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Human ‘pack’: Series focuses on people who run NM wolf sanctuary

Richard Holcomb is all about local productions.

Within those, he likes to hire all New Mexican cast and crew.

For his latest series, “Wolf Daddy’s Pack Life,” he again was able to make it a New Mexico affair.

“We have incredible talent in the state,” he says. “And the productions showcase all of the talent.”

Holcomb is the owner of CliffDweller Productions, which was been producing local and regional TV shows in the Duke City for 14 years.

In his latest project, the reality series features Leyton J. Cougar, aka Wolf Daddy, the executive director of the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, just south of Grants. It also follows his human “pack,” as well as the more than 40 wolves and wolf dogs that the sanctuary cares for on a daily basis.

The six-episode series debuted on Fido-TV, a new cable network and is available through Amazon streaming on the Fido-TV Channel.

Holcomb got the idea for the series after meeting Cougar a few years ago at the sanctuary.

“Immediately I felt there was something there,” he says. “I felt like there would be a lot of interest in the sanctuary and how to help with donations.”

At first, the series was focused on Cougar and his work with the wolves and wolf dogs.

Then Holcomb noticed the story with the humans who work at the sanctuary.

“It fascinated us,” he says. “The number of people that would do an internship for two or three months and then stay. They would feel like it was a natural calling for them. It’s a special bond that is created within the sanctuary.”

The series also helps bring awareness to the pitfalls of raising a wolf dog.

“Most of the people featured in the show weren’t aware of what it takes to raise this type of dog,” he says. “There are different variations of wolf content in each animal. When there is a high amount of wolf in a dog, you can’t teach them to sit or lay down.”

Holcomb partnered with uPublic’s Rick Metz and John Padilla on the project.

“They do a lot of TV and film business,” he says. “And with a large part of their experience in that arena, it was very complimentary to what we were providing.”

Holcomb worked with about 10 people on crew and production took place in July 2016 and finished in October.

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