- What is the mission of Advancing the Interests of Animals (AIA)?
AIA’s mission is to improve the lives of animals and to encourage increased compassion and respect for all living beings. The organization acts directly with focused campaigns to help animals as well as through a variety of educational activities and informational efforts. Its vision is to be an effective, passionate and nationally respected advocate for all animals.
- How did AIA get started?
Drs. Lori Kirshner and Peter Spiegel initially founded Desert Paws in 2001 with a focus on the welfare of dogs and cats in the southern California Coachella Valley community. As the founders learned more about the plight of other animals, such as the abuse of animals in rodeos and circuses, as well as the exploitation of wild animals through such activities as illegal poaching, they expanded their advocacy efforts to be a voice for the humane treatment of all animals.
In 2011, Desert Paws became Advancing the Interests of Animals (AIA) dedicated to the belief that all animals – domesticated and wild – deserve to be treated with compassion and respect.
- What does AIA do?
AIA is a national organization that addresses animal welfare issues around the globe through public education and regional projects. Its primary focus is to encourage people of all ages to treat animals with compassion and respect.
In addition, AIA promotes a plant-based diet, which is consistent with its mission and is also the least harmful to the environment. This diet has also been scientifically proven to be the healthiest for humans.
AIA’s founders, Drs. Kirshner and Spiegel, produce and host a weekly, one-hour radio show and podcast, Animals Today. Animals Today features interviews with experts from around the world, commentary and analysis on a wide variety of animals issues, news reporting, pet product reviews, and lighter animal segments.
Guests on the show include celebrities, politicians and government officials, lawyers, naturalists and activists working in the field. They all share a desire to improve the lives of animals around the world.
- Where is AIA located?
AIA’s national offices are located in Palm Springs, California.
- How do people benefit from the work of AIA?
Although our main focus is the welfare of animals, AIA believes that people who treat animals kindly are generally more respectful in their dealings with other people. By promoting compassion and respect for animals, the work of AIA benefits animals and society as a whole.
In addition, animal abuse by youth can be an early warning sign of potentially violent behavior towards people. The connection between such abuse and the later development of antisocial behavior is well known. AIA educates people about the importance of recognizing and properly addressing animal abuse and neglect in order to interrupt this cycle of violence.
- How is AIA funded?
AIA is a tax exempt, 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization and is completely supported by private donations. Drs. Kirshner and Spiegel donate their time and energy and all board members serve as volunteers.
- Who supports AIA?
AIA’s supporters come from all walks of life and have a wide range of animal-related interests. These include concerns about the care of companion animals, protecting wild animals and their natural habitats, treatment of farmed animals, and teaching children compassion and respect toward animals. Most of all, AIA supporters share a common desire to help and protect animals.
- How Can I Get Involved?
AIA seeks the support and involvement of individuals and organizations. Financial gifts of any size are appreciated. Tribute gifts can be made in honor or in memory of a loved one. AIA also welcomes volunteers to assist with specific projects.