the construction of a new barn is taking place. He wasn't real keen on all the noise and the people in and out and seems much happier in his new enclosures. Shawna is a sweet girl and you hear lots of chuffs from her routinely. Elijah is our two year old tiger that came from Missouri last year when his previous owner couldn't keep him in her county any longer. He is a beautiful, huge boy for his age, and was on the bottle for a long time! He just wants to stalk and play all the time and is so inviting, that you just want to go in and hug on him! Everyone loves Eli!!
Our newest residents are Bagherra and Kumal, an eight year old tiger and two year old tiger respectively. Two gorgeous tigers, Kumal being white. Bagherra doesn't have a clue that he's a tiger and loves people much more than his own species. We are in the process of building them new enclosures having pretty much run out of room! We were so blessed to have been given these two boys, especially after having lost so many tigers recently.
Along with the hard work of maintaining our refuge, and the pain and heart ache that the losses of those cats bring, they are a source of indescribable and immeasurable love and joy, which makes our dedication of time, energy and money a most gratifying and rewarding labor of love. We encourage you to browse through our site and learn more about Big Cats in America, PrideRock and meet all the beloved cats that call PrideRock home. ❤