About Us

We are a global family of local teams that share a passion to save our natural world.
http://darwinanimaldoctors.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/about-us.png

Our Story

It all started in the Domincan Republic, with a three legged dog named Piggy. A tiny puppy who was injured but had no access to life-saving services. We brought him home to the USA where he blossomed and now changes the world. Piggy’s strength, determination, and love of life inspired us! We realized that countless others around the world, who may also lack the opportunity to fulfill their potential, given the chance can change the world. Thus, we created DAD to lift up and empower others, and work with them to change the world for the better.

Our Team

Board

Tod Emko

President and Founder

Meet Tod

Tod Emko is a conservationist from New York City. He has saved animals from Antarctica to the equator since 2008, but his greatest accomplishment is probably raising Piggy, the three-legged dog who was the inspiration that led to the creation of Darwin Animal Doctors. Together, Tod and Piggy visit schools and teach children that they can overcome unimaginable struggles, both mental and physical. And that being different is just another kind of superpower.

Close

Tod Emko is a conservationist from New York City. He has saved animals from Antarctica to the equator since 2008, but his greatest accomplishment is probably raising Piggy, the three-legged dog who was the inspiration that led to the creation of Darwin Animal Doctors. Together, Tod and Piggy visit schools and teach children that they can overcome unimaginable struggles, both mental and physical. And that being different is just another kind of superpower.

Close

Andrea Gordon

Co-Founder

Meet Andrea

Andrea dedicates herself to saving lives and working for the public good. As a lawyer, she litigated for a nonprofit organisation in New York City for a number of years after earning her B.A. From Duke University and J.D. From Washington College of Law. She utilizes her experience in law, nonprofit organizations and wildlife conservation to protect animals and nature.

Close

Andrea dedicates herself to saving lives and working for the public good. As a lawyer, she litigated for a nonprofit organisation in New York City for a number of years after earning her B.A. From Duke University and J.D. From Washington College of Law. She utilizes her experience in law, nonprofit organizations and wildlife conservation to protect animals and nature.

Close

Julia Szabo

Board of Directors

Meet Julia

Julia Szabo is an internationally-recognized journalist and healthy living advocate whose articles have appeared in The Purist, The New York Times, New York Post, Reader’s Digest, Amazing Wellness, Cesar’s Way, Dogster, Catster, and many other publications. She has authored numerous books, most recently Medicine Dog, a medical memoir about how caring for her dogs led her to her own best health. A longtime supporter of animal rescue and adoption, Julia lives in New York with her beloved family of rescued dogs. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @petreporter1 and check out/follow @getdressedchangetheworld (her project designed to raise awareness of cruelty-free fashion and wildlife conservation)

Close

Julia Szabo is an internationally-recognized journalist and healthy living advocate whose articles have appeared in The Purist, The New York Times, New York Post, Reader’s Digest, Amazing Wellness, Cesar’s Way, Dogster, Catster, and many other publications. She has authored numerous books, most recently Medicine Dog, a medical memoir about how caring for her dogs led her to her own best health. A longtime supporter of animal rescue and adoption, Julia lives in New York with her beloved family of rescued dogs. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @petreporter1 and check out/follow @getdressedchangetheworld (her project designed to raise awareness of cruelty-free fashion and wildlife conservation)

Close

Board of Advisory

Zoe Weil

Board of Advisory

Meet Zoe

Zoe Weil (pronounced Zoh Wile) is the co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE) and is considered a pioneer in the comprehensive humane education movement that works to create a peaceful, healthy, and just world for all people, animals, and the environment through education. Zoe created IHE’s online M.Ed., M.A., and graduate certificate programs as well as IHE’s acclaimed workshops.
Zoe is the author of seven books including The World Becomes What We Teach: Educating a Generation of Solutionaries (2016), Nautilus Silver Medal winner, Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life (2009), The Power and Promise of Humane Education (2004), and Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times (2003). She has also written books for young people, including Moonbeam Gold Medal winner, Claude and Medea: The Hellburn Dogs (2007), about 12-year-old activists inspired by their teacher to right wrongs where they find them, and So, You Love Animals: An Action-Packed, Fun-Filled Book to Help Kids Help Animals (1994). She has written numerous articles on humane education and humane living and has appeared frequently on radio as well as television.
In 2010, Zoe gave her first TEDx talk “The World Becomes What You Teach” which became among the 50 top-rated TEDx talks within a year. Since then she has given five other TEDx talks: “Solutionaries” “Educating for Freedom”“How to be a Solutionary” “Extending our Circle of Compassion” and “How will you answer this question?”

