Kara Breci Founder, Executive Director
Kara has had a deep love for all animals since birth. At 8 years old, Kara embraced vegetarianism after learning from her dad about how chicken nuggets were made. For over 13 years, Kara's career was focused on the safety and welfare of people while working various roles in law enforcement. After 13 years as a police officer, Kara retired from St Paul PD, after an injury prohibited her from returning to patrol. This was the turning point in her life to refocus on her deep love and compassion for animals.
In May of 2015, Kara purchased the 11-acre property that would become SoulSpace Sanctuary. Shortly after, she rescued three sheep, Frederick, George, and Oliver from some Craigslist ads selling lamb for butcher meat. Those 3 sheep quickly changed Kara's life. She knew their stories, and the stories of countless others like them, had to be told. SoulSpace was founded in September 2015, and became the first sanctuary of its kind in the Twin Cities metro area.
Since its beginning, SoulSpace quickly experienced tremendous growth. Since SoulSpace is a non-profit, for- purpose organization, it is imperative to have an incredible team of dedicated volunteers, which it now has. This season will be the third year being open to the public for tours and hosting volunteer workdays. To ensure the animals are all well cared for, SoulSpace has a volunteer program made up of over 100 hard working people. To further the cause to bring awareness to the plight of animals and guide children to more compassionate living, a half-day Humane Education Program and several week-long day camps are launching this spring.
SoulSpace has become an integral part of the St Croix County community, offering school groups, community organizations, and underserved youth, an opportunity to experience the animals firsthand.
Kara loves meeting the hundreds of people that visit SoulSpace every season, and takes great satisfaction in guiding them on their journey to a more compassionate lifestyle. Kara is deeply grateful for the life she has designed and the army of beautiful people that have joined her in making SoulSpace a reality. ❣️
SoulSpace provides rescue, refuge, and a forever home for 45 farm animals, enabling visitors to connect with the Residents as emotional, intelligent individuals. These Residents stand as ambassadors for the billions in factory farms who have no way out. Kara has dedicated her life to advocating on their behalf.
Beth Berhow Program Manager, Board of Directors
Beth joined the SoulSpace Board of Directors in late 2016, and as the sanctuary began to grow, she jumped in with both feet to help. She brings over 10 years of management experience in both corporate and small business environments to her position as Program Manager, where she assists with donor management, fundraising, sanctuary tours, and event planning.
Beth lives in River Falls, WI with her feline companions and works as a Claims Specialist for Progressive Insurance. In her free time, she enjoys snuggling with Wally, biking, reading, and meeting new people.
Beth has been a vegan since 2012. She believes that all animals’ lives are their own and they have the right to live in peace just as we wish to. She is passionate about connecting with people and helping them remove the barriers to compassionate living in their own lives, and she believes the Residents’ beautiful personalities and moving stories serve as incredibly powerful vehicles for change.
TJ LONG Health & Wellness Director, Board of Directors
TJ is a certified personal trainer, natural health coach, raw vegan chef, and activist in the Twin Cities area. He became interested in health and fitness a few years after college, initially intrigued by plant-based nutrition as well as orthopedic exercise and recovery. Seeking ways to advance physical recovery methods, he later opened up to exploring yoga, calisthenics and plyometrics, as well as natural hygiene.
TJ stays busy researching principles of natural health, also working with special needs students at a St Paul charter high school, coaching youth ice hockey athletes on and off ice, attending outreach and community events with local animal rights organizations, and creating fruit-based vegan meals in the kitchen. He lives at SoulSpace Sanctuary with his best friend, a rescued companion-dog named Brooks who came into his care in 2012.
Always having a strong connection to animals, TJ first acknowledged the impacts of industrial farming practices as a teenager, and later made the steps toward a morally-focused vegan lifestyle near the end of college. He believes that rescue, sanctuary, outreach and education makes a positive impact for everyone in our community, human and non-human individuals alike. TJ's involvement with SoulSpace Sanctuary is in honor of the rescued residents, and all animals everywhere.