Board of Directors
Anne Elizabeth Hirky, Ph.D.
Liz Hirky earned a B.A., cum laude, from Barnard College, a Ph.D. in Clinical Health Psychology from Yeshiva University, and a certificate in Interpersonal Psychoanalysis from the William Alanson White Institute. She is a life-long animal lover, rescue and spay/neuter proponent, and currently lives with 3 rescue dogs and 2 rescue cats. Liz supports a wide-range of animal welfare and education efforts, and is an advocate for plant-based diets. Her volunteer efforts include many years as Board Member and a President of Animal Alliance of NJ.
Kenneth Shapiro earned his BA from Harvard University and his PhD in clinical psychology from Duke University. He is cofounder of the Animals and Society Institute. He founded Psychologists for the Ethical treatment of Animals and the Society and Animals Forum. He is founder and editor of Society and Animals: Journal of Human-Animal Studies; cofounder and coeditor of Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science; and editor of the Human-Animal Studies book series. His most recent book is Animal Models of Human Psychology: Critique of Science, Ethics and Policy. He is one of the developers of AniCare® and AniCare® Child, the only psychological treatment models for animal abusers, and trains therapists throughout the country on the use of these models.
Gail Luciani earned a B.A. in International Communications from the George Washington University and an M.A. in Public Relations from the University of Houston. She is an ardent animal advocate who practiced public relations at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and the Pennsylvania SPCA. Gail also taught public relations and communication at the LaSalle Graduate School of Communication in Philadelphia. She is currently semi-retired and spends time as an adoption counselor at the Oregon Humane Society in Portland, OR. She shares her life with two rescued dogs and one rescued cat. Her past volunteer efforts include serving on the Boards of Animal Aid PDX, Animal Alliance of NJ and Philadelphia Animal Care & Control.
Petra Pepellashi began her fight for animals at age four with a dispute over which neighborhood child would take home a black and white stray cat. Her friendship with the beloved Mitzen was the first of many life long relationships with companion animals. She currently shares her life and home with two former stray cats, Smoky and Tigger, and two enthusiastic dogs with the deserving names of Bello and Chase. Petra is retired from the advertising industry. She attended the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit as a graphic design major. She founded the graphic design firms Pepellashi & Rae and Pelikan Design, which specialized in creating packaging and promotional materials for the home video industry and Pelikan Pictures, which specialized in high-end computer art and retouching.
Kimberly Spanjol, PhD, BCBA-D, LMHC
Kimberly Spanjol received her PhD. in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York with a specialization in forensic psychology and is a licensed Mental Health Counselor and licensed and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She also holds additional multiple certifications in Animals and Human Health, Humane Education and Literacy, and Teaching Mindfulness to Youth. Dr. Spanjol has over 30 years of combined experience in her service as educator, researcher, consultant, clinician, clinical director, and supervisor. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York and has previously taught at a number of institutions of higher education, including John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Sustainability and Environmental Justice Program. She has created and taught courses in Environmental Crime, Environmental Justice, Species Justice, Animal and Human Health and more. Her clinical work has focused on children, teens and young adults with a variety of behavioral, developmental and mental health issues as well as their families in private practice, educational, and correctional settings for more than three decades. She conducts research, consults, and leads professional development and national trainings, workshops, and courses in her areas of expertise which include ethical Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) and the Human-Animal Bond, Green/Non-Speciesist Criminology/Species Justice, Behavior Modification/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)/Psychology of Social Change, and Service and Prosocial Learning focused on animal inclusive social justice. All of her work focuses on creating transformation in individual and organizational behavior to create prosocial, measurable, systemic change that is inclusive of non-human animals and benefits all sentient beings. Her current research projects include evaluating ethical animal assisted therapy and humane education programs with incarcerated youth, measuring the effectiveness of service and experiential learning as tools for prosocial behavioral change, and examining the impact of moral attitudes toward animals and human-animal interactions on human mental health, behavior, and patterns of violence. A life-long animal advocate, she lives with her husband and their three beloved rescue dogs (including Ella, her extremely talented canine therapy partner) in New York City.
Beatrice M. Friedlander is a founding and current member of the Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, and of Michigan Attorneys for Animals. She serves on the Legislative Committee of the Animal Law Section and was active in the successful effort to overturn a law allowing mourning dove hunting in Michigan. She served on the board of Jazzpurr Society for Animal Protection, Windsor, Ontario; and is a hands-on volunteer at Leuk’s Landing in Ann Arbor, and at SASHA Farm, a sanctuary in Manchester, MI, where she can be found periodically (and happily) scooping litter and mucking stalls.
Bee received J.D. and B.A. (Sociology) degrees from The Ohio State University, and a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Non Profit Sector Studies from Wayne State University. She is a member of the Michigan and New York State bars, and describes herself as a recovering attorney. Bee and her husband share their home with cats Mica, Blanco and Julia.
Kristin L. Stewart, is an attorney and PhD in cultural geography with an emphasis on animals and society. Kris engages in teaching and research related to exploring the ethical, legal and social dimensions of human-animal relations. Kris is also an Ethics Advisor for Practical Ethics.
Thomas Aiello is a professor of history and Africana studies at Valdosta State University. He is the author of more than twenty books and dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles. His work helped amend the Louisiana constitution to make non unanimous juries illegal and was cited in the United States Supreme Court as part of its decision ruling them unconstitutional. His work was also part of the effort that led Major League Baseball to include Negro Leagues statistics in its historical record. He holds PhDs in history and anthrozoology, and he also writes about the relationship between humans and animals, in particular the role of speciesism and human supremacy in creating vulnerabilities for nonhuman animals. He lives in Valdosta, Georgia. Learn more at www.thomasaiellobooks.com.
Laura Jane Sheridan
Laura-Jane gained her Masters degree in Anthrozoology in 2021; the culmination of many years advocating for non-human animals, their rights and their significance for humans in a range of cultural contexts. Her studies led to a specialism in compassion fatigue; focusing on how this impacts animal welfare professionals, how these impacts can be mitigated and what steps can be taken to better support those working in the animal care sector.
When not working with international organisations to advance awareness of the human-animal relationship, Laura-Jane is a senior fundraising and communications professional, skilled in organisational development, strategic leadership and charity governance. She has worked across the European nonprofit sector for over fifteen years on behalf of a range of causes. She is Chair of a UK-based animal charity that is working to end the use of animals in medical research, and volunteers as a Companion Animal Care Assistant, supporting vulnerable people with care of their beloved animals.
Laura-Jane is based in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she is owned by two very fluffy Ragdoll cats, Crumble and Puff.