Board of Directors & Regional Directors
Dahlia Canes – Director/Founder
Dahlia Canes was born in Havana, Cuba and was one of the first Cuban exiles in Miami, FL. She made and makes her home there. She has traveled extensively and is an award winning writer, concentrating mostly on animal issues. She has been working with the firm of Gregory A. Moore, P.A., as a Paralegal with trial work experience, for over 25 years. She was a board member for Unity Coalition. She is an active animal advocate and “hands on” rescuer. At this time, she is focusing on animal cruelty issues, legislative matters and Breed Specific Legislation. She is the Director and Founder for the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation, which is presently fighting to have the 23 year old Pit Bull Ban in Miami Dade County, removed. Dahlia Canes has been involved in political matters from a very young age. As a graduate of Hialeah High in 1971, she served as Student Government President and was the only student to serve on the Board of Governors for Florida National College. Ms. Canes worked as a hair and platform stylist for many years, including working with the Llongera Brothers in Spain. Her position in animal advocacy continues to pave the way for change in future legislation. Ms. Canes was instrumental in the defeat of the 2010 Fl. Senate’s 1276 Bill, which if passed, would have allowed BSL in Florida. Most recently, she spearheaded the fight in the Florida House and Senate Legislation with the SB1322 and HB997. The challenge now continues in the Miami-Dade County Commissioners forum.
She has made her position on anti-dog fighting loud and clear!
“Breed Specific Legislation is an inhumane tool, used to deal with man’s destruction of their own fears. It targets innocent animals, that were not put on this earth to be judged by us.” – Dahlia Canes
Megan Mackintosh, Esq. – General Counsel
My love of the breed and dogs in general goes back farther than I can recall and being given an opportunity to use my skills to help in this worthy cause is an experience I would treasure for a lifetime. I have been a long-time supporter of your organization and have enjoyed every experience I have had. I have been in the industry in one way or another for a long time and I never shy away from an opportunity to help a dog or owner in need. In my personal practice, I focus on the cases that no one else wants to take. Either my clients are low income and/or can’t pay or they are disabled. In a lot of cases, they are both. I went into the law to help people and that is what I am most passionate about. I was trained throughout my college experience as a public speaker and never shy away from an opportunity to lend my voice to a cause. In my first year of law school, I was given the amazing opportunity to work alongside a renowned solo practitioner who focused on death penalty cases. Fighting for those that needed it the most, was an honor and I have continued that work throughout the years. Later in law school, I fought tirelessly for the large, impoverished immigrant community of South Florida and achieved the highest winning case record of any student to date. I was also a member of the prestigious trial team and competed on their behalf. I truly love what I do and am in a position now to broaden my scope and take on cases that are truly my passion, dog and animal cases. The idea of being able to use the skills and passion that I possess to protect and advocate for those without a voice is one that I am relishing. I welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my love for the breed, passion for helping others, and my strong advocacy and speaking skills can be of assistance to your very worthy cause.
Franco Sicheri – Board of Advisors
Franco Sicheri was born in Lima Peru in 1984, where his father trained and showed Peruvian Paso horses. He was always passionate about animals and the outdoors but it wasnt until the age of 17 when he was given his first Pit bull puppy that he became interested in training dogs. Her name was Nana, a beautiful APBT. Nana quickly became a great ambassador for the breed around the neighborhood and neighbors quickly took notice to her happy go lucky demeanor. Soon neighbors began to ask if Franco could help them with their dogs to be as social and well behaved as his Pit bull, and he agreed gladly .
Sadly Nana was stolen one day by someone in a dark colored late 90’s model Ford explorer . In his search for his.Dog Franco began to reach out to local rescue groups and shelters where he began to work with their more problematic dogs. Over time he became well known in the rescue Community for his work with aggressive Dogs successfully rehabilitating and helping place dogs that otherwise would have been put to sleep. In 2007 Franco founded Balanced Paws a dog training and rehabilitating company. He still works with many local rescues .
