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Carla Cappalli

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Name  Carla Cappalli

Carla Cappalli 8258 Up Collection by Carla Cappalli

Carla cappalli protesta al desnudo dic 2005

Carla Cappalli was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is the daughter of the late fashion designer and artist Mili Arango and Richard Cappalli, the retired law professor and author. Cappalli was a professional model most of her life and studied acting and photography at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Rome, Italy. From 1998 through 2003 she worked as Executive Director and later as Public Relations Consultant for the Humane Society of Puerto Rico. There she promoted the proper care of pets and also their adoption and spay/neutering.


In 2003 Cappalli founded and presided over the Puerto Rico branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. With the SPCA of PR, Cappalli worked on animal cruelty cases such as the confiscation and relocation of seven polar bears being kept in inhumane conditions by a Mexican traveling circus. She has also filed a lawsuit against one of Puerto Rico’s biggest chicken factory farms, Empresas Pollos Picú. Undercover videos revealed company employees beating chickens to death with bats. In December 2005 she chained herself to a circus fence to protest the misuse of animals by Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey. Throughout the years Cappalli has been prominent in the media as spokesperson for animal welfare in Puerto Rico.

In October 2003 Cappalli was recognized by The Civic Club of Ladies as one of the most distinguished women in Island society. On December 2007, Cappalli was once again honored, this time by the publication Revista Imagen which named her “Lady of Image and Exemplary Life” for her philanthropic and humanitarian efforts. Presently, Cappalli dedicates herself to the growth of her businesses Urban Pet by Carla Cappalli. She regularly designs collections and distributes them to some of the island’s finest pet shops. A percentage of the sales of Urban Pet is donated to help animal welfare in Puerto Rico.

As part of her efforts to promote animal welfare education in Puerto Rico, Cappalli has written and published a bi-lingual coloring book entitled “The Golden Rules for Helping Animals.” The book will be donated to public schools throughout Puerto Rico.

Carla cappalli doble moral gaia esta en damage control vegan en espanol

Chronology of events

1993-1996- Cappalli began her lifelong commitment to animals. Caring for a colony of feral cats, Cappalli and a friend began implementing the first TNR program in Puerto Rico, even standing up against the Government, which threatened to remove the cats (which had already been neutered.) Although some cats had to be euthanized, because of illness, slowly Cappalli and her friend began relocating cats, until there were none left in the original site. In 1993 Cappalli became a vegetarian.

1994-1996- Cappalli began volunteering at the San Juan Municipal shelter by photographing dogs and cats. On behalf of the shelter, she started the first free weekly column on adopting animals in Puerto Rico in a major local newspaper, El Nuevo Día, resulting in the doubling of pet adoptions at the shelter.

1997-1998- Cappalli began working as an adoption counselor for the San Juan Municipal shelter. She continued her weekly adoption column with the newspaper. Cappalli began promoting adoption and neutering campaigns in major local television and radio shows, creating animal welfare media awareness for the first time in Puerto Rico.

1998-2001- Cappalli was asked to join the Humane Society of Puerto Rico (HSPR, an animal shelter) as Executive Director. At this time, the shelter was almost bankrupt and suffered from a poor public image. The Board of Directors was barely existent. Cappalli took the challenge and brought on new and influential Board Members to stabilize the shelter and cultivate public goodwill once again. The HSPR once again began offering low-cost spay neuter services and adoptions doubled.

Cappalli began regular adoption campaigns, promoted 'Be Kind to Animals Week', supported and promoted the HSUS First Strike Campaign, and participated in and promoted Spay Day USA in Puerto Rico. She also lobbied to increase and maintain Legislative donations to animal welfare organizations.

2000- As Executive Director of the HSPR, Cappalli promoted and testified before the Puerto Rico Senate on a bill to increase Puerto Rico’s animal cruelty fine from $500 to $3000. This bill became Law No.304-2000.

2001- As a result of Cappalli leading and staging various protests against visiting circuses with animals, the Natural Resources and Environmental Quality Commission of the House of Representatives began an extensive investigation into the alleged mistreatment/cruelty of animals in circuses. Cappalli attended numerous high-profile public hearings and testified before the Commission on behalf of the HSPR.

2001- Cappalli receives recognition from the American Veterinarian Medical Association for her work on improving the humane treatment of animals in Puerto Rico.

2001-2003- Cappalli served as President for the Puerto Rico Federation for the Protection of Animals (FEPA). As President, Cappalli spoke out publicly against cockfighting. In the year 2001, Cappalli purposed amendments to Puerto Rico’s cockfighting law and in 2002 testified before the first Puerto Rico Legislative public hearings on this issue.

2002- While President of FEPA, Cappalli testified before the Puerto Rico Legislative public hearings in favor of the repeal of our anti-pit-bull law and for the establishment of Dangerous Dog Law in its place.

Cappalli also pushed for and attended the first police raid on a pet shop raid in Puerto Rico. The raid results in the confiscation of numerous sick animals. Further investigations lead to the closure of several pet shops operating without the necessary permits.

