Michel Meunier: Founder/Executive Director
Michel works for the Center for Countermeasures at the WSMR, NM, post as a civilian Department of Defense employee in the field of technical writing/editing. Michel grew up in the border region and attended the University of Texas at El Paso. She has a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Criminal Justice and a master of fine arts’ degree in English/Creative Writing.
Michel has been a lifelong animal welfare and rights advocate and has rescued animals personally since she was a child and then later as a volunteer at many animal organizations in El Paso and Las Cruces. Because of her love and respect of animals, she became a vegetarian at age 19 and now follows a mostly plant-based diet.
Michel founded ACTion Programs for Animals in Las Cruces in 2009 to fill gaps in No Kill programming and services she felt were important and sorely lacking in the area. She still serves as a member of the board and as the organization’s volunteer director as well as a foster caretaker and overall volunteer.
Becky is an Assistant Professor of Public Health at Dona Ana Community College and has been befriending animals of all kinds since her first love, a beagle named Tessy. She loves to travel, and can sometimes be found sharing her lunch with strays in parks in Mexico or Peru.
Becky loves Las Cruces and the compassionate people and delightful animals that make their homes there, including her house full of rescues, fosters and “foster failures.” Becky has been a foster for APA since 2012 and joined the board in 2014.
Amanda López Askin
Amanda López Askin, a native Las Crucen, currently works for the State of New Mexico in behavioral health advocacy. Amanda is a 3X Aggie, as she earned her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and a PhD from NMSU. Amanda serves on various boards, coalitions, and advocacy groups in Dona Ana County, in addition to being a former member of the Board of Regents at New Mexico State University.
Amanda’s interest and concern for animals began early in college after reading animal advocate Jane Goodall’s book on the chimpanzees of Gombe as required course work. Jane’s detailed writing of her experience with their emotions, connection to each other, and pain had a profound effect on her. This, combined with owning her first dog during this time, encouraged her to become more in-tune with the challenges in our local community and active in local efforts.
Amanda’s passion includes promoting responsible pet ownership, spaying and/or neutering, chain-free ordinances, and encouraging animals as family members, instead of property. Amanda is excited and inspired about ACTion Program’s for Animal’s goals and hopes to be a part of their comprehensive plans; she joined the board in 2014. Amanda is married and she and her husband share their life with their daughter Eliana, and 5 dogs–all rescues.
Heather is a native of New Mexico but grew up in Oklahoma. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with her Journalism degree. She had a passion for fashion and ended up in Dallas Texas working for Dillard’s. She was transferred back to her native state of New Mexico in 2012 to manage the Dillard’s store in Las Cruces. She fell in love with the city and significant other, which prompted her to leave the corporate world and buy the amazing boutique, LuLu. After buying LuLu, Heather became involved with APA. Being an avid animal lover for our four-legged furry friends and rescue mom to 3 fur babies of her own, LuLu was host to several events and supporter of fundraising efforts and events.
Heather brings with her experience in retail sales, merchandising, fundraising, social media, special events, event planning and marketing.
She enjoys traveling, hiking with her dogs, being with family and close friends, and of course animal rights and advocacy.
Seeking new Board Members committed to saving lives!
APA’s philosophical approach to animal welfare in our community is modern and progressive. We are part of the No Kill movement as defined and advanced by the No Kill Advocacy Center, which is helping many communities achieve No Kill goals nationwide and worldwide. We strongly support reform of Animal Control departments and animal shelters to drastically reduce our community’s homeless animal kill rate and improve the lives of animals and people.
If you are a No Kill advocate, someone who wants to help save more feral cats’ lives, someone who is partial to the plight of pit bulls in our community, or someone willing and able to learn more about progressive approaches to animal welfare and help us grow quickly to reach our goals, we’d love for you to join our board of directors and help us step up our advocacy work in the community. Please contact us today if you are interested in serving on our Board.