Posted on 8 Apr 2012

Palm Desert, CA — In 2001, ophthalmologist Lori Kirshner, a lifelong devoted animal lover, decided to take action for animals in need by starting the non-profit organization, Desert Paws. Its yearly 5K race in Palm Springs raised needed funds for spay and neuter services and helped to establish the organization’s reputation as a vocal and effective advocate for domestic animals. Along with husband Dr. Peter Spiegel and executive Hal Ball, the organization steadily grew over the next decade, improving the lives of countless cats and dogs in and around the Coachella Valley.

Now, ten years later, after providing tens of thousands of dollars in grants to various groups to support free spay and neuter, vaccination, and animal abuse educational services, the organization – with a solid history that includes the popular Animals Today radio show and countless animal advocacy efforts – has a new name (Advancing the Interests of Animals) and expanded goals (to help all animals by promoting greater compassion and respect for them). A dinner gala honoring local animal advocates and featuring advisory board member Barry Manilow served as the public announcement of the group’s national expansion.

“The new name reflects our expanded mission, which aims to help all animals by promoting greater compassion and respect for them,” says Dr. Kirshner. “We are going to engage in both informational and grassroots campaigns. Plus, we have assembled a stellar advisory board consisting of regional animal advocates as well as internationally acclaimed leaders.”

The Animals Today radio show is one of AIA’s many campaigns to help animals.

“I invite everyone to tune in,” says Dr. Kirshner. “On the show, we have met some of the most fascinating, inspiring and dedicated people you will ever encounter.”

The nationally syndicated show is streamed online and then archived as a free podcast for anyone in the world to enjoy, share and download at www.animalstodayradio.com.

To learn more about the nonprofit Advancing the Interests of Animals, please visit their new website www.aianimals.org or e-mail them atinfo@aianimals.org.

Lori L. Kirshner, Founder/President

Lori L. Kirshner, a native of Southern California, received a B.S. in Biology from UCLA, and then graduated from George Washington University School of Medicine. After completing a residency in Ophthalmology at University of Arizona, Lori began a successful Ophthalmology practice in Palm Springs, California. In 2001, Lori founded Desert Paws, and now is the President and CEO of Advancing the Interests of Animals. She also is the host of the radio show, Animals Today, which has grown to be syndicated in 33 markets throughout the US. AnimalsToday, “Your home for serious talk about animals,” covers a wide variety of issues concerning all animals, while promoting a greater respect for all living creatures. Lori believes it is vitally important to teach these values to children. She promotes the health benefits of a plant-based diet, and feels that veganism is a central value to animal advocacy.

Peter Spiegel, Vice President

Peter Spiegel, M.D. serves as Vice President and Secretary of Advancing the Interests of Animals. 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 after completing his training in Pediatric and Neuro-ophthalmology, settled in Palm Springs, California. Peter serves as Vice President and secretary of Advancing the Interests of Animals and manages the website – www.aianimals.org. He is producer of Animals Today, and is always on the lookout for interesting radio guests. He is interested in media coverage of animal issues, children’s books about animals and service animals in our society.

Hal Ball, Director

Lifelong animal lover Harold “Hal” Ball grew up in Los Angeles and earned degrees from Los Angeles City College and UCLA. He enjoyed a successful career in management with Pac Tel Cellular and Pacific Bell Directory, and retired after more than 29 years in the industry. He is past chairman of the City of Palm Springs Administrative Appeals Board and a Save Our City Board Member. Hal was a board member for the Desert Aids Project and served on the Executive and Governance Committee. Also, he served as a Board Member of the Desert Foundation For Democracy. Hal has served as a Campaign Manager for the former Mayor of Palm Springs and a consultant for local, state and federal political candidates. One of Hal’s special interests is humane control of feral cat colonies.

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