2001-2006- Cappalli was named Public Relations Consultant to the HSPR. She wrote numerous pet columns in major and minor local newspapers. In addition, she held her own pet segment on a major television network show, Univision’s morning show, Tu Mañana. She later joined Telemundo’s show Día a Día. Cappalli produced and placed numerous free ad campaigns in major and minor local newspapers. She also produced three public service announcements featuring local celebrities that were placed on major Puerto Rico television networks.

2001- 2003- As Executive Director of the HSPR and later as the President of FEPA, Cappalli began an 18-month-long battle alongside a US Animal Rights organization against the Mexican Circus Hermanos Suarez. The Circus arrived in Puerto Rico with seven polar bears. The Federation took undercover footage and was able to expose the inhumane conditions in which the polar bears were kept. After a yearlong court case, the circus was acquitted. Fortunately, with the help of Federal Agents from the US Fish and Wildlife Agency, the seven polar bears were confiscated and relocated to different zoos in the U.S.

2002-2007- For six years, Cappalli produced and hosted her own animal rights radio show named Contact Animal.

2003-2007- Cappalli founded and presided over the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Puerto Rico (SPCA-PR).

2003- Cappalli is recognized by the Women’s Civic Society as one of Puerto Rico’s Distinguished Ladies for her efforts on behalf of animals.

2003- The SPCA-PR took undercover footage of Puerto Rico’s largest chicken supplier company named Pollos Picú beating and killing with pipes and bats over 70,000 chickens, because they had over-grown their size and the company was not able to process them. Later the company was letting chickens die of hunger. Cappalli filed two different lawsuits against the company. Both lawsuits were lost, but eventually the company went bankrupt.

2003- Cappalli and the SPCA-PR joined forces with the Puerto Rico Ornithology Society to write a press release and stage the first manifestation against bird hunting.

2003- Cappalli was certified in Puerto Rico by United Animal Nation’s Emergency Animal Rescue Service for the rescue and care of animals during disasters.

2003- Cappalli and the SPCA-PR teamed up with Purina and Univision to recognize a child during Be Kind to Animals Week.

2003- Cappalli joined the Doris Day Animal Foundation as Latin Outreach Spokesperson for Spay Day USA, translating all material into Spanish and attending all National media interviews.

2004- Cappalli worked together with the ASPCA to bring to Puerto Rico Special Agent Mark MacDonald who delivered to the Puerto Rico Police Department a conference about the importance of attending animal cruelty cases.

2005- Cappalli and the SPCA-PR joined forces with PETA in staging the most successful animal protest in Puerto Rico against the Ringling Brothers Circus. Cappalli made front-page headline news both locally and internationally.

2007- Cappalli launched an anti-animal cruelty campaign on behalf of the SPCA of PR in all major and minor newspapers in Puerto Rico.

2007- Cappalli is recognized by major local magazine Imagen for her humanitarian and philanthropic efforts on behalf of animals in Puerto Rico

2005-2008- Cappalli opened her own business, the first all exclusive cat boarding facility in Puerto Rico, the 'Miao Miao Hotel'.

2008–Present- Cappalli launched her own dog clothing line named Urban Pet by Carla Cappalli, now known as UP Collection. Cappalli asked her distributor to grant a percentage of sales for donations to help animal groups in Puerto Rico. Also, on her label she included instructions so no dog would be obligated to wear clothing, if uncomfortable and stressed. Cappalli makes sure clothing is lightweight and does not affect any of the dog’s senses.

2008- Cappalli writes a bi-lingual coloring book for children promoting proper care and kindness to animals. The book title is the Golden Rules for Helping Animals.

2009- Cappalli’s bi-lingual coloring book The Golden Rules for Helping Animals is endorsed by the Department of Education of Puerto Rico and together they launch a humane education campaign publishing 30,000 coloring books and distributing these to the first and second graders in all the public schools on the island.

2009- Once again, Cappalli stages a large protest against the Ringling Brothers Circus. The protest brings together many different local animal groups and receives much media attention. Following this, no other circus with animals has visited Puerto Rico. There is no legislation yet which prohibits it.

2009-2010- Cappalli joins lawsuit as a local resident against BioCulture Laboratories. The company intended to open a monkey breeding facility in the Municipality of Guayama, Puerto Rico. Cappalli staged and led various protests and eventually the lawsuit was won.

2011-2012- Cappalli joins Earth Island Institute and Ric O’Barry in preventing the construction of a Dolphinarium in Puerto Rico proposed by former Mayor of San Juan, Jorge Santini. Cappalli staged and led a protest. She helped present a screening of the Award-winning documentary The Cove, and served as a guide for O’Barry during the media tour, which she arranged for him. The Dolphinarium was not constructed.

2012-2014- Throughout these last years, Cappalli has continued working with different local animal groups helping them to produce, promote and carry out events, as well as making donations from the proceeds of sales from her dog clothing line UP Collection. Cappalli has also kept up her humane education efforts visiting different schools offering book readings featuring her bi-lingual coloring book, The Golden Rules for Helping Animals. Cappalli has been active in the local media, offering interviews on different animal welfare issues occurring on the island.


Carla Cappalli Wikipedia