2018 Advisory Board

Becky Robinson, National Director, Alley Cat Allies

The most effective method to permanently reduce and then manage cat populations is through a community based Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program for feral cats and adoption of tame house cats. By working collaboratively with local agencies, local people and local veterinarians, Animal Balance is poised to create a program that could serve as a blue print for other human inhabited islands around the world.”

Becky Robinson is President and Founder of Alley Cat Allies, the nation’s leading cat advocacy organization. She stands at the forefront of the global movement to protect and improve the lives of all cats.

Becky founded Alley Cat Allies in 1990 after discovering a colony of alley cats in Washington, D.C. Learning the local animal control advocated killing them, she resolved to protect alley cats right then and there. Becky and her organization popularized Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in the United States, and developed best practices that are still in place today. She established three spay/neuter clinics in the Washington, D.C. area that are models for feral cat veterinary care.

A highly sought-after authority on cats, Becky meets with groups and policymakers throughout the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Her book, The Evolution of the Cat Revolution, documents 25 years of pioneering efforts to revolutionize the way cats are treated in the United States.

Becky holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Bethany College.


Dr. Sandra Marilyn Cruz Bedon, Executive Director, ABG

Dr. Sandra Marilyn Cruz Bedon, has been a close partner to Animal Balance on the Galapagos Islands for many years.  She is a native Galapaganian and the first Executive Director of the Agency for Regulation and Control of Biosecurity and Quarantine for Galapagos (ABG), which was created as an agency of the Ministry of Environment in Ecuador, under President Rafael Correa.

Her role as the leader of this agency is to be in charge of controlling, regulating, preventing, and decreasing the risk of the introduction, movement, and dispersion of exotic organisms, by any means, in the urban and rural areas of the archipelago.

Dr. Cruz, graduated with a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Higher Institute of Agricultural Sciences of Havana, Cuba, and has 16 years of experience in the management, monitoring and surveillance of Galápagos endemic wildlife. She has also provided technical advice in the area of ​​control of introduced animals, and in response to health emergencies. In addition, since January 2011, she was the Provincial Director of the Ecuadorian Agribusiness Quality Assurance Agency (Agrocalidad) in Galápagos, an institution that until the issuance of the Decree 1319 partially fulfilled the functions of the ABG.

While Dr. Cruz has wide-ranging responsibilities for monitoring all introduced species into the Galapagos Islands, she has always been sensitive to the importance of community-based programs to promote spay/neuter of Galapagos cats and dogs, in order to protect endemic animals the archipelago.

Susan Monger, Director, International Veterinary Consultants

Dr. Monger is a 1986 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. After 10 years in private practice she moved on to follow her true passion of providing veterinary care and strengthening the human-animal bond in economically challenged areas of the world.

While studying Spanish in Guatemala and Mexico for a year, she began working with local veterinary providers addressing animal welfare. In 1999 she took a position with Remote Area Medical which became Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS) in 2001. RAVS, a service-based, learning program, provides clinical and cultural learning experiences for veterinary students and veterinarians in both the United States and internationally.

Over the years Dr. Monger has worked domestically to provide veterinary care on Native American reservations and in Appalachian communities in the USA. Internationally, she has lead teaching programs in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Bolivia, Peru, the Dominican Republic, The Bahamas, Sri Lanka, India and Ethiopia. Her work facilitated the development of sustainable veterinary outreach programs focusing on the organization of teaching clinics and training programs in small animal anesthesia and surgery and overseeing the HSVMA RAVS equine programs in Peru, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Continuing to pursue her passion for animal welfare, in January 2014, Dr. Monger established International Veterinary Consultants with the goal of developing sustainable veterinary care programs dedicated to improving the education of veterinary professionals and volunteers in developing areas of the world.

Under her 16 year tenure as International Director of HSVMA RAVS, she developed and complied The Fundamentals and Standards of Small Animal Field Clinic Surgery, a widely used document addressing anesthesia and surgery in challenging locations.


Richard Wolocombe, Award-Winning Nature Videographer, Galapagos Resident

Richard Wollocombe is an Emmy and RTS award winning and BAFTA nominated cameraman with fifteen years experience specializing in terrestrial and aquatic natural history filmmaking. His experience spans Blue Chip Natural History, Presenter-Led and Observational Documentary genres.

After graduating from University, Richard’s passion for nature and adventure led him to the Galapagos Islands. He spent many years there as a naturalist and pioneering dive guide gaining invaluable experience as a field naturalist. Richard has worked with many of the worlds leading cinematographers and directors and credits these highly talented, generous filmmakers for sharing their knowledge that has contributed to Richard’s knowledge and skill as a natural history cameraman.