Pilar Borras – Finance Director
Although Pilar was born in Havana, Cuba, she and her family arrived in Miami as exiles in 1969. Pilar, her parents and her brother immediately moved to California. Living in California at the age of seven is when Pilar’s love for animals first began; a neighborhood Boy sold Pilar a kitten for 25 cents. Pilar named the kitten Mily, and Mily lived to the age of 15. When Pilar graduated from North Hollywood High School in 1980, she began attending Los Angeles Valley College, where she began to work in the nursing campus.That was the beginning of her 30 year involvement in the medical administration field. Pilar moved with her two small children to Florida in 1988 and lived in Hialeah up until about a year ago.Pilar became involved with MCABSL shortly after her daughter brought home a pitbull puppy named Tank. After adopting Tank, Pilar wanted to find support from people who were also trying to put an End to breed specific legislation and also become more educated about the legislation in order to end the discrimination. “ Being a Human Rights Advocate for many years, I will not sit back and let dogs be discriminated because of their breed “ Pilar currently lives in Cutler Bay with her husband, Ivan, and her three dogs, Tank, Jeanie and Wednesday.With the help of several rescue organizations, there is no stray that crosses Pilar’s path that is left behind.
Darlene Boitel-Johnson – Events Director
Darlene Boitel-Johnson was born and raised in Miami, FL. She is married to Eric Johnson and has two boys and three bully dogs. She graduated in 1991 with an Associate’s degree in Interior Design and has been working with Michael Wolk Design Associates as Purchasing and Installations Manager for the past 14 years. Her love for the breed came to be, when at the age of 15 she was given a Staffie, which changed her life forever. From that day forward she has remained faithful to the breed. She was there in 1989 protesting for “Pitbulls” not to be banned. And now, 23 years later is happy to join forces with MCABSL to “End the Injustice.”
Sissy Figueras – Board of Advisors
Sissy started acting for commercials (jingles) at the age of 12 in Miami and later moved to Puerto Rico for college and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Acting at the Universidad de Rio Piedras. She later moved to Miami and started her acting and singing carrier in Zarzuelas, commercials, plays, radio, soap operas and a movies. When she founded IMS in Jan. 1994 she ceased her carrier to dedicate her knowledge and experience in production for TV & radio commercials, corporate tape, translation and trans-creation, Public Relations, Events and Advertising for her company. But no matter how much she has accomplished during the years, nothing tops the love and compassion she has for animals. “I am honored and grateful to be part of MCABSL, I especially thank Dahlia for trusting in making me part of the team. I love all animals, but the bullies are my passion, they warm my heart. They represent the strength, love, intelligence, loyalty and the soul of America; They are the American Dog.”
Raquel Cruz – PR
Raquel Cruz, is the mother of three boys and she was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Ms. Cruz graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Public Administration and has dedicated her life to public and military service. Ms. Cruz is a disabled combat Gulf War veteran and the first and former Enforcement Manager for Miami Dade Animal Services. Ms. Cruz reorganized the entire enforcement division for Animal Services, making it respectable with employees dedicated to helping the animals enforcing animal cruelty laws efficiently and to the extent the law dictates. She spearheaded the re-write for the Miami Dade County Code of Ordinances Chapter 5 Animals and Fowls but her endless fight continues for the repeal of the pit bull ban. “Today my commitment lies with the advocating of saving our pit bulls and to educate our public as to the true nature of who these bullies really are.”
Dony Ponce – Board of Advisors
Dony Ponce, was born in New York City and raised in sunny South Florida. From as far back as she can remember, she has always had an immense love for ALL animals. She is involved with reputable Rescue Organizations, and also volunteers and fosters for Miami Dade Animal Services. Dony is a dedicated, Animal Advocate and stands firm and true to all her beliefs. She has had numerous experiences with saving, rescuing and bringing back to life abused and neglected animals. She has a house full of life and shares it with her special needs fur babies. Dony’s passion lies in speaking up for animals and she is firmly against BSL and will not throw in the towel… until Pit bulls are looked at as the Loyal, loving, sweet, affectionate animals they are… until bad owners are punished for their deeds… until society understands that it’s not the breed at fault….Humans need to be educated and Dony spends her days doing just that, educating.
