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Our Mission

As a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, our main goals are to rescue animals in need, to educate about wildlife, and to discourage people from keeping exotic animals as pets. The majority of our animals are rescued from the exotic pet trade and have lived dramatic circumstances. At Animal Tracks we provide a sanctuary for these animals, and through proper care from our staff and community we are giving them a new lease on life. We rely on your support to give these animals a second chance!

Our Vision

We are committed to promoting conservation education by teaching our community about the dangerous impact humans have on wildlife. Through immersive education, we are spreading awareness of these dangers.

By fostering a deeper understanding of the delicate balance between humans and wildlife, we aim to inspire positive change and empower individuals to become stewards of the natural world. 

Our Team

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Stacy Gunderson

Executive Director

Stacy grew up in Simi Valley, California and has always been inspired by the Primatologist, Jane Goodall. She attended The Exotic Animal Training & Management Program (EATM) at Moorpark College and graduated in 1989. Stacy went right to work as a movie animal trainer and had the amazing opportunity to travel the world making movies with the animals she loved. In 2008, Stacy was given the opportunity to take over as Director of Animal Tracks, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit near and dear to her heart, as it had been started in 2002 by a friend. Stacy is the mother of two children, now young adults, but Animal Tracks became a third child, a true labor of love that she helped grow and nurture into the successful facility it is now. She is still excited to go to work every single day. Her main hope is that people will realize that animals that need to be in captivity can live a quality, happy life. They can share their beauty and inspire humans to take care of this planet and all that reside on it. Animal Tracks is woven into the fabric of her family’s lives, and Stacy hopes it will continue to be a huge part of the Gunderson tradition for generations to come.

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Alyson Wright

Assistant Director

Alyson has loved animals from the time she could walk and talk. She grew up in Georgia and moved to California in 1991, working in the corporate world up until 2007, when she decided to make the move to do what her true passion has always been, volunteering and working in the animal rescue field. She started volunteering for a local wild and exotic animal rescue where she worked with monkeys, kinkajous, opossums, coyotes, wolves and wolf hybrids. She gave tours and worked in their office until 2015, where she then made the move to Animal Tracks.

In her own words, “I always knew in my heart that I wanted to volunteer and work with exotic animals. When a wild animal chooses to have a bond with you, it comes from a much deeper, more primal place, and when that feeling is reciprocated, there is nothing to compare it to, it is so, so special! I am so excited to be a part of the Animal Tracks family, I am finally ‘home’!”

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Shawn Orm

President

Shawn first came to visit Animal Tracks in 2015 and he immediately offered his help and resources to aid in the improvements and construction at the ranch. He has spent his weekends assisting in tours and building enclosures ever since. In 2015 he was added to the board as head of construction and he continues to help make Animal Tracks the best it can be. 

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Nancy Bianconi

Vice President

Management Consultant for the Los Angeles and State of California for 15 years. Nancy has provided not-for-profit management/fundraising/marketing services to over 50 not-for-profit organizations in Los Angeles and New York. She coordinated the development of the first San Fernando Valley homeless shelter and built 8 affordable housing developments with government & foundation funding. Nancy was hired by the LA Community Redevelopment Agency to develop North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts District into an entertainment destination that included producing the NoHo Theatre & Arts Festival and opening of the METRO Redline (400,000 attendees). In Nancy's own words: For 6 months, I explored different animal rescue/sanctuaries to find the right organization to volunteer my services. None of the organizations seem to be the right fit until I visited Animal Tracks where I met Stacy and Alyson. After their tour and seeing their love and dedication to these wonderful animals, I knew I was home and anxious to roll up my sleeves to help this organization fulfill their mission. Animal Tracks made my lifetime dream come true. Spirit, a beautiful horse was lonely and missed his companion who died. Stacy, our visionary, executive director decided that the adoption of 2 donkeys would give Spirit a family again. I adopted “Sophia and Vinny” which made me a proud momma of 2 beautiful 4 legged babies.

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Brittany James

Treasurer

Brittany is from Fresno, born and raised in CA. She has always been an animal lover. Since she was a kid she has wanted a full time career in the animal world. However, her brain and feet led her to the accounting world, even though her heart was still with the animals. She moved to Los Angeles 3 years ago where she met an Animal Tracks volunteer at another animal rescue. She was then introduced to Stacy when COVID and zoning issues hit in early 2020 and the rest is history. She still has her feet in both worlds, but her heart will always be with the animals.

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Meena Amani

Board Member

Meena is a life long animal lover & vegan. She is an underwater cinematographer & wildlife photographer. Her travels have taken her from Thailand, Africa, South America and French Polynesia to photograph wildlife, where she has seen the need for animal education, because many animals are involved in exploitation & illegal trafficking. 

