The Global Council for Animals is a volunteer group of change agents devoted to sweeping reforms for animal protection. We strategically work together like a “special ops” team to improve the lives of animals worldwide. We are committed to the success of all organizations in the Animal Wellness Group and the furthering of their missions.
“Animal lovers all have that moment. Mine happened when I was two years old. My brother was fishing. When I objected, he said he’d throw the fish back into the water. But it was the worm I was worried about. Besides, I said, after taking the hook out of the fish’s mouth, how could it kiss its sweetheart after such an ordeal?
It was the beginning of a personal desire to bring what I call loving-kindness to the world. When we are cruel to animals, we are cruel to ourselves. We reduce the humane part of our humanity. Every living being yearns to live in accordance with their own nature. I’ve tried to apply that philosophy to the many animal wellness initiatives in which I’ve participated over the years.
So much of my education on animal wellness issues has come from a great visionary and writer I’ve quietly followed for a number of years. I was never so presumptuous enough to call my brilliant mentor. Until one day I saw he was giving a book reading at a Pasadena bookstore. I finally had my chance to thank him for his inspiration. And now I’m serving on his Global Council for Animals. Thank you, Wayne, for all your years of hard work, inspiration and successes.
So, my work on this Council aims not at one particular initiative but at supporting the loving-kindness spirit embedded in four components: Animal Wellness Foundation, the Center for a Humane Economy, Animal Wellness Action and the Animal Wellness Political Action Committee. Wayne’s team works hard and smart. The financial and advocacy support we offer helps them do more of their noble work.”
Ms. Bennitt holds a B.S. in Political Science, M.A. in Counseling Psychology and was awarded the International Fellowship scholarship by American University, Washington, D.C. In her early career, Suzy served as Executive-Administrative Affairs Manager, The Yosemite Conservancy, Administrative Manager, World Without War Council, paralegal specializing in civil litigation and corporate transactions, and mental health crisis specialist. More recently, Suzy and her husband, Bob Bennitt, founded Pink Moment Press, a boutique publishing house that focuses on the lives of extraordinary human beings and themes of loving-kindness.
Suzy’s lifelong devotion to fostering kindness toward animals has been expressed through numerous philanthropic and volunteer associations. She has served on the National Council for the Humane Society of the US, Board of Lifeline for Pets, supported fundraising, adoption and spay-neuter programs with Fix Our Ferals, Humane Society of Marin County, and Humane Society of Pasadena, CA. She has served on the Yosemite Conservancy’s Council of Directors since 2004. Suzy is currently writing a fantasy-adventure novel with a kindness toward animals’ theme.
Born in Germany and living in California, Erika Brunson is a world-class interior designer with a keen eye for extraordinary pieces. With an impressive client list that includes members of the Saudi Arabian royal family, CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, and celebrities, Erika traveled the world in search of first-rate antiques and accessories before setting out to create her own line. The stylish designer is confident in her work and extremely approachable in character, qualities that paved the way for her ultimately launching her own luxury furniture reproduction line, Erika Brunson Couture Living. The line includes timeless classics and transitional pieces suited for both retro billionaires and the discerning tastemaker.
Erika is widely recognized as a philanthropist and animal rights advocate. She has proven her love animals through her work by founding the Coalition for Pets and Public Safety (COPPS), an organization that provides free or low-cost spay and neuter services in Los Angeles. She also served as a Commissioner for the Department of Animal Services twice. All proceeds from Erika’s exclusive line of furniture and accessories go toward animal charities.
“It remains society’s dirty little secret. And if you’ve ever been in the room at the shelter when a dog or cat is euthanized, you know why lots of people seem to pretend animal shelter euthanizing doesn’t exist. But it does. In staggering numbers. And the solution is so, so simple.
That’s why I helped found Coalition for Pets and Public Safety (COPPS), an organization that provides free or low-cost spay and neuter services in Los Angeles. While it’s in a caring human nature to want to help suffering animals, preventing the spigot of more unwanted animals from being born in the first place makes a whole lot of sense. And it’s also why I have served as a Commissioner for the Department of Animal Services for Los Angeles, twice.
But we can’t do it without a reliable funding source. So, all proceeds from my work in my exclusive line of furniture and accessories go toward animal charities. I want to help Wayne succeed like never before — literally and figuratively.
Hug your dog or cat tonight and remember that little room inside so many animal shelters that everyone wants to pretend doesn’t exist.”
“People always ask me why my passion belongs to animals and why my devotion is to be a voice for the voiceless. My answer often varies but to make a long, soap box story short….
My husband rescued the tiniest, frail kitten stuck in a wire fence in the middle of a field in Warwickshire, England. It truly inspired me. I discovered just how good it felt to help those who haven’t the ability to help themselves.
I have the fire inside me to fight every animal rights cause going. Yet I am especially drawn to a few: The cruelty of puppy mills, the barbaric atrocity of fur farming, the heartbreaking tourist attraction of horse drawn carriages, the pathetically stupid existence of animal testing, and the unnecessary wretchedness of farm animal treatment.
