Voice For The Animals Foundation is devoted to creating respect and empathy for animals through education, rescue, legislation, and advocacy. 


Voice for the Animals Foundation is a 501c3, non-profit charitable foundation.


Voice For The Animals was founded by Melya Kaplan in 1999. Melya was inspired to start Voice For The Animals when she realized that, although there were many great rescuers, there was a dire need for a new type of animal protection organization with programs to empower people to help more animals. Programs like the Hotline where the public can call, talk to a live person and receive help; like the Humane Education Program which educates students on compassion; like the Helping Friends Program which provides food and vet care to people so they can keep their animals; like the Working Cats Program which rescues feral cats and places them as rodent control; like the Abuse Prevention Program which partners with city agencies to stop animal abuse; like the Animal Film Program which makes films about animal issues; and like the VFTA Worldwide Program which has begun in Greece to train the Hellenic police to investigate animal abuse.

VFTA prides itself on our excellence, significance and leadership in the community. We are founded on a belief in the sacredness of all life and seek to eliminate situations where animals are neglected or destroyed. The Commendation of Excellence we received from the City of Los Angeles in 2010 stated, "Through its steadfast ways and caring deeds VFTA has helped make our world a better home for all living things." We also have received a Certificate of Appreciation from the City Council (1996) for VFTA's "tireless work on behalf of the animals in the city of Los Angeles."





Melya Kaplan, Founder and Executive Director
Betty Denny Smith, Retired Director of Los Angeles County
Animal Control Department
Paula Soloman, Philanthropist



Melya Kaplan
Kathryn Price
Evris Tsakirides



Mark Kleiman, President
Pooja Rajaram, Vice President
Janie Crane
Kim Halverson
Kristine Halverson
Dr. Gary Kuehn
Mike Mahler


Honorary Board

Olympia Dukakis
Maria and Wolfgang Petersen
Dr. Raj Rajaram
Lily Tomlin





Office Operations


Caitlin Dolan

Development, Humane Education 

Favorite Cat: Aurora


Abigail Zimmerman

Development Assistant, Social Media

Favorite Cat: Buddy


John Ortlieb

Marketing Coordinator

Favorite Cat: Nala


Maria Ayala

Office Manager

Favorite Cat: Josephine





Rescue & Adoption

Coordinator: Maria Ayala


Volunteer & Internship

Coordinator: Maria Ayala


Helping Friends

Coordinator: Maria Ayala


Working Cats

Coordinator: Melya Kaplan


Abuse Prevention

Coordinator: Melya Kaplan


Humane Education

Coordinator: Cailtin Dolan


Zoo Watch

Coordinator: Melya Kaplan


VFTA Worldwide

Coordinator: Melya Kaplan


Animal Films

Executive Producer: Melya Kaplan


Feral Colonies

Coordinator: Melya Kaplan


Farm Animal Rescue

Coordinator: Melya Kaplan


Creating Compassion • Counteracting Cruelty