More recently Richard contributed sequences on Discovery’s landmark North America series produced by Silverback as well as BBC's Monsoon and Life Stories and was a principal Natural History cameraman on Volcano Island, Silverback's presenter led series Mystery of The Lost Islands. He just completed co-producing and was principal cameraman on the BBC's Natural World: Changing Islands.


Dr. Roger Tabor, Author, Biologist, International Feral Cat Expert

“Your project is a bold project combining trap-neuter and return technique with local involvement in the public outreach campaign. It stands a very good probability of working as you have outlined it, and I wish you success with the project." 

Roger Tabor is a television presenter, biologist, naturalist, behaviourist and award-winning author.

Most of his TV presenting has been on wildlife, plants and animals, yet he is best known for his groundbreaking BBC TV series 'Cats' filmed around the world.as a biologist he is recognised as one of the worlds leading authorities on cats.


Carla Naden, Artist, Director of Synergy Rescue and Rehab, Bohemian Unicorn

 I specialize in art gone wild, glitter, busted animals called love nuggets. I love traveling. Like my artwork, my history is just as varied, colorful, and completely unexpected. I started off with a Montessori-based education (in Baltimore, MD) and then morphed into a Friends (Quaker) high school. After that, it was a tour of Florida and Montana colleges. I then did some traveling and currently reside in San Diego.

 I am a strong proponent of animal / human rights and that often influences my life's work & artwork. I use my artistic abilities to promote kindness and compassion toward animals (globally). I feel creativity must come out or it destroys you and that humans are not the only important animals. 

 I dabble in the world of art under the alias Mulletpony & Manrabbit. I am the Director of the non profit, Animal Synergy. I believe by working together and through awareness & education we can create great change together. Synergy rescues geriatric, special needs and terminally ill animals who have run out of time at animal control. Their souls are restored for whatever time remains. Our goal is provide respect and dignity to all beings, no matter their age, appearance, or health status, & increase the save rate of all animals at shelters, promoting a life saving nation.

Animal Synergy Website

Elizabeth Peach, Licensed Veterinary Technician and Instructor at St. George’s University Veterinary School, Grenada; former Peace Corps Volunteer on the Galapagos.

“My experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer provided a great deal of perspective with regard toward how veterinary medicine is practiced in different parts of the world and the attitudes people have towards animals.  The Galapagos Islands for two years were my home and the people and animals there my family and therefore I strongly see the need for spay/neuter programs to control the pet population and programs to provide client education in general.”

Elizabeth Peach is a Demonstrator in the Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery Department at St. George's University in Grenada, West Indies. She has over 15 years of experience as a licensed veterinary technician, with a focus in shelter medicine and spay/neuter clinics for low-income clientele.  Her interests include non-surgical forms of sterilization and the One Health, One Medicine Initiative. She volunteers her time with several nonprofit groups that work internationally and with Native American reservations to set up MASH-style sterilization clinics.

Ms. Peach earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Tufts University in 1999, and her Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology from Bel-Rea in 2000.

Julie Levy, DVM, Ph.D, ACVIM, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida

"Efforts to control homeless animals by lethal means are typically frustrated by the remarkable ability of the survivors to repopulate, leading to a continuous cycle of killing and community opposition.
Sterilization of free-roaming animals loosely owned by the community is the only viable long-term solution. Recognizing the bond that the community shares with these cats and dogs, Animal Balance has designed a
project that will engage the community in a humane and effective animal control program that meets the needs of all stakeholders in this remarkable and fragile environment."

Dr. Julie Levy is a professor of shelter medicine at the University of Florida. She obtained her DVM for the University of California at Davis and her PhD at North Carolina State University. She served on the organizing committee for the new American Board of Veterinary Practitioners specialty in shelter medicine and became boarded in 2017.

Dr. Levy’s research and clinical interests center on the health and welfare of animals in shelters, feline infectious diseases, and humane alternatives for cat population control. Dr. Levy co-founded Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the College of Veterinary Medicine, an educational and discovery initiative with a global impact on the care of homeless animals. She is the founder of Operation Catnip, a nonprofit university-based community cat spay/neuter program that has sterilized more than 50,000 cats in Gainesville, Florida since 1998.




Fred Pearce, Journalist and Author

Fred Pearce, author of The New Wild, is an award-winning author and journalist based in London. He has reported on environmental, science, and development issues from eighty-five countries over the past twenty years. Environment consultant at New Scientist since 1992, he also writes regularly for the Guardian newspaper and Yale University’s prestigious e360 website. Pearce was voted UK Environment Journalist of the Year in 2001 and CGIAR agricultural research journalist of the year in 2002, and he won a lifetime achievement award from the Association of British Science Writers in 2011. His many books include With Speed and Violence, Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, The Coming Population Crash, and The Land Grabbers.


