Meet Our SARA Board Members
Kathleen Prasad is founder of Animal Reiki Source and president/co-founder of the Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA). A Reiki practitioner for over 23 years, Kathleen Prasad teaches and shares the healing benefits of 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.
Leah has spent her entire life with and around animals, from horses, dogs, cats and fish to the more exotic species such as tigers, snakes and raptors. In 2007, her love of animals and desire to serve them led Leah to discover Kathleen Prasad and her unique method of Animal Reiki. Leah and Kathleen had immediate synergy and from their shared desire to help shelter animals along with Kathleen’s vision, in 2008 founded the Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA). Since that time, they have grown SARA from 28 members to over 400 members who have helped support thousands of animals through the power of meditation. Through treatments, volunteer hours and monetary donations from classes, SARA members have contributed close to $1 million to shelters around the globe and are looking forward to doubling that number in the next five years.
Dr. Marc Malek
Owner/ Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist and Therapeutic Laser Clinician/ Level III Reiki practitioner and instructor
Certified Fear Free Veterinarian
Known as Dr. Doolittle by many clients, Dr. Malek lives his dream everyday helping the animals he loves and the people who love them. He graduated from U.C. Davis with a B.S. in Environmental Toxicology in 1986 and in 1990 from the School of Veterinary Medicine. Immediately after graduating Dr. M began practicing with a mixed animal practice (large and small animals) in the Marysville/Wheatland area. When the owner of the practices sold the large animal component of the practices Dr. M moved to Sacramento and began a new challenge as the managing veterinarian for a fast paced small animal clinic in 1993. The opportunity to purchase Foothill Farms Veterinary hospital trumped a potential surgical residency in 1994.
Dr. M is an accomplished surgeon and internist having worked in solo and group practice for over 26 years. Over the last 5 years Dr. M has dedicated much of his continuing education to Integrative practice. Therapeutic laser treatment has been a staple at FFVH since 2011 due to Dr. Malek's early adoption of this rapid physical medicine healing therapy. He received his Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (large and small animal) certification in April 2014 from Colorado Veterinary Medicine Association's OneHealth SIM Acupuncture course. He and many of the staff have been learning and practicing Animal Reiki since 2012 and he received his level III Animal Reiki instructor certification in June of 2014.
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.
Trained by Animal Reiki Source, Kelly is a Founding and Teaching member of the Shelter Animal Reiki Association and the Director of East Coast Operations. She is also a graduate teacher of the International House of Reiki and a certified teacher of the Shibumi International Reiki Association.
In addition to offering classes and sessions, Kelly is a Reiki volunteer at Rutland County Humane Society. She is also a trained hospice and palliative care Reiki volunteer and for several years was a Reiki volunteer and coordinator at Rutland Regional Medical Center.
Educating the public and private sector about the benefits of Reiki is a major focus of Kelly’s work leading to the first Reiki programs at Gifford Medical Center, Rutland Regional Medical Center, and many animal shelters in the northeast. Her students are as diverse as doctors, nurses, senior groups, alternative medical practitioners, hospice workers, children, and animal shelter employees. Kelly speaks on Reiki frequently to a variety of groups including cancer centers, hospice, community groups and animal caregivers.
Alison has been a Reiki practitioner and teacher since 2002, she became a member of SARA in 2011 combining her Reiki practice with her passion for volunteering at animal rescue organizations in Egypt and India as well as her native Glasgow, taking Reiki to not only the animals but as a support to staff, who in doing such a heart led job, often suffer from emotional distress. She now teaches the Let Animals Lead Method to organisations and their staff as well as individuals interested in volunteering their services to animals in need.
"What I love about the Let Animals Lead method is it’s simplicity and honesty, the notion of species drops away and gives a true and deep connection, heart to heart, sharing that connection translates to any language and respects all cultures. The results speak for themselves."
Alison is based in Glasgow and runs her business The Holistic Pet providing a range of pet services and complementary therapies, from The Pet Empawrium in East Kilbride Scotland, as part of a team offering veterinary, behavioural, nutritional and grooming advice. She is founder of Animal Reiki Scotland which offers training for guardians, shelters and animal professionals. She lives at home in Glasgow with Bailey Russell and Jasmine the rescue chi.
Karren O’Sullivan lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a life long lover of animals, nature, community and the healing arts. In 2010, she began her professional Animal Reiki training with Kathleen Prasad. In addition, she has completed several human-focused Reiki trainings.
Drawn to volunteering at her local animal shelters, she became a SARA practitioner and teacher in 2013. She started her own business, Animal Reiki of Tulsa in 2017, inspired by using her experience and talents to facilitate healing for animals and their people through meditation.
Karren believes that being in service, through the philanthropic work of SARA, is a privilege and brings her joy! She volunteers at the Tulsa SPCA and teaches a variety of Let Animals Lead® Reiki classes to the animal shelter staff & volunteers, veterinarians & their staff and the general public.
She is honored to serve on the SARA Ethics Committee and the SARA Board!
Nicholas Pearson is an award-winning author and Reiki teacher. He has trained in traditional styles of Japanese Reiki, including Usui Reiki Ryoho, Jikiden Reiki, and Komyo ReikiDo, as well as traditional and non-traditional forms of Western Reiki, like Usui Shiki Ryoho and Usui/Tibetan Reiki. Nicholas strives to offer Reiki training, practice sessions, and other events that unite practitioners of all lineages by helping us understand how and where Reiki developed and where it can take us. He is also a Certified Medical Reiki Master and a member of the International Association of Reiki Professionals. His seminal Reiki book, Foundations of Reiki Ryoho, is available in English and Italian. Nicholas is also the author of Crystal Basics and five other books, and he also offers training in crystal healing, flower essence therapy, and other esoteric topics across the United States and abroad.
Photo copyright In Joy Photography
Gail Pope is the President and Founder of BrightHaven Center for Animal Rescue, Hospice and Holistic Education in California, and for over 30 years she has helped senior and special needs animals on a journey of holistic healing, all the way through hospice care and transition.
Gail’s work in the world of animal healthcare, hospice and natural dying is widely acclaimed. She has an international consultation practice and is contacted by many vets and animal caregivers regarding BrightHaven’s natural methods and protocols. She is also a founding member of the Animal Hospice Group.
Gail has authored six books available on Amazon addressing various aspects of animal hospice and caring for older animals. BrightHaven’s comprehensive education program includes online self-paced courses about animal hospice.
Gail has proudly served on the SARA Board of Directors since October 2016. She is also a faculty member of Holistic Actions! for Companion Animals.