• Prince Lorenzo Borghese

    Lorenzo BorgheseFounder and president of Royal Treatment, a pet line created for his beloved Black Lab, Belle as well as founder and president of www.royalpetclub.com. Prince Lorenzo has been a longtime animal advocate and has worked with numerous animal welfare organizations including North Shore Animal League, the ASPCA, the AC&C of NYC, in which he is co-founder of NYC4ACC, a group of young professionals who organize fundraisers for this city shelter, and is an Ambassador to the American Humane Association. Prince Lorenzo is the President of Animal Aid of the United States.

  • Karen Talbot LaSasso

    Karen TalbotAfter ten years as the Director of Occupational Health, Karen walked away from her career to concentrate on her animal rescue mission. She founded St. Joseph Elementary School “Paws for a Cause”, The MOMS Rescue and Georgia Puppy Caravan. With an undying passion for children and animals, it only seemed natural to combine the two to speak for each other. As the mother of a young child named Matthew, a very tight bond was formed between mother and son. Matthew would be given the up-front approach on matters of the heart in the hopes that he would make his world a different place for all! This approach was done in a way that made Matthew want to learn and be involved in what went on in his world, outside the bubble we live in. She is very proud that he will carry on her work long after we are gone. Together with Lorenzo, Karen also founded Animal Aid USA and the Amazing Grace Caravan and the Miracle Ranch in Ludowici, GA.

  • Georgina Bloomberg

    Georgina is an Equine Welfare Ambassador for the ASPCA, Chair-woman of the Horse Council of the Humane Society of the United States, and a member of the Friends of Finn committee for the Humane Society of the United States, a group dedicated to fighting puppy mills. She is also on the board of the Equestrian AID Foundation, the Hampton Classic Horse Show, the Bloomberg Sisters Foundation, the Bloomberg Family Foundation and is on the board of Trustees of the United States Equestrian Team.

    In 2006 Georgina started ‘The Rider’s Closet’, a program that collects used riding clothes and donates them to intercollegiate riding programs and other riders in need. Now based at and run by Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, TRC has collected and donated thousands of clothing items to needy riders.

    Georgina is an advocate of pet adoption and believes that the United States can adopt its way out of killing. By traveling with the Animal Aid caravans to Liberty County, Georgia, she has committed to changing the course of history for shelter animals with the ONE rural shelter at a time philosophy. Currently she lives with five adopted dogs and one very hungry little adoptable pig: Hugo, Mona, Mabel, Chopper, Stella and Wilbur.

  • Jodie Richers

    Having worked in the nonprofit arena for many years as the Development Director and founding member from 1975 for A CHILD IS ADOPTED (an international aid and adoption organization), and also as the past Board President for Children's Charities of America, Jodie possesses a skill set ideal for leveraging dollars into the most efficient action possible. She also arranged all transportation for children being adopted from 1969 until 2010. Jodie was Knighted in 2003.
    Driven by a deep passion for animals, Jodie Richers founded Dogs on Death Row in 2006 along with the following organizations: Habitats for Dogs and Cats, Cats on Death Row, Horses on Death Row and Canine Heroes

    Jodie is tireless in her efforts to rescue, rehabilitate, and find homes for unwanted dogs everywhere. She is also committed to educating the public about the inhumane nature of gassing and heart prick as a means of killing animals.

    Although Jodie is the heart of DODR, many people contribute their time, talent, and treasure to keep us going. We hope that you, too, will become a valued DODR supporter and friend. www.dodr.org

    We pride ourselves on our fiscal responsibility. Jodie has also founded the "Beat the Heat" Campaign. Countless amounts of animals have been sterilized through the month long campaigns that have become annual events. Jodie has been a long time supporter of the MOMS (Making of Miracle Stories) Animal Rescue and has helped make Miracle Ranch what it is today and is a founding member of the Ranch and Animal Aid USA.

