Peace. Truth. Passion. This is what I saw and felt among the human and non human animals at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. I’ve visited some small farms over my years, met some good meaning, caring farmers who say, and I believe them, that they love their animals. Only thing is, it’s conditional love. They then send their ‘loved ones’ off to slaughter.
Here though, the injustice and horrors of their lives are behind them. Each animal has a name, is loved, known and respected for their individual personality and idiosyncrasies. Just as there are strong fighting spirits present in us humans, those determined to overcome illness and pain, so too have these precious rescued beauties.
For instance, shy Christopher who is always by Noelle, his mother’s side. Presumably Noelle escaped from a live animal market, and was spotted and pick up after being chased by dogs down a Bronx street. She arrived at CAS on Christmas Eve in 2006, extremely emaciated, overwhelmed and exhausted. Eager to let her rest for the night, as she was in a terrible condition, her pregnancy wasn’t noticed. At dawn of Christmas Day, CAS staff discovered a tiny white sheep nestled in the straw with his mom. They named him Christopher.
Then there’s Noah, and his rescue from one of the worst neglect and abuse cases CAS staff have ever witnessed. Read about it here and see how others have also found refuge and lasting love alongside him.
During our visit we got to know, and love come so naturally, so many kind souls. Bobby the horse, Miss Piggerty, Shy Girl, Moses the pig and Shirley a beautiful sheep. Of the most personable friends, perhaps only because they were part of the ‘underfoot’ team (no area off-limits to them) were Emmet and Jailbird, Arthur and Stencil. These four became the keepers of our hearts, and hands, as we continually cradled and fed them. Cockerels, Emmet and Jailbird loved been held, while the aristocratic noses of Arthur and Stencil, the goats, demanded our feeding attention.
Thank you to everyone at CAS, especially these once forgotten, yet so willing and able to show us that forgiveness and trust can be rebuilt when given unconditional love. Special thanks to Erica Ritter, Kathy Keefe and Kathy Stevens for sharing with us all (my mom, daughters, husband and I) the essence of what it means to truly be an animal lover!
Peace. Truth. Passion.
(See my daughter’s blog on her first sanctuary visit)
Audio book GIVEAWAY! Would you like to listen to an audible version of Kathy Stevens’ book, Animal Camp? Here’s your chance! Simply leave a message of kindness on this post and you’ll stand a chance of being randomly chosen as one of two winners! Entries deadline is Friday 31 October 2014. The two winners will be selected at random and contacted to arrange the virtual delivery of an audible copy of Animal Camp. Good luck!!