Although Dony holds a full time job as an Inside Sales Manager at a great company, her heart is with the animals and always will be. Words she lives by:
**NOTHING GREAT IN THIS WORLD HAS EVER BEEN ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT PASSION**
Alexandra Millet – Volunteers
Alexandra “Alex” Millet was born and raised in Miami. She is the eldest of three siblings. Alexandra currently is studying Recreational therapy at FIU in hopes of becoming an Occupational and Physical therapist and work with disabled children. Alexandra’s passion for pitbulls began when she was introduced to pitbulls two years ago by her family friend Raquel Cruz, who showed her how amazing pitbull’s really are. Alexandra fell in love with the breed and decided she wanted to be a part of MCABSL. Her mission is to assist in educating the community about pitbulls as well as to encourage the disabled population to have pitbull’s as service dogs. Alexandra believes that pitbulls are misjudged, misunderstood and discriminated, just like the disabled children she currently works with at Shake a Leg. It is her goal to be the voice of pitbulls as well as for special needs children and show others about how wonderful they really are. Alexandra is honored to be apart of the MCABSL family and help support an amazing advocacy group. She hopes to help as many pitbulls and children with disabilities as she can.
“It is my mission to change the attitudes people have towards pitbulls and show them that pitties lives matter too!”
Jeff Wade – Board of Advisors
I am from ( We all say LOU A VULL), Ky. From the time I was a child,I always took care of those that couldn’t fend for themselves. Either it be a child with disabilities that children made fun of or the “lost” dog that “looked like”it needed a home! I have two daughters, Chelsea (23) and Haley(14) who I am CRAZY about, two doggies, Kami and Tucker and a kitty named Clyde that I rescued from Louisville on a cold Spring morning three years ago. I moved to South Florida, a little over 10 years ago after my divorce so that I could be with my kids. They are my driving life force, so I cannot live without them. The greatest challenge I have today is having to separate work and family. I have been a hairdresser for 26 years and I have a successful, thriving business in Louisville, so I had to figure out how to work and life in South Florida . So,I travel back and forth by plane and work as little over a week and a half non stop to provide a roof over their head with their mother and another for myself when I’m back. Not the easiest way to earn a living but it does pay the bills. If it weren’t for the wonderful support from my clients and a terrific, LOVING doggy sitter when I’m gone I would go stir crazy. That pretty much sums me up in a nut shell. I am kind hearted, funny(at least I think I am) and a ginormous animal lover through and through!!
Mily Alonso – Board of Advisors
Mily was born in Havana, Cuba and came to this country in 1996 at the age of nineteen. At a very young age, she started showing lots of love and admiration for every animal in general. Her first pet was a rat, since rats were not a popular pet for kids in Cuba at all on the contrary they used to exterminate them, Mily became friend with a rat she used to feed and protect from the people. This rat lived very well and became really fat under Mily’s care. Little bit after that, Mily got two female dogs named Bitula and Sissy. She became so attached to them that her parents became a little worry about her because she used to prefer spending more time with her dogs than with other kids. When Mily got to this country like most immigrants, she worked in different places and attended school at the same time but immediately she tried looking for a job related with animals which is her passion. She worked at a pet shop while she was attending college and later Hygiene school where she obtained her associates degree in Dental Hygiene. To Mily, every animal is special in their own way but dogs are simply part of the family. During her pet shop years, Mily found her soul mate Gery who introduced her to the Bully Breeds. They have two “Kid Bulls” Divo and Chanel, one Rat Terrier named Cuquita that passed away at the age of sixteen, and two land turtles. Now in addition to the family, Mily and Gerry found an abandoned Bully which they named Sasha. We are very thankful to Dahlia Canes and her organization for accepting me as part of their board. It is a privilege to defend and be part of such a noble cause, hoping one day to stop the abuse and discrimination for this breed or any other. “Dogs are nothing more than man’s best friend.”
