Laura Nirenberg, Esq. - Founding Executive Director

Co-founder of Animal Law & Policy Institute

As the Founding Executive Director of the Center for Wildlife Ethics, Laura manages organizational communications, campaigns, and development. Laura is a graduate of Valparaiso Law School but her commitment to protecting animals was forged long before she became an attorney. Since founding Wildlife Orphanage, a humble but impactful rehabilitation and rescue organization in 1998, Laura led the organization’s expansion to include a wildlife assistance “hotline”. In 2003, Laura further expanded the organization’s area of focus to include a wildlife eviction service (“Intrusion Solutions”)—a life-saving endeavor that focused entirely on developing and implementing creative, non-violent, and permanent solutions to wildlife intrusions. Laura also served on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Fish & Wildlife’s “Nuisance” Wildlife Subcommittee where she worked to promulgate regulations prohibiting the most egregious abuses prevalent in the wildlife control industry including drowning and the use of nail polish remover as an injected poison. In 2006, Laura won the Purdue University 22nd Hyde Park Speech forum with her presentation entitled, “Misplaced Priorities,” which challenged the Indiana General Assembly’s political posturing and hypocrisy related to its support of a constitutional amendment for the right to hunt.

In 2012, under Laura’s leadership, the organization was restructured as the Center for Wildlife Ethics, an organization innovating legal advocacy for animals. As CWE director, Laura has led legislative reform efforts focusing heavily on wildlife regulations, government transparency and citizen participation. With the recent creation of CWE’s Animal Law & Policy Institute (ALPI), the organization evolved yet again to meet the urgent and growing need for legal support for individuals and grassroots groups committed to animal protection and substantive social change. At ALPI, Laura leads a brilliant team of attorneys to further animal protection efforts through investigative lawyering, the pursuit of government transparency and the exposure of government malfeasance.

Anne Benaroya, Esq. - Director of Litigation

Anne and Travis

Co-founder of Animal Law & Policy Institute

As Director of Litigation at the Center for Wildlife Ethics, Anne manages all trials, appeals, and administrative advocacy. Anne has been a DC-area constitutional lawyer and equal justice advocate for over 25 years, and has focused on animal law and advocacy for the past 15. In 2000, Anne founded the Maryland Animal Law Center, which has represented local and national organizations and individuals in animal-related civil rights violations, Open Government issues, animal-related environmental matters and a variety of compliance matters. Anne is a founding member and current Chairperson of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Animal Law Section and serves as an executive-level advisor to civil rights and animal advocacy organizations, ReLove Animals, Community Cats United and the Mid-Atlantic Journal on Law and Public Policy,

Anne’s background includes a lengthy tenure at the Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) where she represented low-income clients in capital cases, felonies, juvenile matters and misdemeanors. Before joining OPD, Anne was an Associate at a Washington D.C. law firm where she represented plaintiffs in ADA (AIDS)  and other discrimination issues. Previously, Anne served as staff attorney to First Amendment counsel at the National American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).  Upon graduation from law school, Anne served as a Judicial Clerk for Hon John J. Garrity, Maryland Court of Special Appeals. While in law school, Anne was a law clerk for Public Citizen’s civil justice program and The Partnership for Women and Families (formerly Women’s Legal Defense Fund).

Anne graduated from George Washington University Law School with honors, attended Harvard University Law School through a fellowship, and published a Law Review Note upon graduation.  Anne holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy cum laude from the University of Maryland and was nominated to Phi Beta Kappa.

Ken Nirenberg - Director of Wildlife Services

Intrusion Solutions

As the Director of Wildlife Services at the Center for Wildlife Ethics (CWE), Ken focuses his attention entirely on non-lethal, animal-friendly, permanent solutions to common human-wildlife conflicts and concerns. In 2002, Ken participated in hands-on training at AAA Wildlife in Toronto, Canada—an inspiring company guided by the firm commitment of its founder, Brad Gates, that all animals deserve to be treated with compassion and that society can learn to live in harmony with wildlife. Equipped with this special expertise and his compassion and respect for wild animals, Ken returned to Northwest Indiana to direct the operations of “Intrusion Solutions”, a fee-for-service division at the CWE.

Ken’s commitment to wildlife welfare, his creativity, and his resourcefulness are unsurpassed. In 2014, Ken designed and constructed a one-way door device to allow iguanas to leave a building or structure, but not return. It is Ken’s leadership and can-do attitude that continues to save wild animal lives and satisfy (and impress) otherwise frustrated property owners and those who seek non-lethal methods for resolving conflict. His problem-solving skills, keen understanding of animal needs and behavior, and his respect and compassion for wildlife set the benchmark for substantive change that is much-needed within the wild animal control industry. 

