“I co-founded PrideRock Wildlife Refuge (www.priderock.org) over 20 years ago with my husband, Gary. We have poured our hearts and souls into it, sacrificing everything we had to care for these cats. It has been a wonderful journey and an honor to share our lives with them. It is my hope and prayer that we can continue to give them the best possible happy place for many years to come!” Carol Holliman, PrideRock Vice President
The PrideRock Story –
Our Labor of Love
PrideRock originated as the home for our various four legged family members in 1992. Situated on approximately 10 acres of land east of Dallas, Texas, PrideRock is now home to approximately 30 big cats, two wolf hybrids, three bears, one hyena, numerous rescued dogs, an Akita, a Great Pyrenees and an Anatolian/Pyrenees.
Our story actually began back in the late 80’s in Abilene, Texas, with a couple of Siberian Huskies, Boris and Natasha, 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 since we were never meant to be breeders, our love for them would not allow that, and we ended up keeping all the cubs. Presently, we have Bleu and Loki, two male wolf hybrids who are absolutely amazing. Bleu is a big boy that was rescued from the Henderson County Animal Shelter in July, 2013. He was severely abused by a previous male owner so he didn’t like men and initially was pretty shy around people in general. After lots of TLC, he has come so far and now loves attention and trusts those that care for him. Loki was acquired from one of the keeper’s relatives, who could no longer keep him. He is so sweet, beautiful, and loves attention.
Our lives have mainly focused on the big cats for many years, but with the bears and hyena, we are branching out a little.
Since those early days of caring for canines, we let loose our passion and empathy for big cats. In the early nineties, we were naïve enough to purchase a twelve day old cougar that we named Cayman (the site of our last vacation). Raising Cayman from such a young cub was such a great experience. It also opened our eyes to the plight of exotic cats in captivity. Undertaking the responsibility for the health and well-being of an exotic animal can be much more than the average individual expects, plans for, or can afford. For this reason, we found a problem with placing abused, abandoned, neglected, confiscated, and unwanted cats. It is a big problem that we set out to help in a small way by taking confiscated or surrendered exotic cats.
After a few years we found that we were capable of making only a small dent in the number of animals in need of being rehomed. At that point we decided to seek public support for the enormous undertaking and out of necessity, formed a Texas non-profit corporation, initially named Pride & Pack. Pride & Pack then became a 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation and began soliciting funds for the care and well-being of the animals that came in need of a forever home.
Since those early years, Pride & Pack became PrideRock Wildlife Refuge and has conducted rescues from California to West Virginia. All made possible by public support. In that more than 20 years, PRWR has become the home of more than 70 animals that are with us today or have crossed the Rainbow Bridge after years of care at PRWR.
To name them all and give back stories is too much for the website, but might someday fill a book about the 53 lions, tigers and cougars that we have cared for up to this point plus the three bears we saved from euthanasia, and a hyena. Not to mention the 30 or more canines that have been cared for by PRWR.
In spite of the hard work of maintaining the refuge, those animals will always be 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.
PRWR is thankful for all the public support it receives and is proud to be a member of the American Sanctuary Association, verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, and a member of Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance. PRWR can be checked out on the GuideStar and Charity Navigator websites.