Our Team

  • Dante P. Lasasso

    Operations Manager, Universal Supply Company,LLC By day Dante manages a one hundred million dollar building supply company. He is also the donor of the medical mobile unit that was taken to Blackshear, GA and presented to our southern division. The unit will be used for spay and neuter clinics to help “fix” the problems of unwanted animals in the very rural areas that have no veterinarians. Dante heads the transport division of the MOMS Rescue. His custom designed transport rig with built in crates, heating and air conditioning, make the monthly trips to Georgia more efficient. Dante is the monetary supporter of the transport division and performs all the monthly driving. Dante is the Vice President of the MOMS Rescue and together with his wife, Karen successfully have rescued over 1000 animals since 2008. He is Cofounder of Miracle Ranch as well as Vice President of Animal Aid.

  • Sharon Zimmer

    Sharon serves as Treasurer/Secretary for both Animal Aid USA and the MOMS Animal Rescue. Sharon joined the MOMS Rescue in 2010 and has been on almost every transport since May of 2011. Sharon was born and raised in Galloway Township, NJ and currently works at John Brooks Recovery Center in Atlantic City, NJ as Client Accounting Supervisor. She lives in Egg Harbor City, NJ with her husband Ron. Sharon and Ron are known as the "Zimmer Retirement Home for Seniors and Misfits" as they adopt the senior dogs. Sharon is on the board of the MOMS Rescue, Animal Aid and Cats on Death Row and was one of the founders of Miracle Ranch in Ludowici, GA.

  • Ron Zimmer

    With 9 years experience as an Electronics Helicopter Technician for the military and an ASE Certified Master Mechanic, Advanced L1, L2, Ron heads the Fleet Division of the MOMS Rescue as well as Animal Aid.He also holds a NJ Automobile Inspector’s License enabling him to oversee all the cars being driven routinely to GA on the monthly trips. With a combination of 30 years experience in all vehicle repairs and a certification as an FAA A & P Mechanc in airframe and powerplant operations, Ron ensures the safety and maintenance on all our transportation vehicles. Together with his wife, Sharon, they have also founded MOMS Miracle Ranch.

  • Donna Marie Roberts

    Donna grew up in Hatboro, PA, and graduated from Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing in 1980, as a Registered Nurse. Donna has worked at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia for 32 years. Her nursing career has focused in Women's and Childrens Health Care, specializing in Labor & Delivery. Donna is certified in Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Inpatient Obstetrics, and Critical Care Obstetrics, and has served as Chairperson of a Unit Based Autonomy and Quality Assurance Committees.

    Outside work, Donna has served as a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and spends the majority of her time raising a busy 10 year old daughter and caring for 3 dogs and 2 cats.

  • Phil Draughon

    For as long as Phil can remember, there have always been dogs following him around the house. Phil owns his own software development firm and has the luxury of being able to work from home. This is important because sometimes, the dogs that find themselves living under Phil's roof are difficult to place by the vet or shelter.

    After reading Grace's story on CNN.com, he knew that he had to help in any way that he could. Because of his perserverance, Phil was rewarded with the opportunity to adopt Grace from her foster home in Liberty County, Georgia. Of course, he snapped at it. After bringing Amazing Grace home to Illinois, ideas that Phil had for several years began to solidify. He knew that helping animals was a calling.

    He helped found an animal welfare organization in his area then worked on a team to help pass a law in Georgia outlawing gas chambers for killing homeless animals. Phil occasionally works with Southern Animal Rescue to ferry dogs out of the south and into waiting homes. He has made trips to Texas, Georgia and Pennsylvania to pick up dogs tofoster or for permanent placement, some of whom live with him permanently. Phil is the Director of Emergency Management for Miracle Ranch and Animal AId USA.

  • Diane Severns

    Diane SevernsDiane Severns has over 8 years of experience in all aspects of dog rescue. After moving to a rural area of Richmond VA from Pittsburgh PA, Diane felt an immediate need to help the unwanted, abandoned and orphaned animals that she encountered on a daily basis. She started volunteering with a local rescue group but wanted to do more. In 2004 she co-founded BARK (Bandit’s Adoption and Rescue of K-9s), an all-breed canine rescue that saves dogs from euthanasia at shelters in her county and surrounding areas. Diane served as one of BARK’s Directors as well as the Outtake Officer responsible for the adoption and fostering programs. Although Diane holds a full-time position with Dominion Resources in Richmond, she found time over the years to provide hands-on foster care to hundreds of dogs, to include litters of puppies and other dogs of all ages who received extensive surgeries and needed IV treatments and/or other special medical attention to aid their recovery. Since 2004 BARK has grown and been quite successful in its mission to rescue local dogs. Diane has now decided to bring her talent and experience to MOMS (Making of Miracle Storied Animal Rescue), representing the VA adoption group.

