When EWA was just a vision, the following individuals were instrumental in bringing the organization to life. We are fortunate to be associated with such knowledgeable and dedicated individuals. Please take a moment to visit their websites or organization affiliations for information on our efforts and how you can help.
Shelley Sawhook | American Horse Defense Fund
Laura Allen | Animal Law Coalition
Laura Allen, Esq. is the founder and Executive Director of Animal Law Coalition, which advocates for the rights of animals to live and live free of cruelty and neglect. Laura Allen is a trial attorney with more than 20 years of experience trying cases and arguing appeals in the state and federal courts in Washington, Illinois, Missouri and Arizona. She is a member of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. Several years ago, when she and her husband adopted a dog from the local shelter, they had no idea how he would change their lives. Thanks to their beloved dog, Luke, she became involved in animal welfare. Laura first worked as an attorney for Best Friends Animal Society, helping establish programs to stop breed bans and puppy mills. Laura then founded Animal Law Coalition. As she explains, “Like many of you, I could see the suffering that goes on every day in shelters, breeding facilities, factory farms, slaughter houses, animal "parks" or exhibits, circuses, animal research facilities, and homes where there is abuse or neglect. I could see the policies of the federal as well as state and local governments were more focused on expedience, cost and convenience when it comes to animals than their humane care and treatment, their right to live. Government policies are more focused on development than restoration of wildlife habitat and conservation of the animals in the wild. “I could also see the public has little awareness of the suffering or of government policies towards animals.” Animal Law Coalition hopes to change that. Through analysis of the legal issues that affect animals, ALC strives to inform and engage the public in the fight to stop animal cruelty. Animal Law Coalition funds litigation and lobbying efforts to affect government laws and policies to stop the abuse and suffering. In particular, Animal Law Coalition has a program to initiate and support litigation to preserve wild horses and burros on their historical range. Animal Law Coalition also actively provides resources and supports lobbying efforts to pass anti-horse slaughter legislation. In 2009 the Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a resolution drafted by Animal Law Coalition that called for the passage of a pending federal bill to end slaughter of American horses. Laura Allen is a frequent speaker particularly on the issue of horse slaughter and a regular guest on Animals Today Radio and Wild For Life Endangered Talk Radio. She serves on the advisory board of Saving America’s Horses and WFLF Wild Capture Awareness. She works with Compassionate Animal TV and Animal Advocate Television. She is an advisor to Our Stubby Dog Heroes, a project to restore the image of the pit bull dog.
Horses and their welfare have been a huge part of Julie Caramante's life since childhood. As a certified cruelty investigator, Julie has saved literally thousands of horses from abuse, neglect and disaster. Her specific knowledge of animal cruelty laws and proper equine husbandry, as well as her ability to quickly pull together disparate elements for unique situational problem solving, have made her an invaluable asset in the field and among lawmakers.
Caramante serves as a board member of the Greater Houston Horse Council and is also on the board of an animal cruelty investigations organization. Her investigative research has led to the exposure of endemic problems within the horse industry and made Julie's name familiar to equine advocates all over the world.
Vicki Tobin | A Voice for Our Horses
Vicki is a freelance writer, co-founder of the Equine Welfare Alliance and serves on the board of directors of Manes and Tails Organization. Vicki hails from Chicago and became involved in horse slaughter efforts at the prompting of family members that own a farm in rural Illinois. Several years ago, she met John Holland, started working with him and the rest, as they say, is history. She has written several articles and is heavily involved with horse slaughter research, wild Mustang protection and equine rescues.
She absolutely adores her “boys” at Old Friends in Georgetown, KY and visits the retired athletes every summer. She is active with legislators and dispelling the myths propagated by anti-horse groups and efforts to restore protections to our wild horses and burros.
Although John and Vicki are responsible for EWA media releases and email communications/alerts, they work with the BOD, EWA members, industry individuals and organizations for copy input. Her “day” profession is Strategic Technology Procurement.