Odhra came from Venezuela to the United States in 2003 after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Since then, she has gained valuable knowledge and expertise through many different tasks of public and private accounting, as well as client service and administrative support. She is currently enrolled as a Certified Public Accountant and is part of a well-recognized CPA firm in town. Her strongest attribute is the eagerness to learn and commitment to work but it is also the passion she puts in everything that she does. She is the mother of two adorable dogs, a Beagle that likes to eat a lot and a rescued Labrador that acts like a lapdog, but she is also the proud aunt of a Pitty named Chelsea. Odhra joined MCABSL as volunteer in 2012 to campaign on favor of the referendum that would eliminate the long standing breed specific legislation in Miami Dade. Her main motivation was to provide Chelsea with freedom, safety, and a better life but, sadly, the repeal remained in place. Because of Chelsea, and because she is simply a dog lover, Odhra continues promoting the breed and looking after all dogs well being.
David Ertley – Regional Direction for Orange County, FL
David is the youngest in his family, he has 3 older sisters and when growing up, even the dog was older by 1 year. His Mom said in the mornings when he’d come downstairs for breakfast, that he would greet the dog, then his mom. It wasn’t until he moved to Florida that he met a Pit Bull for the first time. He never heard of the breed, and had no exposure to anything negative about them. Of course, she was a sweetheart. She would show affection by putting her mouth on his arm. Not biting, not applying any pressure at all. She would put her top lip over her teeth to be sure to not hurt him. When he was growing up, he did hear that Rottweilers were scary and should stay away from them. Not being around any, he bought into this. Then, he met one and loved him. Years later, he adopted Maggie. He would take her everywhere. Her favorite place was the dog beach in Hollywood. He had been attending The Gulfstream Rottweiler Rescue Canine Oktoberfest since before he adopted Maggie, it was this event that he first met Dahlia and was introduced to MCABSL. Even though he didn’t own a pit bull yet, he loved the breed. not long after, he started working with MCABSL during events. His first time shooting photos for the organization was in 2010. Since then, he has volunteered at several events, helping to set up and break down the booth. In late 2013, he adopted a bully mix named Stella. His life has been “pittie-full” ever since. He is determined and plans to continue to help MCABSL with photography, video, and telling people about the organization. Obviously, he is against BSL!
Michael Carvalho – Marketing
“Born in New Bedford, MA to Portuguese immigrants he graduated in 1992 from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with BS in Sports Management. He has worked in the health and fitness industry on full or part time basis for over 25 years. He is currently the National Director of Logistics and Transportation for the Sigma Plastics Group. His wife Dara and him reside in Royal Palm Beach, FL with their Bully Kai. He became a Bully Breed advocate shortly after losing both of his 18 year old Jack Russell Terriers. Promising himself that he would have “perfectly” behaved dogs on next adventure, he spent a little over a year researching and studying dog behavior and training. His research lead him to many professional studies regarding “Pit Bull Type Dogs”.Much of the information he was now reading was very contrary to the information he had previously “learned” through the more conventional means, the media. The information he was finding so contradicted the information he thought he knew, that he brought it to the attention of his wife and step daughter. As a family they decided to learn on their own . So they spent the better part of the next year volunteering at local shelters and rescues. They intentionally directed their focus toward Pit Bull type dogs. What they found was not only amazing but life changing. They found them to be some of the most well tempered and good natured dogs to work with. They shortly thereafter adopted Kai from a friend and his journey into rescue and advocacy exploded. They take Kai to many different social outings to help educate the public. He has become a regular fixture at local stores and parks. He has become a bit of a local celebrity in our community. Michael and Kai continue their educational work while helping local rescues whether it be with transport, walking, home transitions or financially.” He has joined the MCABSL team to fight BSL and continue to spread the awareness.
