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Erin Maxick 

Founder / President

Erin is dedicated to creating experiences for others that uplift and help them to feel loved and cared for. 


As an extremely shy and introverted child herself, Erin’s first best friend was a bunny named Buttons.  For Erin, animals offered a safe and gentle environment and she nurtured many pets growing up.


As a teen visiting convalescent homes with her youth group, Erin’s was profoundly moved by the many elders whom she experienced as deeply lonely and yearning for connection.  Many years later Erin began working with a animals through the Mobile Zoo of California, and was inspired to branch out to visit those who aren’t able to afford this amazing service.  


Erin is an actress, a performer with circus theatre Lucent Dossier Experience, has her own line of French style handmade botanical soaps, Éclore Soap and raises exotic orchids.

Dayna Riesgo  

Vice President 

Dayna has always had a deep love of animals big and small, covered in fur, feathers or scales!  


Dayna has worked in the event, service and entertainment industry for over 20 years, which has taken her all over the world. When on a production site, if there is a critter to relocate, attend to, or discover, Dayna is the first to be called to the scene, even when it comes to tarantulas and bats! As a performer she loves to entertain and bring out smiles and laughter.  Working with the animals of The Little Zoo is the perfect outlet to do just that for those in need of the magical healing that animals provide.  


Dayna is also a professional photographer, loves collecting beautiful antiques and performing and creating with Grand Artique theatre entertainment company.


Allison Walter

Allison believes that everyone can benefit from the love and healing energy of animals, and that by learning more about our world’s diverse creatures, we learn more about ourselves. She loves being a part of the Little Zoo because it allows her to share this joy! 

Allison’s passion for animals began in childhood - her first pet was a Ball Python named Max!When she was 7, her family moved to Oregon to start a hobby farm. She quickly fell in love with caring for and spending time with her new “animal friends,” especially the sheep and chickens!

Now, Willow and Lola (a Serama Mini chicken, and a Silkie chicken) are two of her favorite members of the Little Zoo family. 


Allison is also a professional actor, producer, and casting director. She loves salsa dancing, trying new vegetarian recipes, taking care of her many house plants, and spending time with her rescue terrier, Alfie.

Shira Loa


Shira has always had a deep affinity to the natural world and all of its creatures, and feels a magical spark of joy when connecting with animals. From sharks to rabbits, she loves them all, but for the last 24 years, she has been especially devoted to snakes, and now has 5 of them in her serpent family, along with a goofy pitbull mutt named Ume. 

Shira is a metal artist, and spent 20+ years in the event and fabrication industries as a welder, builder, project/production and assets manager. She often ended up as the official Snake Wrangler to catch wild snakes and relocate them to safety on many outdoor job sites. Most recently, she works as a professional data systems/organizational wizard and operations strategist for companies that range in focus from entertainment to non-profit work. 


Shira first experienced The Little Zoo by acting as a volunteer "snake wrangler" and absolutely loved educating young and old alike about these very misunderstood but simply wonderful animals. Shira loves being an official part of the Little Zoo, both as a board member and a leader in animal therapy sessions. Watching people go from fear to wonder/fascination is the most rewarding experience!


Meet our Zoo Volunteers

Thank you to our volunteer zoo crew family for helping us make this

heartwarming work possible!  Would you like to volunteer?  Drop us a line! 

Junior Volunteers




Ava & Sarah

Zoo Crew!

Erin and Dayna

Erin and Dayna




Alex and Missy

Alex and Missy






Carrie and Tanya









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