Leyton Cougar
Executive Director

Crystal Castellanos
Assistant Director

Rae McCue
Animal Care Supervisor

Ramon Castellanos
Research and Development

Georgia Cougar

Georgia Cougar

Marketing, Website, Communications

Georgia has been a pillar at Wild Spirit since the original founders retired in 2003, working alongside Leyton to continue expanding and improving our sanctuary. By spearheading our marketing, publications, member service, and merchandising and fund-raising efforts, Georgia has played a key role in transforming Wild Spirit. Most recently, she had moved into the online world, creating our new website and managing our social media presence.

Lisa McNitt

Lisa McNitt

Bookkeeper

As our bookkeeper, Lisa bravely faces the difficult task of keeping a non-profit financially alive and running. With her help, we’ve managed to turn our organization into one that is healthy and growing, which is not an easy accomplishment. As a long-time Candy Kitchen local, Lisa understands how to survive in our extremely remote, rural setting, and she lends that knowledge to the rest of our pack whenever needed.

Patricia Pasquin

Patricia Pasquin

Assistant to the Directors and Animal Care Specialist

Coming to Wild Spirit all the way from Barcelona, Patricia is the volunteer who is farthest from home! After several visits, she has returned for another stay to assist our directors in keeping the sanctuary running smoothly. In addition to administrative work and animal care, Patricia helps with our marketing work, graphic design, and communications.

Mike Francis

Mike Francis

Building and Maintenance Manager

Previously working as an independent electrician, Mike took a career turn to join our team in early 2017. Whether it be habitat maintenance, volunteer housing improvements, vehicle repairs, or IT issues, Mike seems to be able to do it all! With his help, our B&M team has grown to be a cohesive, successful department making a significant impact on the list of tasks always waiting to be done.

Tom Nieder

Tom Nieder

Building and Maintenance

Tom’s first stay at Wild Spirit ended in early 2017, but he found he wasn’t quite ready to say good-bye. He returned in mid-summer that same year to rejoin our Building and Maintenance department. In addition to his already heavy workload, Tom assists with Animal Care whenever he’s needed. Our B&M department is never short on things to do, and Tom’s experience is vast, which makes him an extremely valuable member of our pack.

Mike Budd

Mike Budd

Building and Maintenance

Mike has been assisting our maintenance department for several years, and he personally handles many daily tasks that could otherwise fall to the wayside. Of course, our B&M team is always facing an overwhelming list of tasks, and Mike helps ensure that we are steadily accomplishing those tasks. Mike also goes on “meat-runs” for the sanctuary, meaning that he drives into Gallup or Albuquerque once a week to pick up meat donations for our rescues, without which we would not be able to survive.

Josh McNitt

Josh McNitt

Building and Maintenance

Josh joined our Building and Maintenance department in 2017, bringing an impressive knowledge of computers and IT with him. A long-time local who briefly moved away, Josh is glad to be back in Candy Kitchen and working at WSWS, where the pack really feels like family. Thanks to his unique skills in IT and an overall handiness in many areas, Josh has proven a huge asset to WSWS that we can’t imagine functioning without.

Tina Greenwood

Tina Greenwood

Gift Shop Assistant

Although Tina’s work at Wild Spirit is currently focused in the gift shop, she has contributed to our success in many different departments over the last several years. In addition to customer service, Tina has worked in Animal Care, educational outreach, and guest services. Her variety of experience and willingness to help wherever needed is a perfect combination for Team Wild Spirit!

McKenzie Stribling

McKenzie Stribling

Gift Shop Assistant and Animal Care Specialist

McKenzie first came to Wild Spirit during the summer following her junior year of college. Like so many others, she fell in love with WSWS and came back to us a year later, armed with a B.S. in Biology! McKenzie’s science background and enthusiasm for her work makes her a wonderful addition to our team of volunteers. She particularly enjoys giving tours, and we’ve heard that her guests enjoy them, too!

Jess Gould

Jess Gould

Housekeeping

Jess joined the Wild Spirit pack in 2017 as part of our housekeeping staff. She keeps our rental lodgings clean and ready for guests, and she also makes sure our maintenance department is aware of any fixes or upkeep that’s needed. A transplant from Canada, Jess has added some cultural variety to our team, and she is proving to fit in beautifully with our pack.

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