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Founders and Directors

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Valarie Ianniello

Valarie Ianniello

President and Co-Founder
Valarie has been passionate about animal rights for over 20 years and has volunteered in dog rescue over the last 10. She learned all aspects of the non-profit world until it eventually became her career.  In 2016, she became the Executive Director of AHWF, where she concentrated her energy on fighting the Dog Meat Trade throughout Asia.  Read more...
Dr Natalia Soto

 

Dr. Natalia Soto

Co-Founder - DVM, DACVS-SA
Dr. Natalia Soto received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. She completed her small animal surgical residency in 2014 at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. As a board certified surgeon, Dr. Soto performs both soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries at TruCare in Studio City, CA.  Read more...
Kiana Kang

 

Kiana Kang

Treasurer and Co-Founder
Kiana is a Korean-American who grew up in Maryland but finally felt at home when she moved to Southern California in 1991.  She spent 11 years in the entertainment industry and another 10 years in mortgage finance. But once those careers no longer satisfied her, she found her way into animal welfare. She has traveled the world volunteering at various foundations: most notably Harnas in Namibia, Save Elephant in Thailand, Tasikoki in Indonesia, and many others including the Marine Mammal Care Center here in Los Angeles.  Read more...
Lindsay Lewis

 

Lindsay Lewis

Co-Founder
Lindsay Lewis is currently working as Surgery Department Manager for TruCare in Studio City, CA, under Dr. Soto. She obtained her Bachelors’ Degree from the University of Southern California in 2008 and her RVT in 2010. She began lecturing for a top veterinary pharmaceutical company in 2012 and has been providing instruction to her fellow technicians and assistants since that time. She has been an adjunct instructor for Charter College, Oxnard Campus since 2014, teaching a multitude of small animal nursing and disease classes for the Veterinary Assistant Program. She is actively pursuing her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Anesthesia.  Read more...
Iris Almario

 

Iris Almario

Secretary and Co-Founder
Iris brings a unique voice to WUFAW, as an actress from Queens, NY. Her fire and passion for acting is just as strong as her commitment to the animals. Being of Puerto Rican and Colombian decent and also a vegetarian, she is excited to educate people on the ability to evolve from cultural traditions to create new traditions that don’t involve the inhumane practice of Factory Farming.  Read more...
Kris Mesner

 

Kris Mesner

Board Member
Kris Mesner has been in the fashion industry for the last 20+ years and is the proud owner of KM Showroom, one of the pioneer showrooms in the world of fashion intimates in downtown Los Angeles. Kris’s commitment to spreading awareness and education throughout the globe has become her lifelong focus and is what led her to WUFAW. She currently has 5 rescue animals, one being a Golden Retriever from the Dog Meat Trade in China.  Read more...
Silvia De Salles

 

Silvia De Salles

Board Member
Silvia De Salles immigrated to California from Brazil in 1997. Growing up in Brazil, Silvia saw firsthand what it was like to give back from a young age. Her mother started (and still runs) an animal sanctuary, where she has rescued hundreds of animals and created a free spay/neuter program for low income families. Silvia was inspired by the work her mother did and helped her while she was growing up.  Read more...


Valarie IannielloValarie Ianniello

President and Co-Founder
Valarie has been passionate about animal rights for over 20 years and has volunteered in dog rescue over the last 10. She learned all aspects of the non-profit world until it eventually became her career.  In 2016, she became the Executive Director of Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, where she worked alongside founder Marc Ching concentrating her energy on fighting the Dog Meat Trade throughout Asia.  Read more...

Dr Natalia SotoDr. Natalia Soto

Co-Founder - DVM, DACVS-SA
Dr. Natalia Soto received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. She completed her small animal surgical residency in 2014 at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. As a board certified surgeon, Dr. Soto performs both soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries at TruCare in Studio City, CA.  Read more...

Kiana KangKiana Kang

Treasurer and Co-Founder
Kiana is a Korean-American who grew up in Maryland but finally felt at home when she moved to Southern California in 1991.  She spent 11 years in the entertainment industry and another 10 years in mortgage finance. But once those careers no longer satisfied her, she found her way into animal welfare. She has traveled the world volunteering at various foundations: most notably Harnas in Namibia, Save Elephant in Thailand, Tasikoki in Indonesia, and many others including the Marine Mammal Care Center here in Los Angeles.  Read more...

Lindsay LewisLindsay Lewis

Co-Founder
Lindsay Lewis is currently working as Surgery Department Manager for TruCare in Studio City, CA, under Dr. Soto. She obtained her Bachelors’ Degree from the University of Southern California in 2008 and her RVT in 2010. She began lecturing for a top veterinary pharmaceutical company in 2012 and has been providing instruction to her fellow technicians and assistants since that time. She has been an adjunct instructor for Charter College, Oxnard Campus since 2014, teaching a multitude of small animal nursing and disease classes for the Veterinary Assistant Program. She is actively pursuing her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Anesthesia.  Read more...

Iris AlmarioIris Almario

Secretary and Co-Founder
Iris brings a unique voice to WUFAW, as an actress from Queens, NY. Her fire and passion for acting is just as strong as her commitment to the animals. Being of Puerto Rican and Colombian decent and also a vegetarian, she is excited to educate people on the ability to evolve from cultural traditions to create new traditions that don’t involve the inhumane practice of Factory Farming.  Read more...

Kris MesnerKris Mesner

Board Member
Kris Mesner has been in the fashion industry for the last 20+ years and is the proud owner of KM Showroom, one of the pioneer showrooms in the world of fashion intimates in downtown Los Angeles. Kris’s commitment to spreading awareness and education throughout the globe has become her lifelong focus and is what led her to WUFAW. She currently has 5 rescue animals, one being a Golden Retriever from the Dog Meat Trade in China.  Read more...

Silvia De SallesSilvia De Salles

Board Member
Silvia De Salles immigrated to California from Brazil in 1997. Growing up in Brazil, Silvia saw firsthand what it was like to give back from a young age. Her mother started (and still runs) an animal sanctuary, where she has rescued hundreds of animals and created a free spay/neuter program for low income families. Silvia was inspired by the work her mother did and helped her while she was growing up. Read more...
 
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