About Humane Long Island

Humane Long Island is the leading animal advocacy organization on Long Island, having stopped the slaughter of thousands of deer and hundreds of geese on the Island and eliminating wild animal acts and rodeos at venues from New York City to Suffolk County. A direct rescue organization as well as animal advocacy organization, HumaneLI saves hundreds of wild and farmed animals every year from abandonment, neglect, or injury, transporting wild animals to licensed wildlife rehabilitators for treatment and treating, fostering, and transporting farmed animals, mostly fowl—who make up 95% of farmed animals in the US—to reputable sanctuaries throughout the United States.

Humane Long Island is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity. All gifts are tax-deductible subject New York State and federal laws. 

MEET THE TEAM

John Di Leonardo, Founder & Executive Director

John Di Leonardo is an anthrozoologist and president of Humane Long Island. He has successfully led campaigns to stop numerous animal circuses, rodeos, and exotic animal acts from New York City to the North Fork and has stopped the slaughter of thousands of Long Island’s wildlife.John holds a Master of Science in Anthrozoology from Canisius and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Siena College, as well as a graduate certificate in Jain Studies from the International School of Jain Studies in India. 

For his day job, John manages People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)‘s International Grassroots Outreach division—arming activists around the world with tools for effective demonstrations—and PETA’s Animals in Entertainment campaigns, coordinating a team against the use and abuse of animals in circuses, dolphinariums, roadside zoos, and dog-sledding operations for the largest animal advocacy organization in the world. During his tenure, he has had the pleasure of seeing Cole Bros. Circus fold its tents for the very last time, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus shut down after 146 years, and SeaWorld announce the end of its sordid orca breeding program.

Formerly, John managed day programs on Long Island for people with developmental disabilities and drove the Horseless eCarriage, a humane alternative to New York City’s cruel horse-drawn carriage industry.

John has been honored to received awards from the Suffolk County SPCA and the Humane Society of the United States as well as the distinction of being named Mr. February in Rescue Men USA‘s 2016 Calendar.

Read more about John in Long Island Herald and Long Island Pulse Magazine.

Juliana Di Leonardo, Vice President of Humane Education

Juliana Di Leonardo is vice president of humane education for Humane Long Island and a team leader for our animal rescue response team.

A perpetual student as well as teacher, Juliana is always seeking to learn as much from her students as they learn from her.

Whether it’s teaching humane education yoga classes, preparing presentations at schools and congregations, or catching injured birds with her bare hands, Juliana’s warm heart, creative flair, and endless dedication have not only refined HumaneLI’s humane education efforts but also multiplied our animal rescue operations exponentially.

A woman of limitless talent, Juliana is a 500 RYT yoga instructor, ballroom dance instructor, artist, model, Reiki Master Practitioner, and the best hand-catcher of animals we know.

Patricia Amendolia, Director of Rescue Operations

Patricia Amendolia is director of rescue operations for Humane Long Island. A long-time waterfowl (and whoever else needs it) rescuer, Patricia will brave icy waters, sit patiently for hours holding the string of a drop-net, or trek through muddy embankments at a moment’s notice if it means saving an animal’s life.

Patricia has taught us all we know about animal rescue—or at least all one can teach—and we are eternally grateful for her help in saving hundreds of our most strange and feathered friends, including more than 200 geese on Lake Ronkonkoma.

Gabrielle Luongo, General Manager

Gabby is general manager of operations for Humane Long Island and one of our primary fosters sheltering domestic ducks, chickens, and other fowl rescued from starvation, predation, and exposure.

An extremely well-rounded advocate, Gabby is both a proficient rescuer and an articulate activist, willing to do whatever it takes to save lives, whether that means searching for an abandoned animal in the dead of night or speaking to the media about animal abuse and neglect. 

An innate caregiver, passionate about human rights and our environment as well as animal rights, Gabby works in a group home supporting people with special needs and does her best to practice a low waste lifestyle. 

Jessica Chiarello, Operations Administrator

Jessica is Operations Administrator for Humane Long Island, organizing our finances and materials and making sure each one of our hundreds of yearly rescues and other actions are tallied from week to week.

A naturalist and an environmentalist, Jessica practices a minimal waste lifestyle and studies herbalism at Arbor Vitae in New York City, with intentions to one day start a wellness clinic that will not only provide natural remedies for humans but nonhuman animals as well.

When Jessica is not studying or helping us rescue chickens, ducks, and other fowl, she can be found cooking vegan food, gardening, working with people with special needs, or rescuing kittens and fixing their parents across Long Island.

“Jimmy” Howard K., Community Outreach Coordinator

Jimmy is Community Outreach Coordinator for Humane Long Island, helping others help animals by advertising our campaigns and getting the community involved in our rescues, events, and demonstrations.

Unabashed around both new people and unfamiliar animals, Jimmy’s friendly disposition and willingness to rescue and transport injured or displaced animals at a moment’s notice has made him a staple in New York’s animal protection movement.

Always looking to further his knowledge and qualifications, Jimmy continues to challenge himself by applying for animal protection and rescue related certifications. His current certifications include: TNR Certification, NYC Animal Care & Handling Techniques Certification, and humane Suffolk County Goose Management Program Certification. 

A social butterfly, Jimmy can be found wherever activists gather in New York City and Long Island, and is looking forward to meeting you at an event soon!

Ruth McDade, Fundraising Director

Ruth brings to Humane Long Island over 15 years of experience as a professional fundraiser.  Her passion for animals and the environment is evident in her grant writing skills, special events and nature photography.

Ruth completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Texas A&M State University at Corpus Christi. She lives in Long Island, NY with her rescue companion cats Herbie and Martin, and rabbit Nackie. 

She is a member of the Long Island Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.