Our team

Meet the compassionate people that operate our dog rescue. Our team goes above and beyond to make sure that every dog gets what it deserves: a humane and loving life.

Adrienne Galler Lastra: Shelter Director

Adrienne Galler
Adri was one of the founding members of ADLA: she was one of the main participants in rescuing 1,000 dogs from “Dead Dog Beach” in 2006; won the first animal abuse case involving a horse in Puerto Rico; and heads our shelter.

Adri was born in Baltimore, Md and raised there till she was 19 when she moved to be with her mom in Puerto Rico. She lives in Piñones where she converted her home to what is now the Piñones Beach Project Shelter of Amigos de los Animales. After receiving a BA in Music Education from the Interamerican University in San German, Puerto Rico, she went to Los Angeles, Ca to pursue her career as a bassist.

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Adrienne moved back to Puerto Rico in 2002 to care for her mom after her mother suffered a stroke. Shortly thereafter Adri began rescuing horses from a notorious housing project called “Llorens Torres” in Ocean Park, managing to clear the housing project of 14 horses. Horses are often used as drug tender among traffickers.

In 2010 Adri and John Saccenti of Career Development Institute, brought the first ever 6-day Animal Control Officer/Cruelty Investigator course to Puerto Rico which is certified by the Office of Animal Control of the PR Health Department.

At Adri’s home there are always 60+ rescued critters in different stages of rehabilitation so her life is never boring!

Patricia Cara – Board President

Patricia first came to know of ADLA through her children, and has been coming to the Saturday morning clean-ups since 2011. She believes there are way to many stray and abandoned animals in Puerto Rico, and that better education and access to information are needed in order to eliminate the stray animal problem.

Even before her involvement with ADLA as a Board member, Patricia was a committed rescuer: she has three rescued dogs and two cats at home in Guaynabo.

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ADLA alumni Acacia is one of Patricia’s sweetheart’s (and Pat sometimes calls her “her flower”). Acacia suffers from a little ADHD and thinks she is a lap dog (but she’s not). She is definitely the alpha dog of the house! Doggy Valentina was rescued 10 years ago after recuperating from being run over by a car. Valentina was very shy at first and it took a while to get her acclimated to the home, but she is now a very happy old lady. Finally, doggy Lucas was adopted when someone brought him into the family vet. He is a beautiful black lab/pit bull mix; very rambunctious and keeps Valentina on her toes (they have a September/May romance going on).

The cats: Gato and Mushu, were found as kittens (each in a different park). Gato is a typical cat: she prefers to be left alone (unless of course she wants attention). Mushu, on the other hand, loves attention and is always underfoot. Mushu was found with one eye hanging out and rotting, but she is now a very happy one-eyed black cat who loves to attack toes under the sheets in the morning.

Patricia’s the kindest and most patient President we could ask for!

Jennifer Tasch – Board Secretary

Jennifer is a New York native, raised in NJ and moved to Puerto Rico 25 years ago after meeting her Puerto Rican husband in college. A year later, she adopted her first strays from a beach in Isabela, and has made rescued satos a part of her family ever since. She recently moved to New Jersey part time and still resides in Guaynabo. Jennifer shares her home with her two-legged family, as well as four four-legged family members named Colorado, Nacho, Bobby, and Rudy. Colo and Bobby were adopted from Amigos de los Animales, and Nacho and Rudy were rescued from the beach in Manati and the streets of Bayamon. Jennifer loves large dogs, and her current pack ranges in size from the “smallest” at 65 pounds to her big baby Bobby who weighs in at 90.

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Jennifer first learned of ADLA when she received their email newsletter 6 years ago and saw a picture of Colorado on her screen. It was love at first sight. He joined her family, and she and her two kids David and Natasha became shelter volunteers on Saturdays. Her children have cherished the experience of aiding Adri with her tireless work, and found at ADLA the perfect place to contribute to a worthy cause which touched their hearts, having been raised as animal lovers from a young age. Jennifer is a moral vegan who values the right of all animals to live lives free of mistreatment and suffering. Jennifer is thrilled to assist Adri as best she can in her endeavour to relieve the suffering and abuse of so many mistreated and abandoned dogs who have been fortunate enough to find love and caring at the shelter of ADLA.

We feel very thrilled with the great support of Jennifer! You can reach her at Jennifer@amigosdelosanimalespr.org.

Ela Stolarczyk – Board Director

Ela was born in Poland and during her childhood the sight of a homeless dog on the street was common. She grew up observing the end of communism, and how it changed lives of people…Apparently also lives of animals: nowadays when she visits her homeland, Ela doesn’t see homeless animals on the street. She moved to the US to do her PhD and since then she has been working as a research scientist in the biomedical field.

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In Kentucky she adopted Leo, her first dog and best friend. Leo has travelled with her a lot, within the States, Poland and Puerto Rico. Ela lived in Puerto Rico for about 3 years and found the stray animal situation greatly diminished the Island’s beauty: ” The first time I came to Puerto Rico for vacation. I was enchanted by the warmth of people and the undeniable splendor of this little island. However, this image contrasted dramatically with the number of homeless, often sick and malnourished dogs and cats wandering the streets, and the number of animal corpses on the sides of the highways. It was (and is) heartbreaking. Once I moved to Puerto Rico I decided to actively do something towards improving the welfare of animals and reducing the overpopulation. This is when I came to ADLA for a Saturday cleanup…and stayed.” From ADLA Ela adopted Kimba and Bongo, the children of the first dog she rescued with Adri. Ela recently moved to Colorado and her days are brightened by the pack of 3 happy dogs, each of very different character.

Our days are brightened by Ela, we are so lucky to have her! You can reach her at ela@amigosdelosanimalespr.org.