Hair of the Dog Conservation Fund

Protecting global biodiversity and inspiring individual action by supporting conservation projects for wild animals and the surrounding communities.


Hair of the Dog Conservation Fund

Protecting global biodiversity and inspiring individual action by supporting conservation projects for wild animals and the surrounding communities.



Hair of the Dog Conservation Fund was born from of a dinner conversation and a realization that we all have the power to change the world.  After all, we only have one planet and we need to take care of it.  Preserving biodiversity is critical to the health of our planet, as every species plays a role in keeping things in balance. We also believe that it's possible to not only preserve vulnerable species, but to also support the people who depend on that ecosystem.

I’m Nicole Begley,

founder and president of the fund. 

Working with animals has been my soul's purpose, from spending 13 years as a zoological animal trainer, to over a decade as a pet photographer, and now starting this international conservation non-profit.

Join our mission by donating today - any contribution will go directly towards in-situ conservation projects (i.e. projects that work to conserve animals in their natural habitats).  My for-profit photography education business, Hair of the Dog Academy, sponsors all of the fund's administrative costs so that 100% of your donation can go towards making the biggest impact possible for animal conservation.


Meet our Board Members


Thank you to the dedicated individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to guide the direction of our organization. Our board members bring a diverse range of experiences and perspectives to the table with a unified goal of supporting the organizations that are having a tremendous impact on our natural world.

Nicole Begley

President and Treasurer

Nicole is a seasoned zoological animal trainer with over 13 years of experience working with a diverse range of species, including marine mammals, primates, aardvarks, sloths, and birds. During her career, she has held various roles, including working in a free-flight bird show and serving as the Assistant Director of Animal Programs at the National Aviary. Nicole has a wealth of knowledge on the topics of training, enrichment, and husbandry, and has presented numerous papers and authored articles for professional organizations on these subjects. She is also known for her efforts to create programs at the National Aviary that allow guests to have up-close interactions with animal ambassadors, fostering a desire to care for their wild counterparts. In addition to her professional work, Nicole has served on the Board of Directors of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance for many years before starting her photography business in 2010.

Angi Millwood-Lacinak

Vice President

Angi is an experienced professional in the field of zoo and aquarium management, with almost 30 years of experience in the industry. She is also the founder of Precision Behavior, an international animal welfare and behavior consulting firm. Angi has held a variety of roles in the field, including Manager of Marine Mammals at the Atlantis Resort in Dubai and Animal Training Coordinator at the Fort Worth Zoo. She was also a member of the team that opened Disney's Animal Kingdom. Angi has presented numerous workshops and papers at conferences around the world and has instructed courses for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. In 2005, she received the Animal Welfare Advancement Award from the Animal Behavior Management Alliance. In addition to her work in zoos and aquariums, Angi has also written and produced a documentary on elephant welfare, Elephant Trainer in the Room, and participated in a television special on great white sharks, Great White Sharks: Beyond the Cage of Fear. She holds a B.A. from Jacksonville State University, an M.A. in Anthrozoology from the University of Exeter, and is currently working towards a Ph.D. Angi is a member of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association and the International Society for Anthrozoology, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance.


Emily Insalaco


Emily is a highly experienced leader in the field of zoology, with a background in animal behavior, training, and leadership. She was the previous owner of and has served on the board of directors of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance. Currently, Emily is the General Curator at Denver Zoo and the administrator for the Association of Zoo and Aquarium course "Animal Training Applications in Zoo and Aquarium Settings." In this role, Emily is responsible for the overall management and care of the animals at the zoo, as well as the development and implementation of educational and conservation programs. She is also the Species Survival Plan coordinator for hyacinth macaws in accredited zoos, working to ensure the long-term survival of these species through breeding and management efforts. Emily holds a BS in Biology and Psychology from Tufts University and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from George Mason University. In addition to her expertise in zoology, Emily is also a certified lean black belt and is Dare to Lead trained, giving her valuable skills in process improvement and leadership development.


About the fund:

The Hair of the Dog Conservation Fund is a US-based 501(c)3 which was formed in 2021 and has raised over $50,000 to support in-situ conservation projects around the globe.

About Hair of the Dog:

Hair of the Dog Academy is a for-profit pet photography education platform founded by Nicole Begley and helping pet photographers around the world master their craft and grow their business.