Barbi Moline, Florida State Lead and Equine Welfare Advocate
Barbi is the owner of Surf Express Travel in Palm City, Florida. She is the state leader of Florida working with Stephanie Breaux and other state leaders to end horse slaughter. Barbi also helped start the Thoroughbred Rehab and Placement Division of Pure Thoughts, Inc. in Loxahatchee, Florida. She works with trainers, owners and the Florida racetracks on a daily basis to coordinate the retirement of thoroughbreds from Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park. She also owns a dog rescue, Nala's New Life Rescue which rescues and places abandoned and special needs dogs. She has her own retired thoroughbred saved from slaughter 12 years ago and has 10 other animals of her own. She has been active in working to end horse slaughter since 2000.
Barbi is the recipient of the 2010 Dogwood Dominion Award.
Shelley Grainger | Canadian Horse Defence Coalition
Shelley Grainger grew up in Toronto, Canada, and realized early on, the unique place that horses hold in the collective consciousness of the people. Shelley pursued English horsemanship and knew before becoming an owner, that she owed it to herself and the horses under her care, to become truly educated in horse management. To that end, she became an Honours Graduate of the Equine Studies Program at Humber College in 1993, and since that time has owned and managed a boarding stable, taught basic horsemanship, all the while evolving towards horse welfare advocacy.
Shelley joined the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) in 2006, and became its Eastern Region Director in 2007. Shelley’s role with the CHDC involves research, investigations, writing, networking and public relations. Shelley’s dedication to horse welfare stems from the knowledge that once mainstream society awakens to the cruel realities of the horse slaughter industry, that people will stand behind our efforts to end this unethical business.
Shelley works in her professional career as an Office Manager for an international software company. She enjoys quality time with her mare, practicing dressage and hacking in the forest.
John Holland, Horse Owner & Writer
Author and freelance writer, John Holland, is an industrial consultant in the field of intelligent automation and knowledge engineering. He is the author of three books with his most recent work being "Designing Autonomous Mobile Robots; Inside the Mind of an Intelligent Machine". He also holds numerous patents in robotics, fiber optics, and radio telemetry.
Mr. Holland is an advocate for horse welfare and humane treatment. He frequently writes on the subject of horse slaughter from his small farm in the mountains of Virginia, where he lives with his wife, Sheilah, and their 12 equines. Holland is co-founder of the Equine Welfare Alliance and serves as senior analyst for Americans Against Horse Slaughter, an organization composed entirely of volunteers.
In 2005 he received the annual "Heart and Soul" award from United Animal Nations for his volunteer work against horse slaughter.
Kaufman Zoning was started by Mary Nash, an equine welfare advocate from Kaufman Texas, who dedicated her life to bringing awareness to the horrors of horse slaughter and advocating to end horse slaughter. Today, the website is kept up-to-date in her memory.
Ellen-Cathryn Nash | Manes and Tails Organization
Elle Nash hails from Hunterdon County in New Jersey. Having grown up a few miles from the Lana Lobell Standardbred Stud, Elle spent a lot of time at that farm watching Alan Leavitt school his Standardbred trotters and pacers. The love affair with the horses began even earlier, during the construction of the World Trade Center in the late 1960's. Elle's late father was a supplier to the construction and he took her to see the 'bathtub.' Elle saw a New York City Mounted Police Officer and she was allowed to pet the horse. NYPD once used only Morgan horses, however, today they are using Warmbloods more as their hooves and legs hold up better on the pavement of the city streets.
Elle rescued her first horse in 1995; that horse was an emaciated Arabian gelding who wanted to kill every adult that attempted to ride him. He loved children and he always won blue ribbons for them as the adults knew he was a tough horse. 'Sahlih' never tossed Elle, however he did give her plenty of hell rides! 1995 was the year Elle became aware of horse slaughter. Manes and Tails Organization was incorporated in June of 2004 and the organization often rescues horses 'sight unseen.' It does not matter what the breed is, the age, the vices, the state of health, or the ability the horse has to perform as a riding horse. If it needs to be rescued, Manes and Tails Organization will accept the horse into rescue as long as there is space available at the private farm where the rescue horses are boarded. We rescue, rehabilitate, retrain and rehome horses through our free lease program. The Organization retains ownership of the horses, and will take them back if the Lessee wishes to return the horse. Based on an analysis of the Humane Slaughter Act of 1958, horse slaughter is, and has been, illegal since 1958. There is no method of slaughtering a horse that can ever comply with that statute. Elle is a Legal Philosopher and also a musician.
Stephanie Breaux, Director of State Groups