We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Kole Maney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, what are you inspired by?
I am inspired by wildlife rescue and share a strong affinity for wolves and wolf dogs in particular. The captive-born wolf and wolf dog crisis is truly a nationwide epidemic. Many of these animals are bred into captivity as part of the exotic animal industry and have no place to turn once they become older due to their wolf-like nature and personality traits—which are incredibly natural to them, but most owners are unprepared on how to successfully take care of their specific needs.
Every day I am inspired by the staff and volunteers at W.O.L.F. Sanctuary who work endlessly to take care of the animals who need a second chance at life and a bright future. They work harder than anyone I know, and are the most gracious group of individuals I have had the pleasure of working with on a daily basis. I am honored to be part of the W.O.L.F. Pack.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Over the past 2.5 years, I have been employed as the Director of Development and Fundraising at W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that focuses on the rescue of captive-born wolves and wolf dogs. I truly am fulfilling my passion within the wolf realm and each day is an exciting challenge on how I can bring fresh ideas to assist with securing funds for the organization.
The journey to W.O.L.F. was a long winding journey. I started my career in education, and then transitioned into marketing supporting international finance and real estate organizations. I lived abroad in Hong Kong and Singapore, and after four years moved back to the United States. I took a step back in my career and thought about what made me the happiest and most inspired in my younger years. And, it was wolves.
My parents claim when I was a young girl I would cut out articles from the newspaper on the reintroduction of wolves in the wild within Yellowstone National Park and place them on my refrigerator. Growing up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, I had zero access to wildlife, so I believe my passion for wolves was innate. I began writing book reports on Jack London’s White Fang, started collecting wolf memorabilia, and more. As I grew older, I didn’t have exposure to opportunities within the animal community and wasn’t great at biology or science. I had a creative mindset and a passion for wolves, but didn’t know what to do with it.
I started researching ethical wolf organizations across the nation, and came across W.O.L.F. Sanctuary. I fell in love with the organization’s focus on wolf and wolf dog rescue and their genuine dedication to educating the public on the exotic wildlife crisis, and haven’t turned back since. I was fortunate enough to receive an opportunity to support W.O.L.F. full-time, and it’s been my life ever since.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would recommend the Mishawaka on the Poudre Canyon. The Executive Director of W.O.L.F. first took me there when I came to Colorado. I love supporting local establishments, and the view of the river was quite impressive on the back deck. They have a great line up of music in the warmer months and the food is pretty epic. Definitely a unique experience that connects you with Colorado’s science mountain landscape.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The team at W.O.L.F. Sanctuary deserves a huge AWOOROOHOO! A small group of individuals, they are dedicated to W.O.L.F.’s Mission of Rescue, Sanctuary and Education. They not only assist with the daily operations of the nonprofit organization, but they also wear multiple hats to ensure the wolves and wolf dogs within our care have the best future secured, inclusive of assisting with medical care, nutrition, natural habitat maintenance, animal enrichment, and much more.