Joan Embery is a great people person, but her focus has always been on our four-legged and fine feathered friends.

"That's really my focus today, is to try and help people understand that each and every one of us define the future of wildlife in the environment," Joan said.

These days Joan travels around the world as an advocate for endangered animals and uses her ranch as a living classroom to magnify their plight.

"All the animals that I train here are used for educational work, to help people understand some of the conservation challenges we face," Joan said.

"The rate of decline of wildlife is incredible and it means that what we've historically always enjoyed as human beings is… we're losing it," she said.

At Joan's ranch, all creatures are created equal. Some just need a few more handlers.

Every member of Joan Embery's well-mannered menagerie is an ambassador for change.

This Friday, Joan Embery the people person will be honored for her work on behalf of conservation and wildlife at the San Diego River Foundation's gala. Although she'll be mixing with humans, she'll be speaking on behalf of animals.

"It's trying to find a balance between humans and animals and nature. And I think we can do it, we just have to be more educated and more thoughtful," she said.

Whether at home on the ranch or on her worldwide tours, Joan remains an energetic and charismatic woman on a mission.