Who We Are

Ahimsa House Executive Director - Myra Rasnick

Myra Rasnick, Executive Director

Ms. Rasnick has 15 years of experience in crisis intervention, victim service delivery and program development.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at James Madison University with a concentration in Women’s Studies. While completing her degree, she began volunteering on the crisis line at Citizens Against Sexual Assault (The Collins Center), where she was later employed. Upon graduation she relocated to the metro Atlanta area, where she worked as the Advocacy Coordinator for the Gwinnett Sexual Assault & Children’s Advocacy Center. Ms. Rasnick is dedicated to ending violence against women and is an avid animal lover. Marrying these passions, Ms. Rasnick joined Ahimsa House as the Program Services Coordinator in 2007 at which time she developed and implemented Ahimsa House’s Direct Services Program.  In this role, in addition to providing services, she trained domestic violence shelter staff throughout Georgia on the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty, leading to increased awareness, referrals for services and established partnerships. In 2014, she accepted the position of Executive Director. She has harnessed her position on Family Violence Task Forces to deliver professional outreach to law enforcement officials, prosecuting attorneys, judges, Family Violence Intervention Program (FVIP) providers, Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) officials, and other professionals working in the field of domestic violence. Ms. Rasnick conducts professional training to a variety of animal welfare as well as human services agencies.


Shannon Oxford, Director of Program Services

Shannon has been working in the victim services field for 2 years. She graduated from Valdosta State University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. After graduation, she volunteered with the Douglas County Task Force on Family Violence before accepting a job in Florida. There, she was the Lead Shelter Advocate at Micah’s Place, a domestic violence shelter in Fernandina Beach. Shannon relocated to Atlanta where she could combine her passion in ending domestic violence with her love of animals. At Ahimsa House, Shannon coordinates the Direct Services program, helping find and organize shelter and care for the animals that come into the program. Shannon was hired as the Victim Services Advocate in 2013 and accepted the Program Services Coordinator position in 2014.

Sal Pal

Sally Terrell, Victim Services Coordinator

Sally earned her bachelor’s degree in Media Arts & Design and Corporate Communication from James Madison University and began her career at a global public relations firm in Washington, D.C. During this time, Sally grew increasingly interested in combining her skills with her passion to combat domestic and sexual violence. She returned to school to pursue a Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and worked as an intern at Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. This experience introduced the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty, and provided Sally opportunities to gain experience in victim services and crisis intervention. Upon graduating, she relocated to the Atlanta area and was pleased to accept the Victim Services Advocate position in June 2014.

my new face

Sarah Overton, Victim Services Advocate

Sarah has been working as a domestic and sexual violence advocate for over three years. She received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. While completing her degree she volunteered with RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, and also worked with a local domestic violence shelter. Upon graduating, she relocated to Atlanta and joined the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence as a Legal Advocate. Sarah was pleased to accept a position with Ahimsa House as an Outreach Advocate in March 2015.

Meet Our Board of Directors

Carrie Montagna-Ward (President)
Marketing Manager, McKesson

Kendra Westphal (Secretary)
Executive Recruiter, AquantUs, LLC

Heather Siler (Treasurer)
Director, Operations, Guidant Group

Christi Burton
Sales Consultant, Vera Bradley

Cheri Fulginiti
Vice President, Engineering, UPS

Lisa Bugni 
Partner, Alston and Bird

Ana Minter
Director, Financial Solutions, Guidant Group

Mary Ann Downey
HR Metrics Coach, Shoot the Moon Services, LLC

Lauren Vickers
Manager, Communications & Organizational Development, AmeriCold Logistics, LLC

Meet Our Advisory Council

David Bressman, DVM
Associate Veterinarian, Crabapple Animal Hospital

Joey Brooks
Animal Cruelty Investigator, Gwinnett County

Christy Showalter
Director of Training, Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Emily Christie
Founder, Ahimsa House

Christine Cox, Esq.

Paul Ebbs
Field Supervisor, Fulton County Animal Services

Annamarie Keck
Community Member

Hon. Shawn Ellen LaGrua
Superior Court Judge, Fulton County

Melinda Merck, DVM
Owner, Forensics Consulting, LLC

Merrie Rennard, LMSW
Ph.D. Fellow, Veterinary Social Work, University of Tennessee

Kelly Trogdon, DVM
Owner, Faithful Friend Mobile Veterinary Clinic

Stephen Walker
Owner, S. R. Walker Designs