Meet Humane Long Island

Humane Long Island — formerly known as LION — is the leading animal advocacy organization on Long Island and the premier domestic fowl rescue from Manhattan to Montauk, having stopped slaughterhouses, aquariums, fur stores, pet stores, and massacres of thousands of deer and waterfowl. A direct rescue organization as well as animal advocacy organization, Humane Long Island 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.
Duck Defenders, an international project of Humane Long Island, is the leading online resource for domestic waterfowl rescue and advocacy in North America and advises rescues all across the continent about how to save the lives of ducks, geese, and more in their communities.
Humane Long Island is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity. All gifts are tax-deductible subject New York State and federal laws. 

Executive Director & Anthrozoologist, Board President

(Photo credit: Petra Romano)

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 is a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator and “Nuisance” Wildlife Control Operator and 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. 

John formerly served as the Senior Manager of Grassroots Campaigns and Animals in Entertainment Campaigns for PETA, the largest animal rights organization in the world. During his tenure, he led PETA’s Animals in Entertainment Campaign through groundbreaking victories such as the closure of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus after 146 years, the Iditarod dogsled race slashing its purse by a half million dollars, and SeaWorld announcing the end of its sordid orca breeding program and its circus-style dolphin shows. He also restructured PETA’s International Grassroots Outreach and Action Teams into a new division called Grassroots Campaigns, supervising a team arming activists throughout North America with tools for effective campaigns, and overseeing the Grassroots Protests, Action Team, and Vegan Mentor Program within this new department. Through the launch of PETA’s Action Leader program, he helped introduce the concept of strategic campaigns to activists around the globe. 

Previously, 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 receive awards from the New York State Humane Association, the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, In Defense of Animals, the National Coalition for Goose Protection, and the Suffolk County SPCA, as well as the distinction of being named Mr. February in Rescue Men USA‘s 2016 Calendar.

Read more about John in the Long Island Herald.

Vice President of Arts & Humane Education, Board Vice President

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

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 Humane Long Island’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, swim instructor, artist, model, Reiki Master Practitioner, licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator, and the best hand-catcher of animals we know.

Her advocacy for animals exploited by the fashion industry was credited in the 2021 documentary “The Face of Fashion is Fear” and recognized by PETA with a Hero for Coyotes award following the announcement that luxury outerwear company Canada Goose went fur-free. 

Legal Counsel, Board Member

Bonnie S. Klapper is an American lawyer who was a federal prosecutor in both New York and California for 25 years.

She is in private practice, specializing in the defense of extraditables. She is a member of the bar in the States of New York, California, and the District of Columbia and has been admitted to Federal District Court in New York, California, Florida, Texas and the District of Columbia.

In 2018, Bonnie became a vegan, limited her private practice and decided to devote her legal skills to animal liberation and animal rights organizations as well as assisting individual activists. She is on the legal teams for: Direct Action Everywhere, a group dedicated to open rescue, exposing factory farming abuse, and empowering animal activists worldwide; Veterinarians International, an organization dedicated to enhancing the health of both humans and animals around the world; Slaughter Free NYC, a group dedicated to closing down the over 80 wet markets and slaughterhouses in New York City; and China Dogs Rescue, a group that helps rescue dog meat trade survivors in China. She is on the Board of Directors of the Southampton Animal Shelter in Suffolk County, Long Island and Black Sheep Retreat and Sanctuary, one of the only farmed animal sanctuaries in Mexico.

Bonnie is honored to be on the Board of Humane Long Island and believes deeply in its mission.