Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Catskill Animal Sanctuary: Go There and Love On Some Animals

After having first learned about it at Veggie Conquest II, this past weekend VM and I finally visited the Catskill Animal Sanctuary for the first time: to attend their annual shindig.

Upon arrival, we were warmly and enthusiastically welcomed by each of the volunteers that guided us through the farm to the parking area.  I likened the anticipation to myself as a kid finally arriving at Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ; VM compared it to herself as an adult finally arriving at...the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA.  Since it's so close to Vegan Treats, I'll give her a pass.

As soon as we were parked the journey began.  We were audibly accosted greeted by some territorial geese (apparently there is no other kind) that loudly voiced their disdain for our intrusion.

cacophonous gaggle

These gorgeous roosters were quiet, friendly, and not at all camera-shy. 

Then we met some rare, male, battery cage chickens, "The Battery Boys".

Across the way were some colorful ducks:

And another fine couple:

This barn seemed empty.

But upon closer inspection we noticed two smart goats keeping cool out of the sunshine.

This rooster begged me to take a close-up, even pointing out his finer side.

And then he promptly nipped the finger that was wrapped around the camera, technically on "his" side of the fence.  Doesn't he look a little too self-satisfied?


An equine pair in the distance.

A few friendly goats.

I believe this constantly rooting piglet is Amelia, of Facebook fame.

This very handsome guy had a chat with me about how ridiculous he would look with human hair extensionsAhem.

As if all of these meet & greets weren't enough, we even had the opportunity to take a tractor-pulled hayride through the farm!

We hopped on and got right into the spirit.

Our driver and tour-guide, Alex, was phenomenal.

Chili & Alex

We met quite a few horses who, were it not for their obvious affection for Alex, would have otherwise been shy around both the crowds and the strong sun.

The goats who had been elusive to us earlier (and would be again later), came bounding towards Alex when he hopped off his tractor.

The cows were a little less enthusiastic, but seemed to enjoy his affection nonetheless.

This photo fell victim to sun-glare and the motion of the hayride, but that's Babe!
When the hayride was over we continued to explore the farm on foot.  More geese chased us away, even following us as we passed.

These fellas had gone down for a nap.

This horse was extremely intrigued by the live music, which at this point in the day was Marc Black.

Following his ears, he made a beeline towards the sound and, shortly after this picture was taken, turned on his hoof and, dare I say, twirled.

When it was almost time for our barn tour, Kathy Stevens, founder and director of the sanctuary, began to speak, but was quickly upstaged by Ethel.

Kathy is on the right, to Ethel's left.

Ethel immediately took over welcoming duties and, later, let me pet her for a good, long, while.

Once inside, we finally got to meet Rambo, made famous in Kathy's book, "Where The Blind Horse Sings": a great introduction to CAS and the resident animals.  Little known fact: Rambo's coat is as soft as cotton.

There were plenty of precious, special needs animals in the barn, but I had a bit of a love affair with a horse named, what else, Abby.

She seemed to like me as much as I her!

Catskill Animal Sanctuary is one of those places that is hard to leave.  So, we visited with a few more lucky animals on the way out.

Now that I've visited and have had the opportunity to meet the animals in person, I think I'm going to have to re-read "Where the Blind Horse Sings" and "Animal Camp".  Also, a return visit is definitely on the horizon.  If you haven't yet been, I highly recommend a trip to the Catskill Animal Sanctuary.  If you have, you know you want to return; what are you waiting for?


  1. What a wonderful post! You've really caught the happy spirit of the animals in your photos. The Catskill Animal Sanctuary looks like a special place.

  2. What a lovely day.
    I think all people should visit these places.
    Especially school kids.

  3. this looks awesome! really makes me want to go too!

    Great photos btw


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