  • Sheryl Barton

    From a very early age, Sheryl has always had a love for animals. Her very first experience with a pit bull was one she brought home off the side of the street where he had huddled in a pile of burnt debris. He was beaten , torn up from fighting, and extremely scared. With tender loving care, Hooch came to trust that he would never be harmed again.. After his death in 2001, Sheryl made a promise that she would never let go of his memory, and continue to help others. In 2009, she retired from the legal world. Sheryl moved in with the founder of the Spay Neuter and Release program in Fresno California, where she became educated to the staggering amount of animals that were born and killed yearly across our country. This began the life dream of Educating and volunteering with rescue groups. Her first experience was with the Fresno Bully Rescue. This group of young people took over a pit bull rescue that was failing and turned it around. Numerous pit bulls are now alive and living happily because of this group. This group is still working miracles today.In 2010, Sheryl’s son returned to Ft Stewart Georgia, and discussed the living arrangements he had wished for his mom. Sheryl moved in with Tim and began fostering right away, for Carpathia Paws. She went to the Animal Control to see about being a rescue for reptiles, was introduced to Meike Wilder and saw for herself, the hell hole that these fosters were living in. Meike first walked her through the corridor, and said that there were some puppies in standing water. She couldn’t believe the condition these poor puppies were in and the promise to Hooch came ringing into her ears. That night she pulled one mother shepherd mix and her 6 puppies and the rest is history. Sheryl will be residing at Miracle Ranch to become the fulltime caretaker and manager of the ranch.

  • Jim and Jackie Scaife

    Retired couple who adopted a senior dog through the MOMS Rescue and Dogs on Death Row. Coco came to them in 2009 and furever changed their lives. Jim and Jackie selflessly donate all their time meeting our transport when we arrive into New Jersey. They then take ANY animals all the up to Maine if New England rescues have selected the animals . Jim and Jackie stay overnight in New England and donate all the fuel, tolls and time on the road. They do this because they love animals! We would NOT be able to get the rescued animals any further past NJ if not for this dynamic duo!

Musical/Theatrical Division-Animal Aid

  • Donna Swajeski

    Donna got her start directing at the acclaimed Delaware Children’s Theatre, founded by her mother Marie Swajeski. She won a scholarship for her children’s play The Road To Remembering to Catholic University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. While there, Donna wrote and performed in an acting troupe that toured D.C. area schools sponsored by McDonalds. She has published several children’s plays including The Revolution Machine, a historical play about John Dickinson. She also wrote a children’s play on good nutrition Rarin’ to Go with music by Disney composer Alan Menken. Donna came to New York when Warner Brothers hired her to write and produce live stage shows at Madison Square Gardens for Bugs Bunny and their cartoon characters.

    While in New York, Donna joined ABC TV as Director of Daytime Programming. There she was responsible for on-air promotion, story direction for the soaps and game shows, development of new entertainment, casting and merchandising. She wrote a popular cookbook Love in the Afternoon for the network. She was then recruited by Brandon Tartikoff to work on NBC’s soaps and was offered the headwriting job of Another World. That year TV Guide singled out Donna and Another World as the best daytime show. Donna went on to headwrite All My Children, Port Charles and Guiding Light, for which she won her Emmy for best writer. She also won a prestigious Writers Guild Award and was one of the first to create an internet soap opera.

    Still drawn to the children’s arena, Donna met the famed children’s books author, Tasha Tudor, who was also a lifestyle icon for her gardens and crafts. Donna helped get Tasha’s books reissued so a new generation could enjoy them. She also desk top published and wrote a magazine for Tasha along with her husband Michael. She helped curate a show of Tudor’s illustrations and costumes in Japan. There is now a museum to Tasha Tudor in Vermont and Donna is a charter member.