She loves being involved with Animal Tracks. Not only do they provide a sanctuary for rescued animals, they also provide educational tours. 
Meena has a nonprofit which has just opened its first retreat center in Costa Rica & a wildlife emergency hospital. She also has a spinal rehabilitation practice in malibu for 17 yrs. 

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Zina Block

Board Member

I was told about Animal Tracks from friends who know I love animals. I scheduled a tour. After my second visit, the Pandemic adversely affected Animal Tracks but gave me the opportunity to volunteer. To my delight, I got to help feed and care for all the animals. I called it my “happy place”. Who knew that long days of physical labor, sometimes in challenging weather, could bring such peace? But once a week, I made the drive to help care for these incredible animals. The humans are wonderful too. Our Volunteers are a special “breed”. Each week was hands on learning about the animals, their stories, their unique abilities, and enrichment. It became obvious that caring for these animals isn’t just a daily action. It is a long-term commitment to their overall safety and well-being. Being on the Board was a natural extension for me. I can help plan for their future while remaining committed to nurturing these animals day to day.

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Josh Betters 

Board Member

Josh is an entrepreneur from a small town in New York. He has started several successful businesses, but never felt the urge to stay with one particular project. He is great at splitting his energies amongst new endeavors, until he volunteered at Animal Tracks. He fell in love with the animals and their stories. After putting in 2 years of volunteering, he turned out to be a pretty impressive monkey guy, and  now takes care of all of our primates. Monkeys can be quite judgmental, and to have that many of them be accepting of him says a lot! Chrissy the baboon has picked him to be one of her closest friends. He became a board member due to his strong feelings about protecting the future of Animal Tracks, and all of the animals that make the world a better place for humanity. Josh is a project guy and an Outside The Box thinker, he is a great motivator, and we are so excited to have him on our team, as we expand and grow into our future.

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Aury Reitz

Ranch Manager

Aury was born in Brazil where she discovered a great love and wondrous affection for animals. When Aury turned 19, she moved to the United States where she danced professionally for Television, Film, and Stage Shows around the world.

After working in the entertainment industry for several years, Aury was called to ministry, where she eventually launched Life150 Church with her husband, Tymme Reitz. Their hearts have been to serve those in need in their community and help those fighting against human trafficking. 

In addition to the work she is doing, Aury finds it a great honor and privilege to be a Ranch Manager at Animal Tracks. It truly is a full circle moment when she remembers the passion she developed to care for animals in her youth. It is a dream, to connect and nurture these beautiful and glorious creatures and to learn from such great leaders of this organization.

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Julie Medrano

Enrichment Manager

Julie Medrano was born in Detroit and moved to California in 1987, after getting married. She was employed as a teacher with the LAUSD. Even though she loved teaching she also loved caring for animals. She volunteered with the Wildlife Waystation for over 20 years where she specialized in enrichment for many species including chimpanzees. She was even lucky enough to hand raise two young coyotes. After the Wildlife Waystation closed down Julie found Animal Tracks and has been part of the family ever since. She is now the enrichment manager for our animals. With her own time and money she has been creating amazing puzzles packages and goodies twice a week for all of our critters.

Advisory Board

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Dr. Kristopher Irizarry

 Dr. Irizarry has held a bioinformatics and genomics faculty position within the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences since 2006. His area of expertise is animal genomics and behavioral/cognitive phenotypes. For over a decade, Dr. Irizarry has served as an expert genetics witness in federal court to help preserve and protect the human animal bond. Dr. Irizarry believes that the human-animal bond should be protected to preserve human animal bonds.  

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Douglas W. Bryant

During graduate school and with two of his professors, Doug founded the biotechnology company, Intuitive Genomics. Following NewLeaf Symbiotics’ acquisition of Intuitive Genomics, joined NewLeaf Symbiotics in 2013 to develop and manage NewLeaf’s genomics, bioinformatics, data science, and Prescriptive Biologics Knowledgebase platforms. Doug has had a lifelong passion for animals, and particularly for working dogs. Doug has trained working dogs for over 15 years, has titled multiple dogs to IGP 3 level, and has trained hundreds of dogs for others in sport, personal protection, and obedience.

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Matthew E. Bahamonde

For over 20 years Dr. Bahamonde has been a college educator and administrator. After earning  a PhD in biological chemistry from UCLA, he became a faculty member at Farmingdale State College, in New York. There he was integral in the transformation of the college from a two-year agricultural school to a technology-focused four-year college. Currently Dr. Bahamonde is Associate Program Director for the Touro University of California, Los Angeles Physician Assistant Program.

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Jason

Dragon

Jason Dragon has inspired integral developments in entertainment, technology and philanthropy for more than three decades, creating and designing fundamental movements while establishing and evolving brands. 

Dragon is a respected strategic consultant, partnerships advisor, talent manager and creative producer, helping build innovative companies and supporting impactful programs.

His leadership experience in business, entertainment, philanthropy, technology and psychology informs his unique vision.

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