Lisa Smet – Events
Lisa Smet’s was born and raised in Pennsylvania, she lived in Connecticut for a while before settling in South Florida in the 1980’s. Lisa is happily married to the man of her dreams and she shares a home with 4 pitties of her own and a foster pittie.Lisa has been a member of MCABSL since 2009 volunteering with Lily (her sweet little blue pit) at the Pittie Kissing Booth. Recently moved back to South Florida. It is her passion to help these dogs by spreading the word that they are great family members and they should not be discriminated against. Lisa says “It is heart breaking to see these innocent babies being put to death because of BSL. We have breed specific legislation here and I want to make sure it is gone, I could not imagine life without my bully babies in it”.
Denice Zager – Marketing
Denice was born and raised in Pennsylvania. As a child she grew up loving animals and had many animals especially dogs and cats. In college she studied Arts and Commercial arts and nursing, after college she had two children Brian and Michael who are grown now and Denice is a grandmother of four beautiful grandchildren. Throughout her life she always had more of a connection with animals than with her own kind. At home she takes care of a feral cat colony as well as her two dogs and an indoor cat. Leah and Bruno are the names of her dogs. Bruno is an American Pitbull Terrier and Leah is a Rottweiler mix. She also has two birds Pokey and Aloha and a cat named Happy. Denice got involved with Miami Coalition about eight years ago, she attended an event and saw them there. Her sister Lisa had mentioned them and had recently joined as a member. Today Denice is a board member acting as director of marketing for the Coalition and it is something she is very proud of . Her goal in Miami Coalition is to get the Hideous ordinance Banning pit bulls lifted. She is very honored to be a part of this organization and to be affiliated with it’s other members. “Everyone works together for the greater good to see to it that pit bulls or pit bull like dogs are treated with compassion and fairness and we look forward to the end of the ban”
Kelly D. Matacena – Marketing
Kelly D. Matacena was raised in Palmetto, Florida, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from the University of Florida in 2009 and is a licensed financial and insurance professional. Following undergraduate studies, she moved to Key West then eventually settled in Miami in 2012, where she works in commercial risk management for Wells Fargo Insurance Services. Her passion for animals has been prevalent since childhood, rescuing everything from mice and birds to dogs and horses. Working with colleagues statewide, she has directly managed the rescue and adoption of many dogs, focusing on pit bulls. Her bond with the breed stems from her first pit companion, Lexus Marie, currently an 11 year old red nosed therapy dog who has traveled with her significantly, visiting the sick, coaching elementary aged children to read and spending time with those in their last days in Hospice centers. Through volunteer work as a therapy team with Lexus Marie, Kelly has seen firsthand, the immense good done by these animals and the change that can be made to the hearts of those initially unsure. Kelly feels blessed to be part of the MCABSL team and is confident that the dedication and hard work of the group and its supporters will continue to result in more effective legislation and ultimately worldwide community acceptance and protection of all breeds. Kelly lives in the Redland community with her husband, Sebastian J Matacena, their son little Sebastian and their 3 dogs, Lexus Marie, Pablo and Snook.
Adriana Botero was born in Bogota, Colombia. Adriana has long been a devoted individual who has advocated for the elderly, victims of abuse, human rights and animal welfare. Her advocacy started with ProVida, an organization that looks after the care of the elderly. Later, Adriana moved to Miami, Florida, where she has resided since 1992. She began volunteer work with Amnesty International. This experience exposed her to the many human rights violations that occur worldwide. Adriana next took her passion for volunteering to The Freedom Dolphin Foundation. this experience propelled Adriana on her current journey in animal advocacy and lead to her decision to adhere to a vegan lifestyle. Further, being a resident of Miami Dade County , she has personally witnessed the injustice and discrimination that comes with Breed Specific Legislation (‘BSL’). Adriana has now become an exceptional voice for the bully breeds. As a mother of two, Adriana, lives by the mission statement of “The power of Education “. She knows the importance of raising awareness and educating the population as keys to changing the misconceptions of the bully breeds. She has made it a personal goal to take an active role in helping repeal BSL
John Dasilva – Events
My name is John DaSilva. I was born in Sao Paulo ,Brazil. I moved to the United States in 1965 and have been a resident of Dade County since 1972. I am Search and Rescue 2 certified. I took my courses in Johnston County, North Carolina. In 1982, I was blessed to meet my first bully. I rescued her from abuse and fighting rings. With some tender love and care, she became one of the best family members I ever had in the past. I have been an advocate for animals my entire life. I have taken a personal passion in advocating for bullies. I feel being a part of Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation gives me a chance to make a difference in the lives of these beautiful canines.
