Jan Creamer and Tim Phillips are the co-founders of Animal Defenders International (ADI)
Creamer and Phillips are a tenacious husband-and-wife team committed to ADI, an organization that champions for oppressed animals across the globe. The renowned group stops animal abuse, rescues animals in distress, and secures legislation that protects animals from harm in laboratories, farms, and the entertainment industry. They use false identities, hidden cameras, elaborate cover stories, and covert surveillance techniques to capture footage in circuses, slaughterhouses, and laboratories.
The two leaders have endured death threats and violent attacks in their mission to take hurt animals away from people who do not want to give them up. The couple publishes technical reports, educates communities, and drafts legislation documents for animals worldwide—including bans on animal circuses in 20 countries and a ban on cosmetics testing on animals in Europe.
Creamer’s dedication to making a change sparked in the mid-1970s, when she saw a leaflet in the street about beagles being forced to smoke cigarettes in experiments. The leaflet called for action and Creamer responded, volunteering for the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS). Within years she left her graphic design job to become a full-time magazine editor for NAVS, their photographer, public speaker and later their Chief Executive.
While working on animal protection campaigns, Creamer met her husband and future ADI Vice President Tim Phillips. In 1990 they founded ADI and have expanded the group’s presence worldwide, with offices in London, Los Angeles, and Bogota.
Phillips’ passion for saving animals grew from a documentary he saw in 1981 titled “The Animals’ Film.” At the time, there was little support for modern animal rights, but the film’s exposure of cruel animal treatment compelled Phillips to make a change. Within two weeks, he became a vegetarian, left his banking job, purchased a camera, and began capturing evidence of animal abuse. Phillips’ video and photographic images have revealed shocking practices in entertainment, farms, and laboratories. He has received numerous awards for his animal protection documentaries, advertisements, and training videos.
In recent years, ADI exposed the cruel treatment of circus animals in Bolivia, going undercover to rescue and relocate 29 circus lions via airlift to safer homes in the United States. Now, the film “Lion Ark” captures the behind-the-scenes plight of the animal rescue, the heartache, and the joyful flight to freedom.
ADI recently held a fundraising gala in Los Angeles, where they presented television host and philanthropist Bob Barker with the Lord Houghton Award for outstanding services to animal welfare. ADI also honored actress Jorja Fox (“CSI”) with the Animal Champion Award for her dedication to sustaining safe environments for animals in entertainment.