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OUR TEAM

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

With over 100 years of combined experience in animal welfare,

Our team is truly out of this world! 

Get to Know Us

Our HQ Team comes from and travels to all places near and far.

 

Here at Animal Balance, we see the value in all beings. We want to be a catalyst for positive change, and since our beginnings in 2004, we’ve been driven by the same ideas we initially founded our NGO upon support, empowerment, and progress. Learn more about our mission, our vision, and how we go about making the changes we want to see.

OUR BOARD
OF DIRECTORS

Emma Clifford
RV on Land
BOD

President

Emma Clifford graduated from the University of Central England with a BA hon in Sociological Research in 1995. Emma was born in the UK into a family who rescued animals. As a teenager she became vegan and began actively protesting blood sports and other forms of animal cruelty, such as vivisection. After graduating, she moved to the United States and joined the animal welfare movement. For 8 years she worked at a local, national and international level, immersing herself in the movement and learning how to manage a successful non-profit organization. While at The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF/SPCA) she developed and directed the feral cat, foster and sterilization programs. She was also the city representative for the SF/SPCA. She has presented at conferences and advised other humane societies in how to implement these programs in their cities and reduce the city’s euthanasia rate. In 2003, Emma discovered that the cats and dogs of the Galapagos Islands were being poisoned as a means of population control. In response, Emma founded Animal Balance in 2004. Shortly after, Animal Balance began their work sterilizing the cats and dogs throughout the Galapagos Islands. Due to the success of this program, Animal Balance has expanded operations globally. Emma gives lectures and consults with many animal welfare organizations around the world to help find ways to reduce the cruelty and suffering of animals and implement humane and sustainable animal management programs. She now lives in Oregon with her animal pack and enjoys hiking, camping and exploring.

Alexandra Sangmeister

Image by Kevin Ianeselli

Director

Alexandra Sangmeister is the Founder and Executive Director of Marine Watch International, based in San Francisco, California. MWI’s mission is to protect the oceans by promoting the sharing of information and fostering collaboration. Alexandra has over 30 years of experience in international scientific research, conservation and development. Some of the organizations that she has worked with include Smithsonian Institution, Pretoma, WildAid, and The Marine Mammal Center.

Dr. Mike Greenberg, DVM

Cooking Outdoors

Director

Dr. Michael Greenberg currently serves as Director of Outreach Programs for Maddie’s Fund. He has three major focus areas: (1) working with animal shelters and communities throughout the country to establish effective lifesaving programs, (2) developing web-based tools to help shelters more effectively use their data, and (3) conducting research and development surrounding the issue of access to veterinary care.

Prior to joining the team at Maddie’s Fund, Dr. Greenberg served as program director for Target Zero, working with communities across the US to achieve 90% or greater live release rates from their animal shelters through implementation of current best-practice strategies.

Dr. Greenberg completed his training in shelter medicine with the Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. Since that time, he has worked clinically and as a consultant for multiple public and private animal shelters throughout the United States.

Dr. Greenberg is based in Nashville, TN where he helped to establish Pet Community Center, a low-cost non-profit veterinary clinic; he then served as their medical director for several years. He has a particular interest in helping animal shelters and low-cost clinics find inexpensive ways to use data and technology to help improve their efficiency and more effectively target their efforts.

In addition to his work in the US, Dr. Greenberg enjoys volunteering with organizations throughout the world, participating in animal welfare and public health campaigns of all shapes and sizes.

Dr. Raymond Deonanan, DVM

Image by Pars Sahin

Director

Dr. Raymond

Carla Naden

Image by Tommy Lisbin

Director

Carla Naden is the Director of the non-profit, Animal Synergy, also known as Synergy Animal Hospice. They believe by working together as rescues and individuals, through awareness & education we can change the world on behalf of the most vulnerable beings. Synergy’s focus is geriatric, special needs and terminally ill animals who have run out of time at animal control. Their souls are restored for whatever time remains. Synergy’s goal is to 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 world.

