``To look into the eyes of a wolf is to see your own soul`` - Aldo Leopold

Nestled in the hillsides between the Sierra Pelona and San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California, lies a small town of Acton. A wandering traveler passing through might imagine they’ve heard the distant howl of a wolf pack. However, locals know that this chorus of song is not imaginary. It is likely coming from the facilities of Apex Protection Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting wolves and wolfdogs through educational experiences, rescue, and advocacy. Co-founders Paula Ficara and Steve Wastell started this ambitious venture in 2014 and since then, they and their expanding team have continued to help rescue and rehabilitate these misunderstood animals, and to champion for wolves in the wild. Programs include bringing their wolves to local schools to thrill and educate youngsters about these magnificent animals. They also host group trail hikes with the pack at their compound, an amazing way to see the wolves immersed in nature. These are just a few of the many outreach programs and services they engage in. Their dream is living in a world where the wolf and all species are highly valued, protected and respected for the balance they bring to the ecosystem and for the gifts they offer to humanity.

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Leader at Apex Protection Project introducing a wolf to a man.

Old Dog, New Tricks.

Our own Joe Gold made us aware of Apex’s mission, and how their impact was diminished not only due to the tracking and paperwork associated with any non-profit, but also with the care and management of live animals. Detailed tracking was needed to specify each animal’s diet, medications, exercise schedule, etc. Unlike many non-profits, Apex is also a 24-hour operation, with a lot of coordination and handoff between various volunteers. A volunteer may come in to work and immediately need to be updated on an injury or change in a wolf’s condition or dietary requirements.

Our Pack Helping Theirs.

Angel City Data has many animal champions on our team, so we were thrilled to be able to help. We provided a pro-bono FileMaker app that Apex now uses to keep accurate, up-to-date records. This data is now effortlessly shared among team members, keeping everyone in the loop on the care and condition of the pack. Claris Inc., the manufacturer of FileMaker Pro, was so impressed with the outcome of the system, that they produced a success story featuring Apex (see below).

A Pawsitive Impact.

The past few years under the cloud of covid-19 have made running any business more difficult. Smaller budgets, higher inflation, and fewer in-person events have caused many non-profits to struggle more than usual. Apex has experienced many of these challenges and others. At Angel City Data, we decided further help was ours to give. We decided on a three-pronged approach to assist Apex:


The money we normally dedicate to year-end corporate gifts has been re-directed to Apex in the form of a donation. Swapping a few extra holiday sweets for life-saving medications seems like something all of our colleagues would happily agree with.

Amazon Smile.

ACD’s corporate Amazon Smile account has designated Apex Protection Project as our chosen non-profit. This means that for every purchase ACD makes through Amazon, a portion of those sales receipts will be donated to Apex.

Our voices.

We plan on including Apex in a series of social media postings throughout 2022, to drive even more awareness to their mission and help inspire donations and volunteerism towards their goals.
Education and Advocacy. Children with wolves, teaching about wolves, and happy people with wolves.

Throw Them a Bone.

In 2022, the staff at ACD plans to do go on a field trip to Apex, where we can engage in a “Meet the pack” experience between our team and the wolves. We look forward to sharing pictures and memories from this experience with our many friends here. We ask that any of you that can, please consider a monthly contribution through Apex’s “Adopt a Wolfdog” program, or other forms of gifting on their site:

Have a Happy Howlidays.

We hope 2021 finishes happy, healthy and successfully for all of our clients, staff, vendors, partners, and families. And remember, if you happen to be driving through the back roads of Acton and hear wolves howling in the distance, don’t worry. It’s a good thing.

Happy Howlidays!

David Knight | President, Angel City Data

Watch how Claris tells the story of how Apex uses their FileMaker app.