Debi Day Regional Director for Broward County, FL
Ms. Debi Day; No Kill educator, advocate/activist, and shelter reformist has spent most of her adult life supporting various animal welfare causes. In 2009 leading up to the passing of her 16-year-old rescue dog, CHAD, she decided in his honor she would join the animal rescue community of Miami-Dade, Fl. to save animal lives from a certain death by shelter. Soon thereafter, she collaborated with NKN co-founder, Karolyn Rico of The Homeless Pet Advocates, a companion animal rescue organization. Together with THPA’s volunteer base, they went on to rescue and hundreds of homeless animals from Miami-Dade Animal Services or those left to die on the streets of Miami. Always knowing there had to be a better way to help the millions of dogs and cats that end up in our nation’s shelter system, Debi found her way to the national No Kill movement by way of one book; “Redemption; The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America, by Nathan Winograd. That one book set the stage for what was to come. As a co-founder and the Executive Director of No Kill Nation, a Non-for Profit 501c3 organization, she has been the driving force for several local lifesaving projects as well as the sponsor of no kill educational initiatives around the United States. No Kill Nation and Day are currently working with Miami-Dade Animal Services and Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center to implement No Kill solutions, which will save upwards of 90% of the cats and dogs entering their shelters. Day/ NKN along with The No Kill Advocacy Center, (NKAC) unveiled their co-project, RESCUE50 (www.rescue50.org) in early 2011. RESCUE50 is national educational initiative, which offers model no kill legislation and animal shelter reform instruction to the animal activist/animal welfare community. No Kill Nation’s large social media presence on Face book affords the grassroots organization the opportunity to spread the no kill message, educating those who would not otherwise have known of the no kill movement and it successful, and life-saving programs. No Kill Nation is the sponsor of the annual, No Kill national conference in Washington, DC. The two-day event is co-hosted by Winograd’s, No Kill Advocacy Center and The George Washington School of Law’s, Animal Project. Debi lives in Broward County, FL with her husband and four rescue dogs. She is also an honorary board member to the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation and an active “Pit Bull” Ban REPEAL activist/supporter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Director for California
Mr. Concepcion was a Political Science major at the University of Florida and later secured a position as Legislative Aide to Representative Ralph Arza in the Florida Legislature after graduating in 2002. There, he assisted in the areas of legislative analysis and development, handled constituent inquiries and worked to resolve their difficulties with State agencies. He has held other positions through the years including his present job as Chief of Staff to Mayor Julio Robaina of the City of Hialeah, where he focuses on broadening community access to municipal services. David has an impressive record of volunteer activities dating back to his college days when he served as a Volunteer Firefighter in High Springs Florida. Back in South Florida, he has acted as Chairman and Executive Board Member of the Mater Charter K-12 Schools, Secretary and Executive Board Member of Hands in Action and the Flamingo Kiwanis Club, a member of the Hialeah Chamber of Commerce, and the Board of Somerset Charter K-12 Schools. Mr. Concepcion hopes to apply his experience working in the Florida Legislature and municipal government to his responsibilities on the CITT; representing the interests of the entire community to help transportation grow in a sustainable fashion. Mr. Concepcion also has a strong passion for the welfare of all animals. He has shown support to many rescue organizations within the community and is an honorary member of the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation.
