Gary Smith & Kezia Jauron

by Nathan Runkle, Mercy for Animals

Gary Smith and Kezia Jauron are a true power couple for animals. Back in 2006 they left the world of corporate PR to launch the animal-friendly PR firm Evolotus. At Evolotus they combine their passion for justice with their skills as PR specialists, working with nonprofits, individuals, and companies committed to a better world.

Through their work with ethically minded businesses and animal protection organizations, including Mercy For Animals, Gary and Kezia have helped reach millions of people about compassionate living by securing stories on nearly every major media outlet, including Inside Edition, CNN, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune.

But Gary and Kezia do so much more than run a PR firm. They regularly provide programmatic strategy support to a wide variety of social change leaders and groups, and provide PR training to animal rights activists. The extent of behind-the-scenes pro bono work they do is awe-inspiring.

Gary and Kezia are the human companions of Frederick and Douglass, two beagles who were rescued from an animal testing laboratory. When people tell them at the dog park how cute their dogs are, they hand out a card that in no uncertain terms explains the history of the dogs.

Gary has also created and now runs The Thinking Vegan, a blog that educates people about living ethically and compassionately. Thomas Ponce, the young visionary behind Lobby for Animals, says, “Mr. Smith’s use of words is a strong weapon in the fight against social injustices and he wields this weapon with intellect and thought-provoking articles.”

As part of Gary and Kezia’s dedication to inspiring compassion in others, Gary started a vegan mentoring program whereby he works directly with people who want support in moving toward a vegan diet and lifestyle.

“Being in PR is about putting your client in front of a camera or microphone, not stepping in front of one yourself,” Kezia says. This is exactly the reason that Gary and Kezia deserve to be recognized by us for all the work they do behind the scenes to support our movement.