Peek Into The Pack Blog

“Wolf Daddy” Update

Article by Crystal Castellanos

Crystal started out as a volunteer and eventually became Director of Operations. She moved to Hawaii with her husband, Ramon, in August, 2020.

June 12, 2020

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Dear Wild Spirit Readers,

Please join us in celebrating Leyton J. Cougar as he takes the next step in his journey to save and support canids of all sorts! As many of you know, Leyton has stepped down from his position as one of Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary’s Directors to work on other ventures. While he is no longer part of Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary management, Leyton will continue to be involved as a fundraiser and contractor, aiding the team in our continued pursuit of our vision and mission statements.

Leyton with long-time ambassador wolf, Flurry

Leyton first became a part of the sanctuary in 1996 when it was still known as the “Candy Kitchen Wolf and Wolf-Dog Rescue Ranch.” After moving to the rural community of Candy Kitchen, NM, Leyton watched the Rescue Ranch from afar before deciding that he wanted to offer his help to the late Jacque Evans.

Having grown up on a farm and later volunteering for the San Diego Zoo, Leyton was confident in his abilities to work with animals both wild and domestic, as well as having a breadth of knowledge in the realm of animal husbandry. Putting these skills to task alongside founder Jacques Evans and co-founder Barbara Berge, Leyton was able to help guide the Candy Kitchen Wolf and Wolf-Dog Rescue Ranch on a better path, focusing on providing the changes needed for the health and safety of the canid rescues finding sanctuary.

In 2003, Leyton adopted his new title as the Executive Director, and thus began the transformation of the ranch into Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. With the name change for the organization, Leyton began shifting focus to align with his vision of “Making the sanctuary a beautiful place for the animals to live in, and for guests to visit.”
After 24 years of dedication to Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary’s mission of Rescue, Sanctuary, and Education—not to mention Leyton’s devotion to providing the best care to the hundreds of canid lives rescued along the way—Leyton is shifting his focus to his own well-being and happiness. However, he is not moving away from Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary entirely, as he plans to continue to support the sanctuary as an independent contractor to help fundraise and transport rescues. Leyton will always remain an incredibly valuable resource, as well, with his wisdom and support as a veteran in the world of wild canid care and rescue.

When not speaking out on behalf of Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and our cause, Leyton will be continuing to build his Wolf Daddy brand and dog treat business. Canines are still an important part of his life and even when he isn’t helping care for our rescues, canine health and nutrition is clearly one of his passions.

Please join us in celebrating and supporting Leyton’s next adventure by following him on Facebook and consider checking out his personal website,

Although Leyton will be focusing more of his time on his own brand and business, Leyton always feels his best when on a rescue mission. So if you or an organization you know of needs help with transporting a canine rescue to their new home, please email him at:
Finally, for anyone interested in collaborating with Leyton on a fundraiser for Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, please feel free to contact him at:

The Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary Team is grateful for this lifetime friend, and we are excited to continue to evolve and progress utilizing the foundation built by not only Leyton, but by Jacque, Barbara, and the countless other staff and volunteers who have helped shape Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary since 1991. A howling thanks, as well, to all of Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary’s followers and supporters. Together, we can continue in strength to pursue our mission—to rescue, to provide sanctuary, and to educate everyone on behalf of the wild canids that find a safe, permanent home with Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary.

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1 Comment

  1. George marcelonis

    Layton… Sorry to hear you’ve left
    .. Loved visiting the WSWS and all the staff being so friendly and informative ..God Bless man…Thanks for ALL YOU DID ❤