Executive Team

Sylvia Nagy, DVM, Veterinary Medical Director

Dr. Sylvia Nagy came to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter from Sonoma Humane Society Public Hospital, where she served as the hospital’s medical director. Prior to that, Dr. Nagy was a senior veterinarian at North Shore Animal League in New York. There she performed an array of clinic services – from routine procedures to emergencies – conducted shelter exams, soft tissue surgeries, and performed canine and feline dentals, including full mouth extractions. She also performed high volume spay-neuter and provided oversight to a large animal nursery. Dr. Nagy is passionate and progressive about shelter medicine. Her professional interests include advances within shelter standards, keeping animals in homes, decreasing illness and stress, and providing mentorship to medical team members and veterinarians in training. She received her veterinary degree from Ross University and performed her clinical year at Tufts University. She brings passion, experience and solid skills to the position.




Gabrielle Amster, Executive Director

Gabrielle Amster brings 20 years of non-profit management and fourteen years of animal welfare experience to her position at the Palm Springs Animals Shelter. Prior to PSAS, Gabrielle served in leadership positions at the Sante Fe Animal Shelter, the ASPCA New York, NY, and Animal Trustees of Austin in Texas. Gabrielle holds a B.A. in Communications and Journalism from the University of New Mexico.

Gabrielle’s passion and commitment to the PSAS mission, combined with her knowledge of animal welfare and advocacy, marketing, and fundraising will fuel her goals of building sustainability and growth, expanding lifesaving programs and introducing innovative approaches to lead the way to a no kill Coachella Valley.

Gabrielle lives in Cathedral City with three rescued dogs.



Judith Olivas, Development Director

Judith Olivas provides leadership and support to current and long range plans for fund development strategies as the Director of Development for Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter.

With over thirty years of nonprofit experience, Judi is proficient in both operations and development. With degrees in Behavioral Psychology and Social Welfare, her career began as a front line social worker for victims of violence. Relocating to Coachella Valley, Judi served first as the Associate Executive Director of the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert for 15 years, overseeing all facets of the organization, including fundraising and communication strategies. Additional professional positions included: Director of Development and Marketing for The Joslyn Center and Development Director for OneFuture Coachella Valley.

Judi’s commitment to this community extends beyond her dedication to her job. Currently she serves as President of the Desert Communities Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Judi has served on numerous nonprofit committees, advisory councils and boards including the Eastside Legal Assistance Program, Friends of the Cathedral City Library, and was appointed by the Cathedral City Council to serve on the Riverside County Free Library Association. Judi received a Woman of Distinction Award for Community Service from Assemblyman Brian Nestande, 42nd District and the Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award at the 2019 National Philanthropy Day in the Desert.

Judi lives in Cathedral City with her husband Jay and two adopted senior Corgi’s – Bentley and Bruiser.