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Our Team


Dr. Esslin Terrighena

Esslin is a registered psychologist, who splits her day between human mental health and animal welfare. She has over 15 years of experience across multiple countries in the animal field, including fostering, training, enrichment, healthcare, rescue, and husbandry. Esslin currently forms a pack with two dogs, two cats, and a steady flux of foster animals. 

In Hong Kong, she has been working with animal welfare organizations since 2014; fostering cats and dogs for various charities, assisting in dog training at Hong Kong Dog Rescue, supporting animal rescue with PALS, and providing enrichment for primates at the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.

Esslin founded TAILS in December 2018 to support animals in need around South Lantau. She brings strong executive and operational skills to the charity, balancing passion for animal welfare with scientific understanding and grounded pragmatism. This enables her to maintain constructive dialogue with diverse human parties, but also tirelessly drives forward her vision of creating a world in which animal welfare is not the exception, but the norm.  


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Carina Milligan

Carina has held positions in event organizing in a professional and voluntary capacity for over 10 years: From live music to sporting events, all around the world.

Although a pet owner for many years, it was not until moving to Hong Kong in 2014 that her love for animals really began to shine, when she became involved in fostering for several animal welfare organizations, and soon realized just how much of a need there was to help the animals of Hong Kong. She then continued with this passion by joining the TAILS team in 2019, to use her experience to help TAILS grow, as well as taking in some more furry friends along the way.

Carina contributes her strong marketing and management skills to TAILS, supporting us in organizing adoption and fundraising events, coordinating merchandise to help raise funds, and nurturing our relationships with supporters, partners, and collaborators.


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Cary Shakeshaft-Nicholson

Cary was born and raised in Canada in a family of animal lovers and shared her home with many amazing pets along the way. Since their move to Hong Kong in 2012, Cary and her husband have been fostering many animals from various rescue organizations and actively supported the previous animal welfare society PALS with hands-on animal rescue and trapping of injured animals.


As a stay at home dog mom to three Lantau mongrels, Cary is greatly loved by many of the village dogs around Lantau Island, as she keeps an active eye on their health and safety, and leaves them some yummy treats along the way. She is also the TAILS ambassador in spreading the word about our rescue animals to her wide network of animal lovers. Cary brings her knowledge and experience in dog and cat behaviour to every rescue project, and persistently fights for better treatment and protection of animals across Hong Kong.


Field team coordinator


Andrew McDonald

Andrew moved to Hong Kong from Australia in 1994 to pursue a career in aviation and rescued and adopted his first Hong Kong mongrel from an abandoned building site on Lantau in 2000.


Growing up, he cared for dogs, rabbits, turtles, and fish, and throughout his life has been a passionate advocate of animal welfare and conversation. He now shares his home with two rescue dogs.

Andrew gives a voice to the voiceless, being a strong supporter of animal welfare initiatives such as Sea Shepherd and World Animal Protection and living a Vegan lifestyle in which the lives of animals are respected and cherished.


Andrew contributes his extensive experience in calm handling of scared and injured cats and dogs when coordinating rescue missions to help animals in need within the Lantau area. 

Field team coordinator

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Haruka Araki

Haruka first started fostering dogs in 2015 with Hong Kong Dog Rescue, resulting in adopting 2 dogs of her own!  Since 2019,  she has been fostering numerous dogs with TAILS. Haruka appreciates their approach in ensuring all rescued animals go to foster homes directly. 

As the coordinator for the dog foster and adoption programs, she interviews applicants and matches them with dogs that best fit their lifestyle. She also helps with marketing and fundraising events to raise awareness and support for animal welfare.

Born in Japan and raised in Canada, Haruka grew up with dogs and always had a passion for animals. She moved to Hong Kong in 2012 working in the financial industry. She brings 10+ years of project management experience and external 3rd party communication to TAILS.

Coordinator for Dog Foster and Adoption
Project Manager for Marketing and Events 


Ashleigh Tamblin

A marketing and communications professional, Ashleigh moved to Hong Kong in 2011 from the Pacific Northwest. Outside of her professional career, Ashleigh places a large focus on advocacy work by volunteering and fostering animals, showcasing her lifelong commitment to making a positive impact on the world.

Ashleigh helps to manage the cat foster and adoption segment of the charity, ensuring each animal finds a safe, loving and compatible home, be in temporary or permanent.

