Empowering pet owners and local communities to
reduce abandoned animal populations through spay
& neuter, pet retention & reclamation, and education.

We need your help. They need your love.

About Us

Bark Avenue Foundation (BAF) is a Los Angeles nonprofit organization dedicated to animal welfare.

BAF partners with communities and with other nonprofit organizations, understanding that collaboration is critical to its success. BAF prioritizes spay/neuter funding and programs, to stop the pet overpopulation problem at its source: unintended litters. It also supports pet owners, particularly those who are in at-risk and under-served populations (including the homeless), focused on pet retention and reclamation. These services include (1) free and subsidized spay/neuter (2) providing free pet ID tags; (3) offering gently used bedding, collars, leashes and other goods for those in need; and (4) providing pet food and emergency medical care on a case-by-case basis. BAF also promotes humane education by offering quality teaching programs for schools and children serving grades K-5. This program addresses the growing need for respect and compassion for companion animals and all living creatures within our world.

Bark Avenue Foundation
EIN Tax ID: 20-1329182
Mailing Address:  1413 1/2 W. Kenneth Road, #245  Glendale, CA 91201
Office: 818.726.4235

Mission Statement

“The Bark Avenue Foundation’s mission is to empower pet owners and local communities to reduce abandoned animal populations through spay/neuter, pet retention and reclamation, and education.”

Bark Avenue Foundation PSA

Executive Director


CHRISTY SCHILLING – Executive Director: Christy joined Bark Avenue Foundation in August 2017 as its first full-time Executive Director. She oversees all Bark Avenue Foundation departments and programs, ensures the advancement of BAF’s mission, and leads organizational fundraising, operations, and marketing efforts.

Christy has always had a love for animals, people and giving back which is why she earned her BA degree in Sociology/Social Welfare from Cal State University Northridge. She worked and volunteered with pregnant and parenting teens, victims of domestic violence and low income housing recipients. Through this, her eyes were widely opened to the plight of animals so she shifted her focus to helping pets and people through humane education, legislation, mobile adoptions, coordinating fosters, volunteers and transports, and partnering with a variety of organizations. After 15 years in animal welfare volunteerism she co-founded the non-profit The Animal Protectorates (TAPS) with the mission to Teach, Advocate, Protect and Support. She was awarded 2014 Woman of the Year by Congressman Adam Schiff and the 2016 Animal Activist award from Animal PAC for her animal welfare work.

Board of Directors

Richard Krelstein
RICHARD KRELSTEIN – Board Chair & President: Richard has over 40 years of operations and financial experience with both domestic and international firms. Richard’s experience as a business visionary and leader with the ability to “look outside of the box” has led to numerous companies retaining him as their president and/or CEO. Richard prides himself on his ability to look at the long range goals of the company while keeping in mind that every company’s most important assets are its management and employees. Richard’s family’s Yorkies rule the house!
Brad Fornaciari
BRAD FORNACIARI – Vice President: Brad is Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University Graziadio Graduate School of Business, Founder/President of Lighthouse Branding, Co-Founder/Partner of RideWell High Performance Equine Products and he is a consultant to various investment and venture capital companies. Brad has a record of innovatively solving critical business, marketing, branding, & communications challenge and he has held leadership positions at some of the largest, most respected agencies in the world, including J. Walter Thompson (President) and Ogilvy & Mather (Managing Partner). Brad holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a BA from the University of Colorado. He has served on numerous boards and is a frequent guest lecturer at universities as well as a judge at business plan competitions.
Kate Sawyer cropped
KATE SAWYER – Treasurer: Kate was born and raised in New York City but has lived in Los Angeles for the past 22 years. She graduated from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont with a BA in French and a minor in Spanish. For more than 18 years, Kate has worked for Cheesecake Factory, where she is Manager of Internal Audit. Kate has served as a Big Sister with Big Brothers/Big Sisters for eight years and is still in contact with her “little”. Currently, she is a bi-ped Mom to 2 quadra-peds, Ella and Charley.

HR Advisor

LAURA BRAGLIA – HR advisor: Laura Braglia is based out of Chicago after growing up in Michigan and subsequently spending several years on the west coast.  Laura is graduate of Arizona State University with a B.A. in Human Communication and also recently obtained her Senior Professional of Human Resources certification.  She is the Senior Manager of the Accounting and Corporate Operations Support Team at The Cheesecake Factory, Incorporated, working as a bridge between the corporate center and restaurant units for Finance and HR matters.  In her spare time, Laura enjoys rooting for the Chicago Bears, leading walking tours for the Chicago History Museum as a volunteer guide and all things food and wine related.


MELANIE POZEZ – Founder: Galvanized into acting to better animals’ lives when a pitbull who lost a fight in the Chicago projects and was still living when she found him dumped behind her loft, Melanie founded Chicago Canine Rescue in 1997. When she moved to Los Angeles, Melanie founded Bark Avenue Foundation in 2004. More than ten years later, Melanie remains dedicated to empowering pet owners and local communities to reduce abandoned animal populations through spay/neuter, pet retention, pet reclamation and humane education.