Facebook Pixel

Meet the Global Strays Staff

Elizabeth Shafiroff


Liz is the President and Co-Founder of Global Strays. After witnessing the suffering and overpopulation crisis of stray animals while traveling in Central America, she was inspired to start Global Strays. In her twenties, she began fostering and finding homes for pitbulls who were scheduled to be euthanized. Prior to Global Strays, she was a freelance photojournalist for Reuters and The Wall Street Journal. She has a fascination with log cabins, rivers in The Texas Hill Country and has a particular knack for alternative medicine.

For questions about fundraising or events, email Liz@globalstrays.org

Global Strays' President Elizabeth Shafiroff holding a dog.
Kristy Himmler holding a white goat.

Kristy Himmler

International Programs Director

Kristy Himmler has previously worked for various educational and womens health non-profit organizations in New York City and Guatemala. Her love for Latin America and animals drew her to Global Strays. She believes in Global Strays’ mission and thinks it is yielding positive changes everywhere it is present. Kristy loves traveling, trying new food, and any activity that is in the ocean.

For questions about our programs or partnerships, email kristy@globalstrays.org

Tariana Nguyen holding her dog Ava.

Tariana Nguyen

Communications Director

Tariana’s greatest passion in life is the nonprofit sector. She’s dedicated her career to working for organizations that create transformational change. With a lifelong commitment to animal welfare, Tariana is excited and honored to be part of the Global Strays team. When not working for nonprofits, she spends her free time volunteering for them. Most notably, she’s volunteered abroad to build schools in countries affected by natural disasters. Tariana also loves reading books, training in Muay Thai, and is completely obsessed with her dog, Ava.

For questions about donating or newsletters, email tariana@globalstays.org

Global Strays' Social Media Specialist Renee Owens holding kittens.

Renee Owens

Social Media Specialist

Renee has worked in community outreach for the past decade, from hosting art and writing workshops for disadvantaged youth to teaching English abroad during her Peace Corps service. At Global Strays, she’s particularly excited to bridge the gap between her creative endeavors and her passion for animals and youth development. Outside of work, she spends her time playing pickleball, searching for the best new restaurants, and gardening.

For questions about collaborations or social media, email renee@globalstrays.org

Global Strays' Colombia Programs Manager Kathe Rivera holding a dog.

Kathe Rivera

Programs Manager, Colombia

Kathe Rivera began her rescue work by bringing food to starving animals in the streets south of Bogotá, Colombia. There, she opened her first animal shelter, Fundación Pacto Animal, in 2013 and managed the foundation entirely alone. In 2017 amid a financial crisis in Colombia, Kathe was between a rock and a woof place and on the verge of closing the shelter. At that moment in time, she received a phone call from Global Strays, who met Kathe at her shelter in Sibate. Kathe and Global Strays immediately formed a partnership. Since that day, Kathe has successfully rescued and found homes for over 700 dogs.
Global Strays Programs Manager of Nicaragua, Elisa Quiroz holding a dog.

Elisa Quiroz

Programs Manager, Nicaragua

Elisa Quiroz first felt the rush of rescuing animals when she saved a baby kitten unable to walk. In 2014, Elisa started the ADAN Foundation, which rescues and rehabilitates dogs, cats, and horses. Once the animals are rehabilitated, they are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and put up for adoption. With the aid of Global Strays, the ADAN Foundation has had an impact on government policy through the reform of Law 747, which protects the welfare of domestic animals in Nicaragua. Elisa is a Project Coordinator for the Global Strays Spay and Neuter & Veterinarian Care Program, and she inspects and oversees several of our affiliated shelters.

Global Strays' Programs Manager of Nicaragua, Mabia Elisa Espinoza Sánchez holding a dog.

Mabia Elisa Espinoza Sánchez

Programs Manager, Nicaragua

Mabia Elisa Espinoza Sánchez is a lover of all things nature and animals. She began rescuing stray animals when she was 22 years old. With her two sisters and a degree in economics, Mabia used her business acumen to found Rescatanda Huellas, the largest animal shelter in Nicaragua. Since teaming up with Global Strays in 2017, Mabia has successfully run our programs in Nicaragua including the Spay and Neuter & Veterinarian Care Program and the COVID-19 pet Food Pantry Program, which help feed pets for families affected by the pandemic.


Ambika Spinazzola smiling

Ambika Spinazzola

Ambika Spinazzola is a lifelong educator. After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Secondary English Education, Ambika taught high school English in New York City and middle school language arts in Charlotte, NC. In Charlotte, where she resides with her husband and daughter, she also served on the board of a literacy nonprofit dedicated to improving childhood literacy for struggling students. Ambika developed an interest in animal welfare after adopting their family pet from a cat shelter, and her passion for education brought her to Global Strays where she has helped design and edit curriculum for the Global Strays Educational Program.