    Donna has recently returned to her roots and the DCT to help bring the esteemed theatre to a new generation. The Delaware Children’s Theatre, and in-school touring company, is on the historic register and has been serving the Delaware Tri-state area since 1974. Using M.O.M.S as the pilot program, this tour will interface with local schools and will educate about throw-away pets and the importance of responsible pet ownership. The M.O.M.S tour would kick off its run in Delaware at her historic theatre. Donna is a member of the Board of Directors for Animal Aid.

  • Melissa Pascoe

    Singer/songwriter, and the grant-writer for The MOMS Rescue. An elementary special education teacher, she is dedicated to teaching children not only academics but also life skills and lessons. While continually writing and producing with CAS Music Studios in Vineland, NJ, she is also researching funding opportunities for both MOMS and Carpathia Paws, our sister rescue in Hinesville, GA. Melissa enjoys devoting time, effort, and music to this worthwhile and necessary movement in any way possible. In an effort to spread awareness to future generations, Melissa plans to introduce her husband and 2 4-year-old daughters to the cause during the May 2012 Caravan. Songs “That’s the Thing” and “Hold On” appear in the Take Me Home documentary film.

  • Jennifer Dixon

    Jennifer Dixon is a Nashville recording artist from Jellico, Tennessee. Raised by musician parents, her mother played the drums and her father played the guitar and was lead vocals of a popular band called The Southern Breeze Band. At an early age,Jennifer moved to Kentucky where she started performing with her parents at gigs and by the age of twelve she was playing guitar and writing her own songs. Presently, Jennifer continues to perform as a solo artist and after recording at famed Ocean Way Nashville recording studios, she is set to release her debut album, entitled, “Jellico” in the summer of 2012.

    Jennifer’s passion for music is matched only by her compassion for those in need. After the devastating Nashville flood in 2010, Jennifer collaborated with renowned artists Victoria Banks, Sarah Darling, Pam Tillis, Daniele Peck and many others to record the song, “City of Dreams” which generated a substantial amount of money to aid the Red Cross in providing relief for flood victims.

    Jennifer participated in the Georgia Puppy Caravan that rescued one hundred and thirty eight animals from certain death at a kill shelter in Atlanta, Georgia. Not one animal was left behind and every cat and dog was given a real home. Jennifer wrote the theme song for a documentary that was made of the animal rescue called “Take Me Home”, which became the title of the documentary and an inspirational theme song for animal lovers. Jennifer continues to be an avid supporter of animal rescue and adoption and is a proud member of Animal Aid.

  • Edward Salzano

    In 1991 Mr. Salzano founded Cutting Edge F/X (CEF/X) a communications research Company that was subsidized and purchased by Globix Corporation, a global Internet Service Provider. Through his efforts with Globix, Mr. Salzano developed the Interactive Media Group, and the Streaming Media group and was a key participant in raising 280 million dollars for Globix. Mr Salzano was the original producer and animation director for “Dora the Explorer”. He started INTV which purchased Pseudo.com which is now Pseudo Entertainment. Designed and built the first interactive studio for Rainbow Media/Cablevision’s show entitled “New York Central” (which later became “FUSE”. Worked as a producer for NBC’s Non stop New York digital channel. Mr. Salzano also produced and starred in “Runaway Squad” an A&E original reality show. He was an associate Producer for “We Live in Public” which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance film festival. Mr. Salzano has several animated and non scripted televisions properties pending and is represented by Innovative Artist in LA.

Junior Team Members

  • Matthew Talbot

    Matthew TalbotSon of Dante and Karen.From the age of 6 years old, Matthew has been leading by example among his own peers on the importance of saving the lives of shelter animals. He has taken many "under his wing" for fostering. Matthew has spoken at many events and is an advocate wherever he goes educating people on the crisis in our country for companion animals. In 2009 Matthew was asked to speak in Atlanta as a Jr Spokeperson for the Georgia Puppy Caravan. He shared the stage with the Mayor of Atlanta while she presented the Phoenix Award to our cause. In 2010 Matthew was asked to read a poem in Connecticut for the International Society of Animal Rights (ISAR) annual worldwide, candlelight vigil for homeless animals. In Matthew's spare time he is an avid baseball player and maintains First Honors in St Joseph Elementary School. Matthew is the leader of the Jr. Animal Aid, USA Team.

