Executive Director, Co-Founder

Kate Tsyrklevich


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.

Director of Operations, Co-Founder

Hope Hilman

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.


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