Board of Directors
John’s first word in this life was rabbit, and he has been an animal person and a student of the human-animal interrelationship ever since. When not tending to stray, injured, or confused critters John followed a path in business. He was a vice president and publisher with Affinity Group, Inc., producers of magazines and books relating to recreation. John is past president and board member of the Western Publications Association, and a founding member of Professional Small Business Investment Co., a federally chartered SBIC.
He was chairperson of RV Care, Inc., a recreation vehicle dealer coalition, has served on several RV industry committees and is the current chair of an industry task force focusing on improving customer satisfaction with the RV product. John shares his home Northern California with magical and wise companion animals who were once homeless but quickly adapted to being treated as royalty.
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.
Board President and Secretary
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.
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.
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.
Elan Abrell, J.D., Ph.D.
Elan Abrell received his J.D. from Berkeley Law School at the University of California, and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His dissertation, Saving Animals: Everyday Practices of Care and Rescue in the US Animal Sanctuary Movement (funded by a grant form the National Science Foundation), examines how sanctuary caregivers respond to a range of ethical dilemmas and material constraints while attempting to meet the various and sometimes conflicting needs of rescued animals. He is a 2017-18 Farmed Animal Law & Policy Fellow at the Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard University, where his current research focuses on cellular agriculture, a new field of agricultural production intended to reduce the negative impacts of animal-based agriculture on animals and the environment. Prior to that, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Urban Studies Department at Queens College, CUNY. He was also a Animals and Society Institute/Wesleyan Animal Studies 2014 Human-Animal Studies Fellow.
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.