The Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC) is a unique animal welfare and veterans’ rehabilitation center. We rescue and provide sanctuary for wolves, wolfdogs and other animals who have been bred to live in a domestic environment and protect wolves in the wild. We also offer a therapeutic environment for combat veterans suffering from trauma through employment, job skill development, sobriety maintenance, and coordination of care. Most of LARC’s facility caregivers are former military personnel.
LARC was founded in 2009 by Lorin Lindner, PhD, a clinical psychologist and public health educator, and Matthew Simmons, a Navy veteran. Located in the mountains of Ventura County, California, LARC’s forested 20-acre facility with a 3,000-acre buffer offers sanctuary residents plenty of space to run free and be themselves. What began with one wolfdog named Wiley, who was rescued minutes before being euthanized (which is what happens to wolfdogs in shelters due solely to their wolf DNA), has now grown to a facility that cares for nearly 100 animals, mainly wolves and wolfdogs. Many of these animals have been rescued from situations of abuse and neglect. We promote same-species companionship in large, outdoor enclosures. What’s more, we feed all of our carnivores without killing any other sentient beings. All of our food is donated through a landfill diversion program which puts to use surplus meat and produce that was destined to be thrown away.
LARC’s main program is Wolves and Warriors. In this program, veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other traumas care for the wolves and wolfdogs at LARC. We provide them with an opportunity to heal and grow in this unique, back-to-nature environment. In addition to the therapeutic aspect of the program, enrolled veterans also receive valuable job skill training in animal care and emergency response. Our Wolves and Warriors veterans participate in rescue missions across the country, saving wolves and wolfdogs from pelting operations, roadside zoos, and cases of abuse and neglect. They also work alongside first responders during our local wildfire season to help keep residents and their animals safe.
In addition, LARC’s WolfGuard team protects wild wolves across the country from illegal poaching. In the remote areas that we patrol, government resources are spread thin, making it easy for illegal and inhumane traps to go unnoticed. WolfGuard searches for traps and when they are discovered they document them, record their GPS location, and notify proper authorities. When there is an immediate threat, they will campout near a trap until it is removed, to ensure that wolves stay away from the area until it is safe again. Many of the veterans who complete our Wolves and Warriors program continue on to join the WolfGuard team.
The Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC) is a unique animal welfare and veterans’ rehabilitation center. We rescue and provide sanctuary for wolves, wolfdogs and other animals who have been bred to live in a domestic…