     Carla also specializes in art gone wild, glitter, busted animals called love nuggets, and Aesthetic Screams-In-The-Night. She loves traveling and like her artwork, her history is just as varied, colorful, and completely unexpected. Carla 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. Carla then did some traveling and currently resides in San Diego.

     Carla is a strong proponent of animal / human rights and those influence her life's work & artwork. She uses her artistic abilities to promote kindness and compassion toward animals (globally). She feels creativity must come out or it destroys you and that humans are not the only important animals. She has a strong love of collage, old animals, explosive paint devices, making a mess, experiencing different cultures, and spilled pigment/ink on rugs... And she loves to laugh!

Kimberley ditsworth

Image by Ahmed Zayan

Director

Kim

joanna schmit

Image by Laura Pluth

Director

Joanna Schmit DVM, MS DACVIM-Oncology joined the Animal Balance team initially in 2005 and has volunteered on various trips around the world. She attended veterinary school at the University of Minnesota and completed her internship, Master’s Degree and Oncology residency at the University of Illinois. She is a board certified veterinary oncologist and brings technician skiils as well as clinic coordination skills to AB. Dr. Schmit practiced in specialty referral medicine for 10 years and is currently faculty at the University of Illinois Cancer Center where she runs the clinical trials team.   She loves to be outdoors, enjoys hiking, biking and camping.  She will travel anywhere for live music especially to see Mumford and Sons.

Why do you love being a veterinarian? I love to help families when they need it most.  Cancer is a hard diagnosis to face and making decisions about your pet’s health care can be one of the most heart wrenching things we face as pet parents.   While all cancers can’t be cured, providing comfort and quality of life is what I love to do. I am my patient’s advocate. I am honest with owners and when we no longer have medical options, we will face that together. 

What types of cancer do you enjoy treating? Lymphoma and osteosarcoma are my favorites.  Lymphoma is a very treatable cancer and we can often enjoy a great quality of life while on chemotherapy.  Osteosarcoma is a unique cancer in which the dog disease is very similar to that in children.  We can use what we learn in the treatment of dogs with osteosarcoma and help children as well.  I studied osteosarcoma during my residency and Master’s and am excited for the future of its treatment. 

What is the best part of being an Oncologist? The pets and the people who love them so very much.  There is nothing more special than knowing you made things easier and provided comfort and love at the end of a pet’s life.

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Compassionate Service: Helping people help animals through kindness, compassion, and respect.

Cultural Respect: Actively listening and responding with understanding, open-mindedness, and mindfulness, sharing global social awareness.

Sharing Information, Resources, and Tools: Establishing high-quality veterinary medical care in every environment - by providing learning opportunities and resources we encourage veterinarians, veterinary students, and technicians to participate in high-quality, high-volume sterilization campaigns.

Empowerment: Acting with ethical responsibility, inspiring and encouraging positive actions on behalf of animals.  

OUR ADVISORY BOARD

Dr.  Sandra. Marilyn Cruz

Biologista, Veterinaria & Director de ABG Galápagos Islands 

Roger Tabor

Biologist, Television presenter, Naturalist, Behaviorist, and award-winning author

Jessi Princiotto

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer - Animal Protection New Mexico

Valarie Benka, MS, MA, MPP

Project Manager for AAC&D

Dr. Susan Monger, DVM

Founder and Director International Veterinary Consultants

Dr. Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DABVP

Fran Marino Professor of Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida

Maia Kincaid, PhD

Director of Sedona International School for Animal Communication

Dr. Godfrey Merlin

Biologist - Galápagos Islands

Dr. Katie Spaulding, DVM, MPH

Conservation medicine veterinarian

Dr. Cathy King, DVM, MS, PhD

CEO and Founder of World Vets

Dairne Ryan

South || West || Latin American Advisor & Liaison for AB

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