Advisory Board

  • Dania M. Alvarenga

    Dania M. Alvarenga is a California licensed attorney. She graduated from UCLA in 2001 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Political Science. She obtained her Doctorate in Law from Santa Clara University in 2006 and currently runs her own law firm out of Los Angeles, San Jose and Visalia California.

    Dania hopes to make a difference in this world one legal battle at a time. She strives to be a champion for justice and help those who do not have a voice to defend themselves, including animals. Ever since she was a little girl, Dania would bring home stray cats and beg her parents to keep them. She now has two beautiful siberian huskies who she considers her babies.

    Dania is excited to join Animal Aid's team so that she may use her legal expertise and ability to make a difference.

  • Travis London

    Celebrity chef and event planner Travis London is redefining the way we cook and entertain. Travis is the founder of Healthy Chic Eats, Hollywood's go to catering company, and is a weekly contributor to OK! Magazine. Travis also has an undying love and passion for animals, in particular dogs! By chance Travis reached out to Co-Founder Lorenzo Borghese to obtain Royal Pet Products for his own dogs when Lorenzo shared our Animal Aid USA mission with Travis. IMMEDIATELY, Travis was on board and will be traveling on a monthly trip to Miracle Ranch in upcoming months to experience the life saving journey first hand and use his voice to become ONE large voice for the voiceless!

  • Nikki Lafferty

    Nikki LaffertyAn animal lover for as long as she can remember, Nikki Lafferty worked in entertainment for most of her adult life, first at a talent agency then to entertainment law before deciding to put her skills to use as a full time activist and fundraiser for animal protection and other progressive causes.

    Currently a volunteer and serving on the Board of Directors for California Wildlife Center, a non-profit that rescues, rehabs and releases sick, injured/orphaned native wildlife in Southern California. Nikki also serves on the National Council of the Humane Society United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund which works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level. Nikki currently resides in Southern California with her husband Steve Lafferty, an agent at Creative Artists Agency and rescue dogs Gia Sophia and Dudley Moore.

  • Linda Schroeder

    Recently retired from 35+ years of teaching Special Education, Ms. Schroeder is now devoting herself to rescue full time!

    Ms. Schroeder volunteered with the West Milford Animal Shelter for over 20 years. 15 of those years she served as president of the organization. She continues to help in any way she can, from training to running training classes for the volunteers when needed.

    Currently, Ms. Schroeder serves on the BOD for a number of wonderful local rescues. She fosters dogs, volunteers her time as a trainer for anyone needing assistance, and helps with fundraising, transports, vetting, and adoptions. She writes about training on the Dog Park Publishing website.

    As a pilot, Ms. Schroeder starting “stepping in” on ground transports around 2000. Flying Paws contacted her to join, and she flew with them for a number of years. Other flying groups formed, and she joined them as well. She continues to fly transports with Animal Rescue Flights and rescues who contact her directly.

    Ms. Schroeder shares her home with 9 dogs----7 of which live there permanently. She only adopts dogs who have been labeled “unadoptable”----aggressive/senior/sick/handicapped. She loves everything she does, and considers herself one of the luckiest people in the world for being able to have the life she lives.

  • Deborah Boies

    Co-founder and President of the national 501c3 charitable organization Pilots N Paws. She is a retired OB-GYN nurse, a long-time rescuer of animals in need, and past breeder of National and World champion Morgan Horses, the first American breed of horse. Prior to Pilots N Paws, Debi was a founding board member and intake coordinator of Doberman Assistance Network, Inc., a national Doberman rescue organization. She was also a case worker for Special Needs Dobermans finding affordable veterinary care for dobes in need. She has always had a very strong connection with animals. Born and raised outside of Akron, Ohio, she and her husband now live on a horse farm in South Carolina sharing their lives with three dogs, three Morgan horses and one cat. Their adoption of a rescue Doberman named Brock, once used to train fighting dogs, launched the birth of Pilots N Paws in 2008 when her co-founder offered to fly their new "family" member from a rescue group in Florida to S.C. It was the beginning of an online program that has transported over 10,000 rescue animals via 2600 volunteer general aviation pilots.

