C.J. Rogers, Ph. D., is a psychologist and behavioral ethologist. She founded Raised by Wolves, Inc., a USDA-licensed, non-profit research facility in New Mexico, dedicated to the study of wolf and wolf-hybrid behavior and cognition.
Rogers initially earned her M.A. in Psychology from Goddard College in 1978, and she went on to practice psychotherapy in the Chicago area for over a decade. For health reasons, she relocated to New Mexico in 1991. Her beloved Samoyed dog, Sage, passed away that same year, and Rogers attempted to lessen the void by adopting a wolf-hybrid named Mantra. Rogers’ fascination with wolves and wolf-hybrids emerged as she learned more about their inherent nature. She soon acquired two more wolves as companions for Mantra, and these animals became a pack. As Rogers realized that wolves had a great deal to teach humans, she enrolled in a doctoral program and developed her own long-term research study in wolf ethology while steadily adding more wolves to her pack. Rogers received her Ph.D. in Behavioral Ecology and Psychology in 1996. At Raised by Wolves, each wolf was considered a unique individual with a carefully chosen name. Rogers wanted to learn whatever the wolves would teach her; to that end, Rogers observed and researched wolf pack dynamics, social organization, leadership, aggression, altruism, and play. Since 1992, more than 25 wolves and wolf-hybrids have lived with Rogers at Raised by Wolves.
Though one early function of the research facility featured outreach, Raised by Wolves no longer accommodates visitors or photographers due to the necessity of maintaining a natural environment for the wolves. (Rogers’ analyses have shown that visits from human strangers have been detrimental to the wolves’ behavior and impact ongoing studies.) Rogers has authored papers and presented at conferences about her research. She lives with her pack at the Raised by Wolves sanctuary, continuing her participant-observer studies of these animals and advocating for better treatment and understanding of wolves.