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
Kelly McDermott-Burns is a Founding Member of SARA, a SARA Teacher and a certified teacher of Shibumi International Reiki Association. Kelly began practicing in 2004. She is a Teacher/Practitioner trained in the Japanese Art of Reiki by the International House of Reiki and in Animal Reiki by Animal Reiki Source. A former Vermont Reiki Association president, she remains active as a regional coordinator. Kelly works with several animal shelters around Vermont and volunteers regularly at Rutland County Humane Society. Educating the public is a major focus of Kelly's work. She travels around the northeast teaching and speaking about Animal Reiki.
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.