Close

Zoe Weil (pronounced Zoh Wile) is the co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE) and is considered a pioneer in the comprehensive humane education movement that works to create a peaceful, healthy, and just world for all people, animals, and the environment through education. Zoe created IHE’s online M.Ed., M.A., and graduate certificate programs as well as IHE’s acclaimed workshops.
Zoe is the author of seven books including The World Becomes What We Teach: Educating a Generation of Solutionaries (2016), Nautilus Silver Medal winner, Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life (2009), The Power and Promise of Humane Education (2004), and Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times (2003). She has also written books for young people, including Moonbeam Gold Medal winner, Claude and Medea: The Hellburn Dogs (2007), about 12-year-old activists inspired by their teacher to right wrongs where they find them, and So, You Love Animals: An Action-Packed, Fun-Filled Book to Help Kids Help Animals (1994). She has written numerous articles on humane education and humane living and has appeared frequently on radio as well as television.
In 2010, Zoe gave her first TEDx talk “The World Becomes What You Teach” which became among the 50 top-rated TEDx talks within a year. Since then she has given five other TEDx talks: “Solutionaries” “Educating for Freedom”“How to be a Solutionary” “Extending our Circle of Compassion” and “How will you answer this question?”

Close

Katarina Popović

Board of Advisory

Meet Katarina

Katarina Popović, PhD is Associate Professor at the Department for Andragogy, Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade and Secretary General of ICAE (International Council for Adult Education), visiting professor for adult education and lifelong learning at few European universities, and president of the Serbian Adult Education Society. She is the member of International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, several relevant European and international organisations, editor in chief of the journal “Andragogical studies” and author of numerous publications, articles and books in the field of adult education and lifelong learning.

She is certified trainer (Swiss) in adult education with rich experience in trainings worldwide; for many years she was the vice president of EAEA, and coordinator of German DVV international for South East Europe, participating and coordinating numerous projects in the field of adult education, lifelong learning and vocational training in various roles – policy advisers, evaluator, curriculum developer and trainer.

As Secretary General of ICAE she works mainly on the policy level, and as support to the implementation of the global agendas (SDGs, EFA), bringing global goals and commitments to the local practicies and implementation.

Close

Katarina Popović, PhD is Associate Professor at the Department for Andragogy, Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade and Secretary General of ICAE (International Council for Adult Education), visiting professor for adult education and lifelong learning at few European universities, and president of the Serbian Adult Education Society. She is the member of International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, several relevant European and international organisations, editor in chief of the journal “Andragogical studies” and author of numerous publications, articles and books in the field of adult education and lifelong learning.

She is certified trainer (Swiss) in adult education with rich experience in trainings worldwide; for many years she was the vice president of EAEA, and coordinator of German DVV international for South East Europe, participating and coordinating numerous projects in the field of adult education, lifelong learning and vocational training in various roles – policy advisers, evaluator, curriculum developer and trainer.

As Secretary General of ICAE she works mainly on the policy level, and as support to the implementation of the global agendas (SDGs, EFA), bringing global goals and commitments to the local practicies and implementation.

Close

Ricarda Motschilnig

Board of Advisory

Meet Ricarda

Mag.Ricarda Motschilnig, MSc. completed her studies of pedagogic and educational science, followed by a master’s degree in social and cultural anthropology at the VU University Amsterdam. Over the past years she worked in international adult education and lifelong learning in various countries. Among other things, she was responsible for the representation of interests and coordination of strategic European projects at the European Association for Adult Education in Brussels, and for the implementation of EPALE (Electronic Platform for Adult Learning Europe) in Austria within the National Agency for Lifelong Learning. Currently, Ricarda Motschilnig is the policy and advocacy officer for the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) and lecturer at the Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt/Austria.

Close

Mag.Ricarda Motschilnig, MSc. completed her studies of pedagogic and educational science, followed by a master’s degree in social and cultural anthropology at the VU University Amsterdam. Over the past years she worked in international adult education and lifelong learning in various countries. Among other things, she was responsible for the representation of interests and coordination of strategic European projects at the European Association for Adult Education in Brussels, and for the implementation of EPALE (Electronic Platform for Adult Learning Europe) in Austria within the National Agency for Lifelong Learning. Currently, Ricarda Motschilnig is the policy and advocacy officer for the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) and lecturer at the Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt/Austria.