Regional Director for Connecticut
Luen Yeung was born in Hong Kong and came to the U.S. at the age of 5 years old. Growing up in the U.S. he developed a deep-seated love for animals and nature. In 2012 he graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a bachelor's degree in sociology. Throughout his college years he has been doing some traveling, including Bully Shows. Orcalab in Johnston Stone, British Columbia studying orcas. Solvang, CA learning the art of join-up to win the horse's trust through the horse's body language. He has a deep seated passion for pit bulls because he can relate to the dogs as himself. “In a world where we judge others based on their looks and what they do, these dogs symbolize us as the underdogs," stated Luen. He sees Breed Specific Legislation as a form of racial profiling where it's a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped. Luen works with rescuers and spread the info on BSL because its been affected in the northeast. As a gift for his dedication to this bully breed, he adopted a female American bully name Dreamer. Along with Dreamer they're both advocating for this misunderstood breed everywhere they go. He has joined forces with MCABSL.
Regional Director for Polk County, FL
Lisa Moehring is a licensed Massage Therapist located in Polk County, Florida. She is also the founder of “Save Our Homeless Pets” which is a foundation dedicated to saving animals in need and placing them into forever homes. Her goal is to eliminate the high amount of deaths among animals within shelters and to promote the spay/neuter programs that help to keep animals off of the streets where they are in danger of death. Lisa is dedicated to changing the public perception of bully breeds and to help others understand the difference between the myths and facts associated with these breeds. She believes in the saying “there are no bad breeds, just bad owners.” Lisa continues to serve as an animal advocate and as an integral member within her community. Lisa feels a sense of pride in being partners with MCABSL. She believes in their goals and believes that the world needs to see these breeds for what they truly are – sweet, innocent, loving beings. de Media headlines advocating rescue, the Bully Breeds and the fight against
Regional Director for New Port Richey, FL
Devilyn is the most generous, loving soul when it comes to animals. She started her journey many years ago with one dog named “Ruger”. She is not only the Founder/Director of “Rugaz Rescue” Formally “Hernando’s APBT Rescue” but also on the Board of Directors for many Non-Profit local organizations. She has dedicated her life to rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing her Bully friends, and educating the public on Pit Bull Awareness. She is a Certified Animal Control Officer and on the Board of Directors for Alpha Society Therapy Dogs. She majors in Dog Behavior and teaching continuing education courses on The American Pit Bull Terrier and BSL Education Groups. Devilyn has even implemented Home Inspections at the SPCA for American Pit Bull Terrier’s. Her utmost concern is for each one of these dogs safety, health and happiness now and for the future preservation of the breed. She simply lives for the faces and smiles she sees on those dogs faces everyday and the smiles on the family’s faces when they bring home their new family member. The joy of knowing that, no matter what, at least a few will be saved and make it. She is an asset to those dogs who are so often given up on. They are lucky to cross paths with her, and she states she is more lucky to have met and been loved by them.
Regional Director for Jacksonville, FL
Jen Watson is the President of Pit Sisters Rescue in Jacksonville, FL. She also
serves on the board of Clearly Jacksonville and is a Regional Director of
MCABSL. Jen resides with her 5-year-old daughter and 4 pit bulls, including
Nala, an AKC Canine Good Citizen and Registered Therapy Dog.