Dr. Godfrey Merlen, Biologist, Conservationist

Godfrey Merlen was born in England but has been a permanent resident of the Galápagos Islands for the last 43 years. He was deeply involved in the establishment of the Galápagos Whale Sanctuary, which contains a wide diversity of cetacea, the development of the Special Law for Galápagos, and the establishment of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. Although he is no longer an employee of the Galápagos National Park, he currently works as an assessor and collaborator with the National Park and the newly created Biosecurity Agency, whose work Merlen considers the most important for the survival of the Galápagos biodiversity. He was delighted to team up with his long-time friend, Dee Boersma, in the search for methods to secure the survival of the Galápagos Penguin, a charismatic, endemic, and endangered species.

Consie Von Gontard, Director of Training, Florida State Animal Response Coalition


Consie von Gontard began her volunteer career in animal welfare in 2000. Consie has received Community Service Awards and Commendations for her international work in Mexico and the Bahamas. Most recently the SART Responder of the Year award in 2013 for exceptional service to SART and Florida Emergency Planning and Response. National and International natural disaster relief experience includes responses to fires, floods, hurricanes, a volcanic eruption in Chaiten, Chili and the 2004  Boxing Day Tsunami in Thailand. She has also responded to numerous large scale animal cruelty cases, including puppy mills, hoarding and blood sports.

She has been an instructor on a national level for disaster response since 2006.

She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Florida State Animal Response Coalition and the Director of Training.


Stan Minasian, Director of Animal Fund

We are in complete support of Animal Balance's efforts to engage in a program of trap, neuter and release of feral cats and dogs throughout the Galapagos Islands. This time-proven strategy is the only method guaranteed to humanely reduce the population of feral cats and dogs and Animal Fund is totally behind this ambitious effort.”

Stan Minasian is the Director of Animal Fund and is an incredible film director and videographer. For decaades he has been creating thought provoking documentaries on a range of cutting edge animal rights issues.

Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D, Biologist, Author

Jonathan Balcombe is an ethologist, and the author of four popular science books on the inner lives of animals, including Pleasurable Kingdom, Second Nature, and What a Fish Knows, a New York Times best-seller. He has published over 60 scientific papers and book chapters on animal behavior and animal protection. Formerly Department Chair for Animal Studies with the Humane Society University, and Director of Animal Sentience with The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy, Jonathan currently serves as Associate Editor for the journal Animal Sentience. He also teaches a course in animal sentience for the Viridis Graduate Institute.


Maia Jill Kincaid, Ph.D, Community Organizer and Consultant for Holistic Intuition, Galapagos.

"Not only is TNR (Trap, Neuter & Return) the kindest, most effective management for feral animals it is a balanced holistic method, that even young people can be positively involved in."

Maia Kincaid, Ph.D., is a world-renowned pioneer and leader in the field of Telepathic Animal and Nature Communication. Maia is celebrating 21 years helping students and clients from around the world communicate with their pets.

From the time Maia was a little girl her main focus was on animals and how to improve their lives. She had a great desire to have two-way dialogs with them. She experimented with communication and had success in hearing them over the years. One afternoon she had an idea which she immediately tested and discovered she was able to carry on a two-way conversation with her dog, Winston. Her life changed tremendously in that moment. Winston was so joyous and appreciative at being heard. From that point on, Maia was inspired with the possibility for all animals to have their voice. Within weeks of her first conversations, word spread about what she was doing and calls began to come in from people around the world, asking her to talk with their animals.

Some of Maia’s early clients began to ask her to teach them how to do what she was doing. Maia will never forget how her students were immediately able to talk with the animals when shown how. In her very first class, Maia realized that she actually had no special skill or special capacity different than anyone else. She realized that ALL humans could easily carry on two-way conversations with any animal, anywhere on the planet.

Maia was living in the Galapagos Islands when she met Emma Clifford.  She assisted introducing the local residents in preparation for the very first Animal Balance Campaign to the Galapagos. Since that first campaign, Maia has talked with a number of animals who have been served by Animal Balance in the Galapagos Islands and Dominican Republic. What the animals shared about their experiences was truly enlightening and fascinating. They helped to shape the structure of the campaigns and inspired continued campaigns. One of these stories (Mash Unit Dogs) was shared in the book: Dogs Say the Darndest Things: Are You Listening? An Animal Communicator’s Dialogs with Dogs

 Maia has written six books including; Dogs Say the Darndest Things, The Cat’s Meow: Chats with Cool Cats, Animal Communicator Adventures: The Journey Begins, Animal Communicator Adventures: The Power of Love, and Animal Communicator Adventures: Coming Home, Chat with a Cat and You’ll Never Look Back

Maia is very active in training animal & nature communicators around the world via teleconference calls, and in person in India, Japan, New York and Sedona, Arizona where she resides with her husband Dev Galloway, horse Delight, goat Chanella, pony Reba, and cats, Kato, Simone and Thai.


Animal Communication World Website