Meet Our Directors
SARA President - San Rafael, California
Kathleen Prasad is founder of Animal Reiki Source and president/co-founder of the Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA). A Reiki practitioner for over 22 years, Kathleen Prasad teaches and shares the healing benefits of Reiki meditation for animals and their caregivers. Kathleen has created the Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki, based on traditional Japanese Reiki meditations and specific techniques to build trusting, respectful relationships with animals. This method represents the world’s first specialized, extensive and professional curriculum in Animal Reiki and meditating with animals for healing.
SARA Vice President - Portland, Oregon
Leah is the Vice President of the Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA) and is a former board member of Pregnant Mare Rescue. She has taught Animal Reiki classes at the Humane Society Silicon Valley, Homeless Cat Network, and Rabbit Haven, and offers regular classes at Pregnant Mare Rescue in Aptos, California. She is currently teaching the SARA Animal Reiki for Reiki Practitioners teleclass. Leah is available for in-person Animal Reiki treatments.
SARA Membership Director - Pennsylvania
John Sawyer is a software engineer and Reiki teacher who has been owned by 13 dogs over the past 20 years. Through those years, he and his wife, Donna, have dealt with a number of canine health crises which led them through the mainstream veterinary field to alternative health care modalities including acupuncture and Reiki. John took Reiki Level I in 1994 and experimented with applying the Reiki techniques to caring for his dogs, eventually taking Level II before becoming a Teacher in 2004. He is volunteering at Animals In Distress in the Lehigh Valley area of Eastern PA.
SARA East Coast Operations Director - Vermont
Since 2004, Kelly McDermott-Burns of HeartSong Reiki and HeartSong for Animals has been bringing heart-centered healing to people and animals in central Vermont and around the northeast. Kelly has trained in the Let Animals Lead® Method of Animal Reiki with Kathleen Prasad and is a Certified Online Teacher and a Teacher of Excellence. Kelly has also trained with Frans Stiene of the International House of Reiki and Hyakuten Inamoto of Komyo Reiki do. She is a certified End of Life Care for Companion Animals Doula and a certified Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher. In addition to volunteering Reiki at Rutland County Humane Society, Kelly has taught the Let Animals Lead® Method at many shelters in the Northeast.
SARA International Operations Director - Glasgow, Scotland
Alison McKinnon is the SARA International Operations Director and member of the Board. She has studied animal Reiki for the past few years with Kathleen Prasad. Alison had practiced Reiki before studying with Kathleen but found the results with Kathleen's techniques were instant. She is very proud to be able to pass those techniques on to her students. Alison has many years experience in the field of complementary healthcare and natural therapy including aromatherapy. Her experiences working with essential oils led her to explore other subtle healing systems and energy work including Reiki. Her own animal family always benefited from her therapies, but in 2002, she decided to begin offering therapies for animals on a wider scale and set up a business to offer holistic healing to pets which led her to become involved with The Tree of Life for Animals (Tolfa) in India several years ago. Alison has taught the Tolfa staff and volunteers Animal Reiki. We are proud to say Tolfa as an official SARA shelter. Alison offers classes and retreats in the UK, India and Egypt. Alison lives in College Milto, East Kilbride, Scotland where she offers in person and distant Animal Reiki.