Board of Directors

Lori Kirshner
Founder and President

Dr. Kirshner serves as President of Advancing the Interests of Animals (AIA). She founded the organization, previously named Desert Paws, in 2001.

Lori provides leadership and energy to AIA and guided it from an organization primarily focused on dogs and cats to one which advocates for all animals around the globe. Lori is host of Animals Today, a nationally syndicated radio show and podcast now in its 15th year of production. Dr. Kirshner, a native of Southern California, received a B.S. in Biology from UCLA, and then graduated from George Washington University School of Medicine.

Lori completed a residency in Ophthalmology at the University of Arizona, and specialized in cataract surgery. Lori and her husband, Dr. Peter Spiegel, built and enjoyed a thriving practice together for over 20 years.

Lori enjoys outdoor sports and classic rock. Two dogs and four cats provide endless affection and comfort.

Dr. Peter Spiegel
Vice President and Secretary

Peter Spiegel serves as Vice President and Secretary of Advancing the Interests of Animals, and is a founding member.

Along with Dr. Kirshner, Peter developed the radio show and podcast, Animals Today, which he produces and co-hosts.

He is constantly scanning world events for newsworthy animal stories to bring to the show and presents the most important ones in his news segments. Peter is especially interested in children’s books about animals and the role of service animals in society. Working alongside Dr. Kirshner, Peter has provided energy and vision during the organization’s growth. Peter Spiegel grew up in New York and graduated from Clark University, summa cum laude. He attended Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and enjoyed a fulfilling career in Pediatric and Neuro-ophthalmology. He enjoys plant-based cooking and dining, hifi, piano playing and painting.

Bob Ferber

Originally from Long Island, New York, Bob moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Franklin & Marshall College and Columbia University School of Law.

Bob joined the LA City Attorney’s Office in 1979 as a prosecutor wherein he eventually contested street prostitution then gang violence while instituting successful initiatives which have since been used nationwide. In 2001 he changed his prosecution focus to animal cruelty and neglect cases, becoming the first full-time animal cruelty prosecutor in the nation.

Bob was instrumental in the creation of the LA Animal Cruelty Task Force, the first joint effort to target animal abusers and those engaged in blood sports such as dogfighting and cockfighting. He also drafted local and state legislation to provide further legal protection for animals. Bob resigned from LA City in 2013 so as to make a greater impact on animal welfare as a private attorney.

In addition to his professional successes Bob has created a humane education program called Baron’s Buddies whereby he takes disabled and unwanted rescue animals he rehabilitated to inner-city schools to teach empathy, compassion and nonviolence. Bob also serves on the board of several other animal related nonprofits and provides legal advice and services to animal advocates, rescuers and local nonprofits. Serving as a consultant and expert on topics ranging from the victimization of women as prostitutes, successful strategies to combat gang violence and issues involving animal welfare, Bob has appeared in various media outlets worldwide.

Gaby L. Kirshner

Gaby was born in New Orleans, and raised in Southern California where she currently resides with her husband and 7 year old Shepherd rescued dog, Chief.

Gaby worked as an administrator in commercial real estate prior to getting married and starting a family. She committed herself to raising her two children and volunteering at their respective schools, and many other community organizations. Gaby grew up adopting from local animal shelters, which included several dogs, cats and a rabbit. She is currently involved with several non-profit organizations, including AIA, The SAM Initiative, Present Now, Grief Haven, and the Women’s Group at Kehillat Israel. When she is not volunteering, she enjoys spending her time traveling, reading, painting and cooking.

Advisory Board

Marc Bekoff, PhD

Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado. Ethologist, book author

Gary Francione

Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law & Philosophy, Rutgers University. Expert in animal rights theory and law. Book author and blogger.

Steve Hindi

Founder and President, SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness). Undercover videographer, legal and legislative activist.

Frank L. Hoffman

Operator of the expansive web based resource,, which is supported by The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation. Jewish-United Methodist Pastor (retired).

Lori Marino

Lori Marino, Ph.D. Founder and Executive Director of The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, Inc, Senior Lecturer at Emory University. Faculty in the Emory Center for Ethics. Neuroscientist, comparative psychologist, cetacean expert.

Eric Mills

Founder and Coordinator, Action for Animals. Board member, PawPAC and Ohlone Humane Society.

Eric L. Sakach

Senior Law Enforcement Specialist, Humane Society of the United States.

Paul Waldau

Lead faculty member for the Anthrozoology graduate program at Canisius College. President of the Religion and Animals Institute. Philosopher.

Barry Manilow


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