Trevor DeSane, Esq. - Director of Operations

Trevor and Gloria

Co-Founder of Animal Law & Policy Institute

As Director of Operations at the Center for Wildlife Ethics, Trevor focuses on a number of issues, including freedom of information and open government, community cat advocacy, and challenging urban and suburban deer kills, extermination of Canada Geese, and wildlife management schemes centered on violence, reproductive manipulation, or other agenda-driven forms of control. 

Trevor is an animal lawyer based in San Francisco, CA and also represents, a wildlife advocacy organization that has worked diligently to protect deer and promote safe, ethical, and rational solutions for human-deer conflicts in New York State. He has also worked to advance environmentally-conscious land use and zoning policies and development patterns that discourage and disincentivize suburban sprawl and human encroachment into wildlife habitats. Trevor has served as a long-time volunteer and Board Member of a respected local community cat organization, where he has helped protect and care for cats in Manhattan. Prior to joining Center for Wildlife Ethics, Trevor served as legal counsel and coordinated international campaigns and outreach for Tribe of Heart, a pioneering animal rights and social justice advocacy non-profit.

Trevor was the recipient of the Kasdan-Montessori Peace Prize as an undergraduate at Cornell University where he focused on peace studies, causes of war, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. As a law student, he focused heavily on human rights law and the plight of Palestinian refugees. Early in his legal career, Trevor represented indigent and disabled individuals and worked on human rights matters, seeking asylum for a diverse group of clients who were victims of persecution in their native countries due to their political beliefs, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic class.

Sharon Vogel - Senior Biologist & Secretary of the Board

As CWE’s Senior Biologist, Sharon assists in the guidance of the organization's policies and campaigns. For over fifteen years, Sharon has worked extensively in the fields of biology and microbiology, while pursuing her keen interest in the environmental, ecological and behavioral sciences. Equipped with this critical skill set, Sharon is also tasked with scrutinizing scientific journals and studies pertaining to CWE’s various campaigns and programs.

In 1998, after completing her biology degree at Purdue University, Sharon chose to pursue her long-time dream of protecting native wildlife by working for a local grassroots organization, Wildlife Orphanage (the predecessor of CWE).  She quickly became the first vice-president and biologist of the organization. 

Since then, Sharon has expanded the diversity of her skill set through work in the United States and in other countries. From aquatic and wildlife studies in the Arctic to solving microbial mysteries in the Mediterranean, her interests have taken her around the globe. Sharon returned to the organization in 2015 in order to further what she helped to create by applying the knowledge and skills gained during this time away.  

Karen Purves - Environmental and Animal Advocate

Karen Purves.jpg

Karen contributes to CWE's life-saving mission in a variety of ways. In addition to serving as a board member, Karen brings a creative and strategic perspective to the organization's various initiative and provides expertise in communication and engagement with the wildlife advocacy community as well as external audiences. 

Karen brings a diverse and practical set of skills to CWE, which she has developed working with local government, in the non-profit sector, and in founding her own organizations. While she has spent much of her career specializing in communications, she has a great deal of experience advancing environmental and sustainability initiatives, working in animal protection, and coaching and curriculum development. Based in Las Vegas, NV, Karen is an energizing and award-winning public speaker and is internationally-recognized for her work at her company, innovative impact

In her well-rounded career, Karen has applied her Master's degree in Environmental Public Policy from the Claremont Graduate School. She is also a graduate of Pepperdine University, where she obtained a Bachelor's degree in business administration. 

Advisory Board

Adam Karp, Esq. 

Adam Karp practices animal law Washington, Idaho and Oregon, and is one of the nation’s most prominent animal lawyers. He founded and served as first chair of the Washington State Bar Association’s (WSBA) Animal Law Section and founded the Idaho State Bar Association’s (ISBA) Animal Law Practice Section, holding executive committee positions since their formation. He has also served as vice chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Animal Law Committee since 2004. Adam regularly writes, speaks, and teaches on the topic of animal law. He has been quoted in TIME, the National Law Journal, and the ABA Journal. The Seattle Times published a profile on Adam’s work for animals in 2014.

In 2012, Adam received the ABA’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section’s Animal Law Committee’s annual Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award for his efforts to advance the humane treatment of animals through the law.

Adam has chaired WSBA animal law continuing legal education (CLE) conferences and has spoken at dozens of CLEs around the nation. He has argued before multiple appellate courts on the subject of animal law, resulting in what are considered seminal decisions. 

Adam graduated from Gonzaga University with a B.A. Honors and University of Washington with a J.D. and M.S. in statistics. Mr. Karp and his wife are vegans and share their home with four beloved cats.



Rachael Jones, DVM (Rachael's bio coming soon)