It’s hard to believe these acts of torture exist in our ‘modern’ world. I hope there’ll come a day when we’ll look back at these things and think how medieval, how wise to have done away with them — and with that kind of thinking … let’s all work together to make a change!”
Gloria Butler is the president of GB Management where she looks after a small roster of writers and musicians. Gloria has been active in animal rescue for a number of years and has spearheaded numerous campaigns, protests, and been instrumental in shutting down various pet stores that supported puppy mills.
Although Gloria is passionate about all animal causes, she finds herself particularly sensitive to the fur industry, horse-drawn carriages, puppy mills, and spay & neuter. Gloria has dedicated herself to helping animals in need by serving as a member of the Humane Society’s National Council and acting as Co-Chair for their To The Rescue! Fundraiser for the past couple of years. She received the Advocacy Award from Kitten Rescue in 2016, and the Sam Simon Award from Last Chance for Animals in 2019.
Mrs. Linton is a Scottish-born actress and filmmaker. She is a producing partner at Stormchaser Films, a Los Angeles-based independent production company that she founded in 2012. In addition to being a member of the Global Council for Animals, she works on a wide range of programs for Animal Wellness Action, the Animal Wellness Foundation, and the Center for a Humane Economy. She has an undergraduate degree from Pepperdine University and a J.D. from the University of West Los Angeles.
Louise Linton has been an animal welfare advocate since childhood. Since moving to the United States from Scotland, Louise has supported numerous animal welfare organizations through her activism, fundraising, and financial contributions. Louise’s passion for animal welfare and conservation has been a moral imperative since childhood, and in recent years has become a large and consuming aspect of her life.
In 2019, she created The Louise Linton Charitable Fund which aims to protect the wellbeing of people and animals both locally and in under-resourced communities around the world. The fund is designed to provide financial support to the existing work of various 501(c)3 organizations who work across the spectrum and across the globe targeting a wide variety of animal welfare issues, be they on land or in the ocean. Louise is using her time in Washington, DC to advocate for animal welfare. Her specific focus in 2020 has been the enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, as it pertains to puppy mills and large or exotic animals in roadside zoos.
“Changing policy and legislation changes lives — including animal lives.
Since moving to Washington, D.C. from California, I have shifted much of my philanthropic focus to changing federal government policy and legislation on animals because it has the potential to prevent unending cruelty of millions of animals in perpetuity.
I’m inspired to do this because it’s hard to imagine anything more heartless than an innocent animal caged in a testing lab being intentionally tortured to test medical treatments – utterly unnecessarily.
Animal testing is a medieval archaic concept in the age when computers and other modern analyses can do it without doing harm to animals. And so much of this needless torture is fueled by government policy and funding. And we can change that. We are changing that.
With Animal Wellness Action, I work to modernize the FDA approval process as it pertains to the participation of domestic animals in the evaluation of pharmaceutical development.
In fact, AWA has a long list of actions on policy and legislative changes to help protect animals.
From my earliest years born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland years before coming to America, animal welfare has been my passion. In 2019, I founded The Louise Linton Charitable Fund to formalize my commitment. My philanthropy is now international and widespread including humanitarian, environmental and conservation through community activism and fundraising. But my passion for helping combat needless lab testing of animals remains my supreme passion. I invite you to join me and the AWA team.”
“I give a damn. That’s my motto.
I wish I could say there’s one animal that I care the most about but there really isn’t. I care about all of them.
Every day I read the news about animal cruelty in places around the world. That’s what keeps me up at night. It’s just how we’re made. At least I am, and the people in my life. We care. We give a damn.
When I decided to close my business in 2009, my husband reminded me that, instead of working 10-hour days, seven days a week on a business, I can work just as hard on something else about which I care passionately. Some years earlier, a stray cat kept crawling up the walls outside my second-floor window. Of course, I let him into my house and into my heart. I’ve been rescuing animals ever since – first one, then two, then three. Our animals make our house a home.
That was when I realized: I found my purpose! Animal welfare and animal protection. And, specifically, I want to be a part of Wayne’s growing army after years of working with him and admiring his exceptional ability to get so much accomplished.
For many people during a pandemic, and the extended period of time afterward, charitable causes can take a back seat — financially and emotionally. This makes our work even more important. The pandemic has prevented me from holding fundraisers for animal issues. But we can still do good things. That’s why I’m on board. That’s why the work must keep going.
Our household is now down to three dogs and two cats (we lost one of our beloved cats recently). And our cause keeps moving forward.
That’s still what keeps me up at night. I still give a damn. And I love working with this team that feels the same way.”
Stacey Dorfman Kivowitz, a resident of Dallas, is trailblazer in the fashion lingerie world and founder of Sheers — The Bodywear Bar. Stacey is also a licensed pilot, a vegan, a political junkie, a world traveler and a French-speaking Francophile working on her Italian and Spanish.
Today, the Johns Hopkins University graduate, can be found in California and Texas running her energy companies, working as chairman and owner of Dorfman Production Company, fostering animals at the Kivo Humane Halfway House, or directing the Stacey and Don Kivowitz Charitable Foundation.
