WOW! It has been 10 years since Leah and Kathleen sat in the kitchen at Brighthaven and talked about starting SARA. It was May of 2008 and Leah was taking a Level 2 class from Kathleen. At lunch they started talking about Kathleen’s dreams for the future. She shared how she would love to have a community that was bringing Animal Reiki to shelters and rescues all around the world. At the time Leah was a legal assistant and said, “I can help you with that!” So they pulled together some of Kathleen’s students to help create the foundation for this amazing organization! Some of the very first SARA members, Bill Stevens, Kelly McDermott-Burns and Sheryl Schlameuss are still with us today helping to grow SARA.
In the beginning there were just 20 members, 5 shelters and Kathleen’s goal to bring Animal Reiki meditation to shelters around the world to help animals find peace and support their caregivers. Today, we are a global community of more than 250 members and 75 shelters/sanctuaries/rescues who all practice the meditative practice of Let Animals Lead™ Animal Reiki! We have members and shelters in India, Bahrain and across Europe and Canada and all over the US. We now have a veterinarian who is a member and who is incorporating Reiki into his state of the art clinic.
SARA members are providing the tools necessary for shelters and sanctuaries around the world to implement Animal Reiki meditation into their programs. We have worked with and trained over 1,000 staff and volunteers of shelter/rescues, veterinarians, and service organizations to help create a positive meditative healing space for all.
We are proud to say SARA members’ high ethics and professionalism are respected by animal care professionals and animal organizations around the world. Our members all use the ethical and effective Let Animals Lead™ approach, created by Kathleen who is now the world’s renowned Animal Reiki expert!! Kathleen’s Animal Reiki curriculum is the first in the world that teaches meditation as the foundation for healing connections with animals. As our members know, this meditative method is ideal for rescued animals who have suffered from stress, abuse or trauma, because it never pushes or forces anything on an animal.
SARA is proud to be not only a community service organization but also a philanthropic one. In the past 10 years, our teachers and practitioners have donated over $200,000 to shelters, rescues and sanctuaries. In additional to monetary donations, SARA members have donated thousands of volunteer hours.
As we head into our next 10 years, our goal is to work tirelessly to make animal meditation for peace and healing as common as human-centered healing practices such as yoga and mindfulness meditation are today. With your help, we know we can do this!!