HUMANE ACTION Pittsburgh would be nothing without our amazing members. As a thank you, we highlight a member once a month to celebrate their work for animals and give them a spotlight to speak out about the causes that matter most to them. Please click on the photos to learn a little bit about our recent Members of the Month.
May 2019: You may recognize Kate Porigow from speaking at our gala, or from our Compassionate Events campaign, but Kate has been involved in animal protection for quite some time! Kate has been vegan for over seven years and is the Senior Director of Programs at NutritionFacts.org. Her past volunteer work includes work with Vegan Pittsburgh, Animal Rescue League, Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and RIF Pittsburgh. She lives in Penn Hills with her husband and three rescued furry family members. Thanks for your work on behalf of ALL animals, Kate!
January 2019: Christin Bummer has been a HAP member since 2015! Though she worked in the pet care industry for 23 years, she went vegan in 2011 when she finally made the connection between her passion for animals and her food choices. She became involved in humane legislation in 2012 volunteering for HumanePA and HSUS. Christin is HAP's Director of Compassionate Living, which involves steering people away from consuming animal products and moving toward a plant-centric diet. She is currently working on a HAP project that will help up to 10,000 Pittsburghers go vegan! (More on that to come!) Christin published a quick-start guide to going plant-based in 2018 and in her spare time she offers plant-based education and coaching via her blog: www.TheNourishingLife.net.
October 2018: Emily Skopov is the only HAP member to run for office and is currently running to represent the 28th legislative district of PA. Emily grew up in a working-class community where her mother was a public-school teacher and her father a small business owner. It was a tight-knit, family-focused community where Emily learned to think on her feet and look out for her friends and neighbors. She received her bachelor's degree from Columbia University and her master's degree from UCLA. In 2011, Emily founded her non-profit, No Crayon Left Behind, to collect crayons from partner organizations. They work with the disabled, elderly, veterans, folks with special needs, social workers, and law enforcement. In less than 10 years, they've gifted of one and a half million crayons and other supplies to schools and organizations in the Pittsburgh area and around the world! Emily and her husband raise their children, both human and animal, in Marshall Township. They live with six rescue animals, including three cats, two dogs, and a snake! Emily has been rescuing dogs her whole life, even driving overnight to New York to pick up a dog from a shelter who was set to be euthanized the next morning. Emily has also helped HAP with some of our projects, including helping to educate local law enforcement about Libre's Law. Emily is thrilled to be our Member of the Month and looks forward to continued collaboration. Please visit Emily's campaign site to learn more about her stances on issues and her campaign for State Representative.
September 2018: Katie Thorne is a dental hygienist who has been involved with animal legislation for four years. She chose to become more involved in advocacy after the passing of her dog, Mr. Bojangles, a puppy mill rescue. Katie is an HSUS District Leader and was a huge help in planning HAP's recent Vegan Tailgate with the Riverhounds. Katie also hosted HAP's gala in 2017. Katie enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, Nick, and his cat, Jack.
August 2018: Kayla Seifert has been a member of HAP since January 2018. Already during her time at HAP, she has been soaking up information on getting legislation passed for animals and has been an integral part of the newly-formed Compassionate Events team, even taking the lead on creating a vegan resource guide for organizations to reference! Kayla has a rescue beagle named Stanley adopted from Forever Home Beagle Rescue, where she is an active volunteer assisting with transports, adoptions, special events, and fostering! A Pittsburgh native, Kayla works in the nonprofit sector during the day and loves everything to do with the outdoors and Harry Potter!
July 2018: Zach Sekine-Tenny has been an active HAP member since July 2016. During his time at HAP, he has volunteered with tabling and assisting with many campaigns, including enforcing Pittsburgh's puppy mill advertising law, creating an animal resource sheet for judges and police officers, and working with HAP's "no plastic please" campaign. A passionate vegan and animal lover, Zach loves traveling, cooking, and spending time with his wife and two cats. Originally from the south suburbs of Chicago, Zach is a math teacher and Indiana University grad.
June 2018: Susan Smith has been passionate about animals and the environment from age 6, when her grandfather started taking her to clean up the beach and watch birds. At the same time, her father took the family to photo galleries on the Cape and along with him while he took photos of the nature-human relationship. In high school, she became passionate about banning fur and started following animal rights groups. Susan has a Masters in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, but her work life has focused on non-profits. She has worked as a veterinary assistant, rescued many animals and currently lives with four special adopted alley cats. Susan's words to live by: See something, Say something. You can always do something to help some other being! Susan will be directing a new Humane Action campaign that will be sure to help thousands of animals!
May 2018: David Pinski has been involved in HAP since September 2016, helping advocate for a state bill protecting circus animals and becoming a leader with our Compassionate Living team! A Master's student at Carnegie Mellon University, he studies public policy and data analytics. David is originally from Florida - he studied economics and applied math at New College of Florida, graduating in 2017. He has been actively helping animals since 2014, completing internships at organizations like Mercy for Animals and the Humane Society of the United States. In his free time, David enjoys playing and watching soccer, reading, and exploring new places with friends.
April 2018: Norma Clouse is one of the greeters at the HAP meetings and always has a smile on her face when she gives members their paperwork upon arrival. In addition to her greeting duties, Norma has visited 9 Allegheny County police stations to educate our local departments on PA's new animal cruelty code! Norma is retired and lives with her husband Keith and four cats in O’Hara Township. She has volunteered with FosterCat for the past eight years and with Homeless Cat Management Team. To raise money for animal rescue, Norma makes cat beds and catnip toys to donate to local rescue organizations for their rescued cats. She also makes jewelry, crocheted scarves and wall quilts to donate for animal fundraisers. You can currently buy her items for cats at the Beaver County Humane Society Gift Shop, where 100% of the sale goes to BCHS. Norma’s support of animal rescue is driven by her saying that she never saw a cat she didn’t love at first sight!
Thank you to all of our dedicated and passionate members! You are the heart of HUMANE ACTION Pittsburgh, and we are grateful for the incredible community you have created.