Close

Global Team

Dr. Lorelei Wakefield

Veterinary Advisor, USA

Meet Lorelei

New York City animal welfare veterinarian Lorelei Wakefield works with non-profit organizations (NGO’s) to provide expert opinions on pressing issues. She collaborates with media to help educate the public on topics such as vegetarian diets for companion animals, factory farming, hoarding, animal cruelty and dog / cat overpopulation. Dr. Wakefield founded the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Animal Welfare Society, a group that organizes educational sessions for veterinary students. Currently, she provides veterinary care and consulting services for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She is also a relief and house call veterinarian in NYC.

Close

New York City animal welfare veterinarian Lorelei Wakefield works with non-profit organizations (NGO’s) to provide expert opinions on pressing issues. She collaborates with media to help educate the public on topics such as vegetarian diets for companion animals, factory farming, hoarding, animal cruelty and dog / cat overpopulation. Dr. Wakefield founded the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Animal Welfare Society, a group that organizes educational sessions for veterinary students. Currently, she provides veterinary care and consulting services for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She is also a relief and house call veterinarian in NYC.

Close

Sam Sielen

Visual Media Coordinator

Meet Sam

From the busy downtown streets of New York City to the freezing waters of Antarctica and the remote islands of the Galapagos, Sam Sielen has been there with a camera capturing historical moments.

After graduating with honors and a BFA in film from his hometown University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Sam moved to New York City where he worked full time in the Visual Evidence Unit at the District Attorney’s office in Manhattan filming crime scenes, editing footage for use in court, testifying and managing thousands of hours worth of video on a regular basis.

Wanting to do more for this planet, Sam joined Sea Shepherd where he regularly produced a variety of video and photo content year round for web and media distribution. Sam soon joined the Whale Wars team, and has been Director of Photography for the show on Animal Planet for two consecutive years.

He has been a camera operator for the Discovery show Tech Toys 360, as well as for the feature length documentary about childhood cancer, The Truth 365. In between projects, Sam works a video consultant providing expertise on workflow, gear, technical or creative assistance.
His passion stems from wanting to share world-changing stories. With a focus on animal welfare and environmental issues, Sam knows there is no shortage of stories to be told!

Close

From the busy downtown streets of New York City to the freezing waters of Antarctica and the remote islands of the Galapagos, Sam Sielen has been there with a camera capturing historical moments.

After graduating with honors and a BFA in film from his hometown University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Sam moved to New York City where he worked full time in the Visual Evidence Unit at the District Attorney’s office in Manhattan filming crime scenes, editing footage for use in court, testifying and managing thousands of hours worth of video on a regular basis.

Wanting to do more for this planet, Sam joined Sea Shepherd where he regularly produced a variety of video and photo content year round for web and media distribution. Sam soon joined the Whale Wars team, and has been Director of Photography for the show on Animal Planet for two consecutive years.

He has been a camera operator for the Discovery show Tech Toys 360, as well as for the feature length documentary about childhood cancer, The Truth 365. In between projects, Sam works a video consultant providing expertise on workflow, gear, technical or creative assistance.
His passion stems from wanting to share world-changing stories. With a focus on animal welfare and environmental issues, Sam knows there is no shortage of stories to be told!

Close

Michelle Green

International Humane Educator

Meet Michelle

Michelle was born in Toronto, Canada, but grew up in country-town Australia, surrounded by animals. From a young age, Michelle showed a strong love and connection with animals of all kinds; bringing home the stray and wounded, big and small – any animal that needed help. Growing up in a family that valued education, Michelle also understood early on the power and independence that knowledge gives individuals. In an effort to spread change through education, Michelle has since worked as a Youth Worker and educator in various countries worldwide.

Michelle first crossed paths with Darwin Animal Doctors while she was running an education program in the coast of mainland Ecuador. Moved by an organization that places so much value on educating and empowering communities worldwide, Michelle soon decided to come on-board and head our education department. Soon after, Michelle also began coordinating our volunteer programs, fielding hundreds of application per year, from countries all over the world.