    The Pilots N Paws forum board has 12,000 registered users which cover every state in the U.S. and include supporters from around the world. She has funneled her passion into programs that create an avenue for change in the lives of animals who are abandoned, abused, and in need of intervention in order to find a safe haven. In 2010, Debi was honored as one of the Top 25 Pet People of the year by petside.com and has accepted many awards on behalf of her organization, Pilots N Paws. These include : Broadway Barks Award/Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore, The American Dog Magazines 1st Annual Humanitarian Award, The Augusta Humane Society’s Casie Ritchhart Memorial Award, The Humane Society Naples Animaltarian Award Pets and Heroes Award from the Saving Grace Foundation Pet Hero Transportation Award from the Pet Philanthropy Circle.

    Her goal is to continue to promote education and awareness which will end animal overpopulation in our lifetime. By working together this goal is attainable. Pilots N Paws will also be launching a sister partner in Canada this year. Debi believes that it is our responsibility as humans to advocate for those without a voice. If we don't, who will?

  • Jennifer Skiff

    Jennifer Skiff is an award-winning television producer, journalist and author. Her #1 Inspirational bestseller, God Stories: Inspiring Encounters with the Divine is published in seven languages. Her next book, The Divinity of Dogs hits bookstores in October.

    For more than a decade Jennifer traveled the world working as an investigative environmental correspondent for CNN. Her programs promoting animal welfare have aired on The Discovery Channel and networks globally. Among other honors, she’s received the prized Environmental Media Award.

    Passionate about animals and their welfare, Jennifer works with charities throughout the world to bring relief to abused and abandoned animals. She is a Trustee of the Dogs’ Refuge Home in Australia and is a Director of the SPCAHC and Pilots N Paws in the United States.

    With her favorite Aussie and beloved dogs, Jennifer spends her life in perpetual summer between Maine and Australia.

  • Steven Dash

    Executive Director of the Humane Society of Atlantic County and has been with that Humane Society since 1980. The Humane Society of Atlantic County operates a full service animal shelter, a stationary spay clinic, and a full service veterinary hospital. The HSAC has a strong working relationship with private and government shelters. His background also includes law enforcement with the SPCA and also as a k9 Handler for Donald Trump properties. He currently sits on the New Jersey State SPCA as a Gubernatorial Appointed Trustee and also serves as the Gubernatorial Appointed/Chairperson for the NJ Domestic Companion Animal Council. Steven has served as one of the two Geraldine R Dodge Shelter Mentors and has mentored numerous shelters both private and government. As Director of the HSAC, he designed and built New Jersey’s first Mobile Animal Spay Hospital that offered low cost surgeries to many counties and served as a teaching hospital for other animal welfare groups. Several NJ spay clinics are now operational due to this program. As a father of three and grandfather of nine, he values the importance of animals integrating well into families and educating children on the importance of both animal and community welfare. Steve and the HSAC donated a bus to Animal Aid which is currently being painted and getting ready for it's caravan trip. It will be named The Amazing Grace bus and lead the July caravan into Hinesville, GA with Grace on board!

  • Gregg Oehler

    Publisher of Cesar’s Way Magazine and Chairman of the Pre-Westminster Fashion Show. Prior to his tenure with Cesar’s Way, he was publisher of numerous Pet magazines including New York Dog Magazine and Hollywood Dog Magazine.

    Prior to working with Cesar’s Way, Mr. Oehler’s was Executive Director of Pet Entertainment Network (PEN) and Petsyle.com. He also was V.P. Director of Sales and Marketing of FIDO Friendly Magazine.

    Mr. Oehler has made numerous media appearances on national shows including Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS-The Early Show, CBS News, Martha Stewart Apprentice, Fox & Friends, Fox 5, CW11, CNN, MSNBC, and conducted over 400 Radio, Newspaper & Magazine interviews.

    As an animal advocate, Mr. Oehler has worked and volunteered extensively with animal rescue & animal welfare issues throughout the USA. Since 2005 he was elected to the National Advisory Board for North Shore Animal League America and has been on the Board ever since.