Alongside her passion for animal advocacy, she is a fervent supporter of environmental safeguarding.

Coordinator for Cat Foster and Adoption


Lilian Lai Ying Chan

Lilian is a graduate of the prestigious Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior and a qualified puppy school instructor by the highly-regarded Karen Pryor Academy.

Her goal is to provide families with effective, professional, and humane training for their dogs- training that makes life easier, by teaching people to help their dogs navigate the structure of normal family life.


Lilian evaluates each animal's and family's unique circumstances with care and compassion to determine effective strategies to ease stress for every situation and every family. She is committed to train using powerful force-free, positive reinforcement-based tools and techniques. Guiding humans in understanding and communicating with their dogs with love and patience is at the heart of her work.

At TAILS, Lilian provides assessments and training for our rescue dogs. Lilian also provides advice to our fosters and adopters.

VSA-Certified Dog Trainer

KPA Puppy Start Right Instructor


Dr. Catherine Cormack

Growing up on a farm in rural Scotland, Catherine was surrounded by and cared for a variety of species from childhood. Her passion for making a difference to the lives of animals prompted Catherine to obtain a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (Hons) from the University of Glasgow. She worked as a veterinary surgeon in Scotland, volunteered for charities such as the Scottish SPCA, Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals, Cat Action Trust, and Guide Dogs for the Blind, and was an expert witness for the SSPCA.

Catherine moved to Hong Kong in 2012 where she continues her career in companion animal and exotic animal veterinary practice, and provides veterinary care for numerous animal rescue organisations. Since 2019, Catherine has been teaching the next generation of veterinary surgeons at City University of Hong Kong, instilling a sense of ethical responsibility in her students.

Catherine is a strong advocate of animal welfare in all species and places priority on the individual needs of her patients above everything else.  Concerned about ecological and environmental impact, Catherine is vegan and tries to live a minimal waste and plastic-free lifestyle. Catherine’s calm and gentle manner and veterinary knowledge helps to ensure our rescue animals receive the correct triaging, veterinary advice and support they need.

Registered Veterinary Surgeon


Aiko Fujioka Henderson

Aiko grew up on Lantau Island in Mui Wo, which installed a great sense of respect for local wildlife and a passion for animal care. Throughout her life, she has rescued, fostered and adopted a variety of animals in need, and currently shares her home with two adventurous rescue dogs.

Aiko attained a BA Degree in Sports and Education Studies in 2013, yet found herself still spending her free time volunteering for various animal organizations. She decided on a career change and became a certified Veterinary Nurse Assistant in 2014, working at a veterinary referrals practice in England. Then she moved back to Hong Kong in 2016 and joined City University of Hong Kong’s Advanced Diploma in Veterinary Nursing program. She now works as a qualified veterinary nurse in the Emergency and Critical Care unit of a veterinary clinic in Hong Kong.

Aiko provides her extensive medical knowledge, helping our rescue animals with advice and support. She is a key person for TAILS, especially after hours in emergency situations to help us assess and stabilize animals while we try to get them to a vet clinic. 

Certified Veterinarian Nurse

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Kim McCoy

Kim is a practising barrister in both Hong Kong and New Zealand. He has a keen interest in the intersection between criminal, civil and public law with animal law, as well as wildlife crime both locally and internationally.

Growing up surrounded by animals, Kim has found immense comfort in his rescued companions throughout his life. Seeing the significant gaps in animal welfare laws in Hong Kong further reinforced his love and desire to protect animals, providing them with a voice when they cannot speak for themselves. With this purpose, he founded the Hong Kong Animal Law and Protection Organisation (HKALPO –, which continuously works to improve legislation for the protection of animal welfare and rights. His two rescue cats, Harry and Alien, support him in this mission. 

Kim hold a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and B.A. Psychology from New Zealand, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) from Hong Kong.  He covers the full spectrum of criminal offences, including commercial crime, offences of violence, traffic, and immigration offences, and civil matters, including contract, property, intellectual property, tort, and public law. Crucially, Kim has extensive experience in animal law including criminal offences, such as animal cruelty, and civil matters, such a veterinary negligence, trespassing, or pet loss.

Kim supports TAILS with his legal expertise, providing legal advice and collaboration in animal welfare advocacy and the law.

Legal Advisor & Barrister

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