Regional Director for Hernando County, FL
Krisztina Kallai who founded and runs a Pit Bull, Pit Bull mix Rescue (Buster’s & Foster’s Haven, Inc) in Hernando County Florida, was born in Hungary. After she and her family escaped Hungarian communism in the late 80′s, she lived in Iowa for a short period of time, then moved to Florida where she graduated Countryside High School and later St. Petersburg College.She grew up in a family of animal lovers. According to her parents, the day she was born, she has been an animal lover, so much so that her first word was: “cica” (cat). For years, Krisztina has been raising, rescuing, volunteering and adoring dogs especially pit bulls and pit bull mixes in Hernando/Pinellas and Pasco Counties. Her first dog was a Pit Bull Mix named Foster, who was rescued from irresponsible owners. Her passion and understanding of the breed started for Pit Bulls because of him.Her mission and Buster’s & Foster’s Haven Rescue’s mission is to take in unwanted and lost Pit Bull, Pit Bull mixes, provide shelter, care, find secure and loving homes for them. She continuously provides advice, support and guidance for pet owners and increase the public’s awareness of its responsibility towards animals in our society. She is also an advocate against BSL, which has taken the lives of so many all over the world. When she is not rescuing animals, she is the VP of Operation at Zemplen Barrels.
Regional Director for Winter Park, FL
Susan Clary is a Florida native of Cuban descent. She has been rescuing and adopting animals since she was a child in St. Petersburg. She is the founder of Compassionate Canines, a small-dog rescue in Winter Park, Florida. She is a graduate of Rollins College with a degree in English and post-graduate work in Public Administration. She was an award-winning reporter for the St. Petersburg Times and the Orlando Sentinel. She served in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court for the Public Defender and the Judiciary as an Investigator, Legal Training Coordinator and Public Affairs Specialist. She has worked at three law firms in Business Development and Communications. She has handled a number of successful local, state and national political campaigns. She is an activist, an organizer and freelance writer. She has been elected by the citizens of Orange County three times and serves on the Orange Soil & Water Conservation District. She is active with animal advocacy and takes every opportunity to educate and lobby against BSL. She is honored to serve as a Regional Director for the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation and continues to work hard to elect public officials who strongly oppose such laws.
Regional Director for Tallahassee, FL
Kathy Adkins, is mother to a younger daughter and a Staffie. She lives in Florida and grew up around Rotties and Dobermans. In 2000, a baby Am Staff Terrier was introduced into her life. The first two years they lived in the same housing. Moving became a problem. As her baby grew older she was faced with more and more discrimination about her breed. When it came time to move it was difficult to find a place to live. So Kathy became MAD and became a pit bull advocate promoting education against BSL In her local town she has a BSL table, which she takes to local events for education and awareness. She hopes one day she will make a difference in her town.
Regional Director for Oregon
Fio, been working in the Veterinary field since 2005 , I worked in Emergency from 2007-20013. I was a part of Zoo Miami from 2010-2013. I was a volunteer zoo keeper 2010 .Worked as a zoo keeper from 2011-2012 and worked at the education dept from 2012-2013. Then in Jan 2013 I started managing Key Biscayne Veterinary House Calls and in Feb Started working over at Greenleaf Animal hospital , where we practice Western Medicine as well as holistic medicine. I’ve always had a compassion working with animals and avail for humans and animals to coexists in understanding. My main ambition is to help educate humans of the importance of HOW TO live democratically with animals, as for we both share the same home,”earth”.
Regional Director for Lee County, FL
Maria Garcia was born in Havana, Cuba and came to the US when she was 4 y/0. At one year, her Dad had her sitting on horses already..:) She attended Palm Springs Elementary School in Hialeah, Fl. and started rescuing animals since then. She even had a monkey, mean geese, lots of rabbits, dog, turtle, bird…during that time. Her mom was from Spain, her Dad Cuban. She has a a son, Jorge, who lives in Miami. She has in her rescue, Noah’s Ark, 29 dogs, not all for adoption, birds, sugar gliders, confiscated ex fighting roosters, chickens horses and mini horses. Her hobbies are riding her horses, competing them, training mini horses for therapy, writing, and her passions are animals and teaching…Her favorite breed is the Pit Bull and love working with them. (training them). She’s lived in Miami most of her life with the exception of time she lived in England with the Department of Defense work in military base schools and in Puerto Rico a few years after finishing college bachelor’s degree. She teaches and has her PHD in psychology. She is determined to fight BSL and defend the Pit Bull breed in all its glory.