FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTANCES know me as an animal advocate, certified disaster rescuer and a huge lover of animals. In fact, I have been a passionate member of the animal welfare community for more than a decade.
For six years I ran an international campaign to protect elephants. I am certified in Protected Contact which is a humane and safe way to manage these creatures in captivity. Thanks to the accomplishments I have been fortunate to achieve for elephants, I have been asked to speak at countless conferences around the world, including several for the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. I also have written many articles about animals as well as part of a book for Johns Hopkins Press called Elephants and Ethics due to be released this fall.
Over the years, I have rescued all sorts of animals in floods in California, tornados in Arkansas and, most notably, in the aftermath of the devastating twin hurricanes Katrina and Rita which descended on the Gulf Coast of the U.S in 2005.
My work has brought me into contact with some fabulous organizations, and today I sit on the boards of several. Among them is the prestigious Genesis Awards which honors those in major media who help draw attention to animal issues. Our annual award show in Beverly Hills, California is broadcast on Animal Planet, and this work has given me a full appreciation of the power of media in affecting change.
Now, if you had asked me my thoughts about media, oh, twenty years ago, you might have received a different answer. In an earlier life I had been a commercial actress and model. Ironically enough, my first television commercial at 10 years old was for Gaines Burger dog food. But I still can remember that during the shoot I was more interested in playing with the dog than anything else! It didnít take long for my real passion to emerge.
These days I devote nearly all my time to animal welfare issues, but I also find time to be an active sportswoman and enjoy physical training, snowboarding, mountain biking and swimming in the ocean. I share a wonderful home with my husband Mark and our six rescued animals.
Thanks for visiting my site.