Close

Michelle was born in Toronto, Canada, but grew up in country-town Australia, surrounded by animals. From a young age, Michelle showed a strong love and connection with animals of all kinds; bringing home the stray and wounded, big and small – any animal that needed help. Growing up in a family that valued education, Michelle also understood early on the power and independence that knowledge gives individuals. In an effort to spread change through education, Michelle has since worked as a Youth Worker and educator in various countries worldwide.

Michelle first crossed paths with Darwin Animal Doctors while she was running an education program in the coast of mainland Ecuador. Moved by an organization that places so much value on educating and empowering communities worldwide, Michelle soon decided to come on-board and head our education department. Soon after, Michelle also began coordinating our volunteer programs, fielding hundreds of application per year, from countries all over the world.

Close

Sarah Jane Wang

Community and Local Volunteer Development

Meet Sarah

Born in the UK, Sarah studied Youth and Community work, Education and Development Studies. Sarah has over 18 years experience in youth participation and community development and education. Her work has taken her to Russia, China, USA, South Korea, Bahrain, France and New Zealand. Sarah has managed a variety of award winning youth participatory programs which enable young people to explore issues and express their views through creative platforms in order to effect change in their communities. Sarah has been involved in a variety of conservation projects and was an integral part of a Shark Expedition in Bahrain filming the documentary ‘Short Time Dying.’ More recently Sarah was an Academic Director in Beijing, China developing community outreach programs and such as Eco Ambassadors and Street Teach. Sarah has a keen interest in Island Communities and is keen to protect animals and support community education. She utilizes her expertise in youth participation, community development and education and is excited to be part of this global team.

Close

Born in the UK, Sarah studied Youth and Community work, Education and Development Studies. Sarah has over 18 years experience in youth participation and community development and education. Her work has taken her to Russia, China, USA, South Korea, Bahrain, France and New Zealand. Sarah has managed a variety of award winning youth participatory programs which enable young people to explore issues and express their views through creative platforms in order to effect change in their communities. Sarah has been involved in a variety of conservation projects and was an integral part of a Shark Expedition in Bahrain filming the documentary ‘Short Time Dying.’ More recently Sarah was an Academic Director in Beijing, China developing community outreach programs and such as Eco Ambassadors and Street Teach. Sarah has a keen interest in Island Communities and is keen to protect animals and support community education. She utilizes her expertise in youth participation, community development and education and is excited to be part of this global team.

Close

Lucy Dimitrova

Lead Artist and Web Engineer

Meet Lucy

Lucy is one of the youngest members of the world’s art community. Coming from the small European country of Bulgaria, her passion for art was originally triggered by the amazing beauty and charm of the Bulgarian nature. Lucy specialises in wildlife drawings and paintings, as well as murals, commissioned for various non-profit organizations around the world. Her professional path doesn’t include only art, however. Having a B.S in Software Engineering, Lucy also works as a software developer, delivering quality software solutions to clients every day. Her mission is to use her skills for good and inspire others to do the same.

Close

Lucy is one of the youngest members of the world’s art community. Coming from the small European country of Bulgaria, her passion for art was originally triggered by the amazing beauty and charm of the Bulgarian nature. Lucy specialises in wildlife drawings and paintings, as well as murals, commissioned for various non-profit organizations around the world. Her professional path doesn’t include only art, however. Having a B.S in Software Engineering, Lucy also works as a software developer, delivering quality software solutions to clients every day. Her mission is to use her skills for good and inspire others to do the same.

Close

Animal Team

Piggy

Spokesdog & Educational Mascot

Meet Piggy

Piggy is our 3-legged rescue pup who stars in DAD’s humane education superhero comic, A Piggy’s Tale! He is our daily inspiration for ensuring all animals of the Galapagos have access to life-saving medical care.

Close

Piggy is our 3-legged rescue pup who stars in DAD’s humane education superhero comic, A Piggy’s Tale! He is our daily inspiration for ensuring all animals of the Galapagos have access to life-saving medical care.

Close

Simon

DAD’s first patient and Piggy’s sidekick

Meet Simon

Simon was our very first patient, a sick, tiny kitten who was determined to survive the streets! He is now Piggy’s sidekick in New York City.

Close

Simon was our very first patient, a sick, tiny kitten who was determined to survive the streets! He is now Piggy’s sidekick in New York City.

Close