Stacey is widely known for her deep civic involvement with North Texas Food Bank, Johns Hopkins Alumni Association, World Affairs Council, School Year Abroad, Vogel Alcove and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Her early career included working in D.C. with Ed Rollins (post-Reagan White House), former U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and U.S. Senator Chic Hecht, R-Nev.. Stacey served as Learning Chair of Young Entrepreneurs Organization.
She is a leading advocate for animal welfare with services on on the National Council of The Humane Society of the United States and the board of the SPCA of Texas. She also works in Los Angeles with Last Chance for Animals and Mercy for Animals.
Stacey’s husband, Don Kivowitz, an entrepreneur and investor in healthcare, real estate and cannabis industry, is on The Annenberg Board of Performing Arts providing opportunities for under privileged youth. He is also on the board of After School All Star, benefitting at risk children. The Kivowitz’s current project is a documentary to raise awareness about global animal abuse.
Joanne Mizell is a health insurance industry executive, spending 31 years assisting national corporate employers design, fund and deliver benefits to their global employees. She is currently chief operating officer for Banner|Aetna, an Arizona-based insurance company, jointly owned by Banner Health and Aetna/CVS.
Raised on the beaches of Orange County, California, Joanne attended Cal State Fullerton while working full-time to support herself. She is a devout Christian who enjoys the beach, sailing, skiing, hiking, reading and working towards becoming the person that God designed her to be. Joanne’s primary residence is in Scottsdale, where she lives with her husband, Gary, and their precious cat, Stella.
Joanne’s love of animals, and disbelief that humans could cause them pain or suffering, drives her advocacy work to see the reduction of animal cruelty. She has enjoyed and been enriched by serving on Humane Lobby Day committees, lobbying in Washington DC, and testifying before the Arizona legislature on behalf of policies to benefit companion and farm animals.
“I have a deeply held belief that positive improvement in the area of animal agriculture has the ability to reduce suffering for such a great number of beating hearts and sentient beings. As they say in the business world, it’s about scale. How many animals can we help with our efforts? Yes, I want to save them all from harm – pets and wildlife too. Yet farm animal advocacy is my greatest passion and, in my opinion, has the most potential for improving the lives on animals.
Fundamentally, it’s about concern for “victims” that has driven me. Indeed, from the time I was a small child, I felt a sadness and compassion for anyone who was mistreated, bullied or otherwise shunned by other kids—and has no defense or recourse, other than to be victims. I was drawn to these kids and wanted to help them.
At the same time, I always loved animals. I had no understanding, at that time, how much animals suffered this same fate of being victimized by those stronger—humans—and being unable to defend themselves from those who heartlessly cause harm.
My desire to help grew as I learned about not just factory farming but other human victimization of animals for clothing, entertainment, luxury and more. I began formally working within the AZ and federal legislatures to do constituent lobbying and help pass bills protecting animals when I first met Wayne. And I’m so pleased to be a part of his team today doing such far-reaching, thoughtful and effective work on behalf of animals.”
“I love all animals. Always have. But I concede there is something special about looking into the eyes of an elephant. Giant. Mighty. Thoughtful. Ancient. Noble.
Now I have the chance to save many thousands of them – and to help them thrive for generations, safe from legal hunting and from illegal poaching.
I am working with a talented international team, including Animal Wellness Acton and the Center for a Humane Economy, to craft an agreement for Zambia’s national parks to accept an animal-friendly migration of up to 30,000 elephants from Botswana, it’s neighbor to the south where the government has changed its policy to allow trophy hunting.
There is an elegant answer to a complex problem: Move the elephants to a safer place. The ecosystem in Zambia seem ideal. The local enthusiasm is there. We’re on the precipice of doing a hydrologic study to make certain the elephants would have plenty of water, and we’re designing a proposal for international financing.
If we succeed, Botswana will take a big step toward restoring its reputation as a protector of the great African mammals. We’re working with Zambia to introduce the concept of adding in a private sector ecotourism projects to protect the elephants and generate local income and bank interest in potentially financing the project. And the Center for a Humane Economy will play a key role in reducing trophy hunting at its source.
I wake up every morning wondering what can be done today to further this innovative initiative that would not only save thousands of elephants, combat trophy hunting and fund local investments but could prove as a viable solution for other wild animals.”
Jennifer Sullivan operates an independent international consulting business and is a special adviser to the US-Korea Institute at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Sullivan is also a consultant for Japan Bank for International Cooperation, focusing primarily on projects in Myanmar and Indonesia.
Prior to starting her consulting business, Ms. Sullivan was the General Counsel of International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, overseeing management of 140 staff in 12 countries. She was IFC Deputy General Counsel and before that was the Chief Counsel responsible for IFC’s investment activities in the power sector, the financial markets sector, all investments in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, as well as IFC’s Treasury, Syndications and Underwriting functions.
Ms. Sullivan spent several years with the international law firm of White & Case. She also has handled public offerings, mergers and other securities transactions as an attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Ms. Sullivan has held a number of key positions in professional organizations, including Chair of the American Bar Association’s Committee on International Investment and Development. She has served as board member or advisor to a wide range of domestic and international animal protection groups. Ms. Sullivan received her juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School and holds a B.A. from Brandeis University.