About the people

Jessica Palomino

Co-Founder & Executive Director 

Jessica is a pediatric ICU nurse who studied at the University of Hawai'i and the University of Utah. She has been involved in non-profits her entire life, including Operation Smile, Institute for Human Services, Hawaiian Humane Society, and more. Her interest in rescue work began after she started doing foster and TNR work with cats on O'ahu, and became aware of other animals who also needed help. She enjoys surfing and eating delicious vegan food.

Anchi Howitz

Co-Founder & Director of Operations 

Anchi is an avid animal advocate. She is an Organizer with Anonymous for the Voiceless, and also enjoys volunteering with Chilis on Wheels and O'ahu Animal Save. While living in Oregon, she volunteered at the Humane Society in their foster program and as a small animal volunteer. Anchi graduated from Cornell University, is a Licensed Massage Therapist, and has a background in managing luxury spa operations. 

Hannah Mizuno

Co-Founder & Director of Development

Hannah was born and raised on the island of O’ahu. She always had a deep love for animals and envisioned creating a sanctuary before knowing about sanctuaries. The idea of a place where animals can spend their days in refuge, free from violence and exploitation was always her dream. After visiting a sanctuary in her teen years, her dream of starting a farmed animal sanctuary was solidified. At 20 years old, when the opportunity arose to join the team of co-founders at Aloha Animal Sanctuary, she was ecstatic. Hannah is now a co-founder, Director of Development, and overnight caretaker at Aloha Animal Sanctuary, caring for the animals every day and night. This is her life’s work, and she is grateful for the opportunity to create a safe place for animals and people. Hannah is a full-time student hoping to find a career that allows her to continue volunteering for years to come. She is grateful to use the Sanctuary as an educational platform to raise awareness of animal and environmental issues. Hannah believes in the value of always trying our best. If we all did just that, the world would be a better place to live in. 

Natalie Snyder

Architect and Site Planner

Natalie is a licensed architect who has worked on a variety of projects across the Hawaiian Islands. She earned a Master of Architecture from the Ohio State University and is passionate about sustainable design. Natalie loves botanical gardens and hiking the beautiful landscapes of Oʻahu. She’s vegan for the animals and the planet and is grateful to be part of the Aloha Animal Sanctuary community!

Sara Saffery

Creative Leader

Sara is in charge of the art and design projects occurring at the sanctuary. She is the mastermind behind the sanctuary's logo and

web design.


A Hawai'i native, Sara recently returned to the islands after living on the mainland for 17 years. An avid traveller, she devoted 6 months in 2018 volunteering with various environmental and animal conservation organizations in Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and Australia. 


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Brian Heithaus

Garden Leader

Brian is a passionate advocate for sustainable living. He has had the good fortune to work alongside and learn from many expert practitioners of 'Permaculture', organic farming, and sustainable living. He is excited to coordinate the gardening, sustainability and food production program at Aloha Animal Sanctuary, to feed the animals and volunteers, and bring together our community to learn together about growing food and Mālama ‘Āina.


After moving to Hawai'i five years ago to work in technology and pursue sustainable living he has found the most fulfillment contributing to and promoting with projects Yogarden, Umeke Market, Aloha Animal Sanctuary, and What it Dough, all working to promote sustainable living and/or vegan plant-based lifestyles.

The People

Alisa May

Architect and Site Planner

Alisa designed Haku's Home and went above and beyond the duties of an architect by building it herself (with the help of volunteers).


She earned a degree in architecture and a graduate degree in environmental studies, and is also an incredibly talented artist. 

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Nick Pecoraro


Nick Pecoraro is one of the original four co-founders of the sanctuary. His organization of animal rights movements in Hawai'i led to the four co-founders meeting each other!

Brian Soileau

Project Manager

Brian has been an integral part of building the sanctuary. He has tirelessly devoted his skills and positive attitude to getting the sanctuary off the ground and running, constructing fences, enclosures, and anything else to ensure both animals and people are kept happy and safe. 

Heather Scott

Merchandising Leader

Heather is a Canadian import with a background in healthcare and business and is involved with merchandizing with the sanctuary. She loves animals and is particularly biased towards the sweetness of the swine. She seeks to live a minimalistic life, which is an ongoing journey for her. On her days off, she can be found swimming at the beach, thrift shopping, doing yoga, studying tv/film concepts or dreaming about future discoveries/inventions that could benefit humans, animals and the environment.

Robert Barsocchini

Strategy Consultant 

Robert J. Barsocchini has an MA in American Studies and is currently teaching and working on his dissertation as a doctoral student in American Studies at UH Manoa. His research interests include intersections between discrimination and violence against human and non-human animals. In addition to participating in social initiatives such as the Standing Rock water-protection action, he has been raising and caring for animals for years, including pigs, cows, goats, chickens, and others. He and his wife, Aloha Animal Sanctuary co-founder Anchi Howitz, have home-fostered some of the animals who now live at Aloha Sanctuary: Charlotte the pig and Francis and Fern, the muscovy ducks. Before returning to academia Robert spent years working in the film industry, which helped to spark his professional interest in the study of American culture, history, and society. 

We Kindly Ask For Your Support Today!

Aloha Animal Sanctuary

A place where people can visit and form meaningful relationships with the animals.

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