Our Team

The Board of Directors works hard behind the scenes without a lot of public credit to make sure the sanctuary runs smoothly.  It takes countless hours of work, late nights, blistered hands and muddied clothes to be where we are now.


President, Founder

Katya grew up in what is now the defunct USSR. Her earliest memories are visiting her great grandmother in the village and getting chased by geese through poison ivy. She probably deserved that. She saved her school lunches to feed pregnant and nursing stray dogs and tried to adopt stray kittens.

Katya’s family moved to San Diego, CA in 1996. She grew up with dogs, many of them were rescued. Some of the beginning motivations to be vegan were seeing a display on vivisection in middle school. Some students were showcasing their project on what happens to beagles, rabbits, rats and monkeys to test beauty and cleaning products as well as laboratory research.

In high school, she got involved with an animal rights club; eventually watching Peta’s undercover video “Meet Your Meat” she went vegan overnight. She worked in the veterinary field for six years. Currently, Katya spends all her free time working on activism including building up the sanctuary and doing vegan outreach.


CFO, Founder

Hope went vegan in March of 2015 a few shorts months after meeting Katya. At first, Hope’s reasons were mostly health and environment related but after about a year of eating a vegan diet her compassionate side started to show through. The idea to start the Sanctuary was initiated by Katya by after a month Hope found a funky looking rooster on Seattle Animal Shelters website and she urged Katya to let them adopt him. That funky looking rooster would eventually become affectionately known as Jon Snow. Jon has taught Hope a lot and Hope gives Jon a lot of credit for turning her into the animals rights advocate that she is today.



You can call me a vegan, a minimalist, an engineer, or a triathlete. As a dedicated athlete at a very young age, maintaining a healthy diet has been instilled in me since I remember. However, once I found myself in my mid twenties, struggling with a work life balance, I noticed my personal fitness level was at its worst and I saw a downward progression in other aspects of my life. I made the switch to a full plant based diet in early 2017 after witnessing my brother transform to completing an Ironman in a two year timeframe, and attributing that to a plant based diet. I adopted a vegan lifestyle shortly thereafter once friends and family, including Hope and Katya, educated me about other forms of animal cruelty, not just the food and dairy industry.

I am now one year into being vegan and have no plans of looking back. I have seen other aspects of my life improve including my confidence at work and my athletic abilities. I will be competing in a full Ironman in 2018 after finishing a half in 2017. I also have two rescue cats, one who I rescued from a shelter days before it was set to be put down because it was considered feral. This once skiddiest cat who was considered worthless because it wasn’t a typical “lap cat companion” can now be found rolling around on his back with his belly out or cuddling with me and my husband on the couch.


Director of Community Outreach, Event Coordinator

Jamie is a new transplant to Washington, having moved from New York in August of ‘16. Growing up, Jamie always had a houseful of animals which quickly developed her love for all living creatures. She became a vegetarian in middle school and would attend local PETA protests.

Her passion for protecting and fighting for the voiceless was reignited this summer after holding a chick that was only a few hours old. Jamie and her fiancé both went fully vegan in August after watching the documentary ‘What the Heath’. Being new to the Vegan world, Jamie was hoping to make connections with like-minded, compassionate individuals and crossed paths with Hope, Katya and the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary.


Director of Fundraising

I became involved with Heartwood Haven after connecting with Katya on social media. I have three decades of rescue and animal activism experience, and my adopted companions currently include six goats (Hazel, RockStar, Angus, Mr. Chow, MaiTai, and MoonPie), three dogs (Willie, Truman, and Ted) and two cats (Sophie and Larry). My partner, KC, is incredibly supportive of my passion for animals, and it is one of our primary interests. We are also ardent Seahawks fans, love to travel to warm places, and attend live music events. I work as a software developer to support my rescue passion, and I also enjoy gardening, collecting art glass, and vegan cooking.

Leisa ann

Director of Corporate Outreach

I don’t know the exact date when I became vegan, I just know it has been a little over five years now. I made the decision after watching videos showing what terrible things we as humans do to our fellow earthlings. I felt that I would no longer contribute to their suffering. They are the innocent and need our help. I became vegetarian for a minute and then quickly went vegan. After soul searching, I found that being “a vegan” was just not enough. Activism and service had to be my next step.

After researching a few of the sanctuaries in the Seattle area, I decided upon supporting Heartwood Haven. Hope & Katya spend all of their time with the animals under their care to know each them, their personalities and their needs. They also have a mutual respect with other sanctuaries in the area and are always willing to offer a helping hand when asked.

I’m proud to have been offered an opportunity to serve on Heartwood Haven’s board.

If you’re interested in becoming a Board Member, please contact us for more information.
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Heartwood Haven provides sanctuary to abused, neglected, mistreated and/or homeless animals and educates the public about the effects of animal agriculture.
Simplified logo for Heartwood Haven.


Heartwood Haven creates a peaceful sanctuary environment for animals to live while receiving the highest quality veterinary care, love and attention based on their individual needs.
Simplified logo for Heartwood Haven.


Heartwood Haven believes every animal deserves respect; we promote a compassionate vegan lifestyle.