By Jenny Canham, Guest Contributor, Sanctuary Spotlight
Who are Catskill Animal Sanctuary?
Located in New York’s Hudson Valley, Catskill Animal Sanctuary “rescues farmed animals, ignites social change to end their exploitation, and champions vegan living.” That’s a pretty great mission!
They have rescued over 3,500 animals since 2001 and have worked with law enforcement to bring animal abusers to justice. In addition, they are highly active in the world of advocacy and frequently host events to enlighten more people to the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. They offer tours of the sanctuary, vegan recipes, speaking engagements, a summer day camp for children, and a range of special events.
Their founder and president, Kathy Stevens, is an inspiring animal activist and writer. She blogs for the highly acclaimed news site The Huffington Post and has authored the books Where the Blind Horse Sings: Love and Healing at an Animal Sanctuary and Animal Camp: Lessons in Love and Hope from Rescued Farm Animals.
What is the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS)?
Founded in 2007, The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is a non-profit and the only globally recognized organization providing the standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries. Their goal is to work with and assist sanctuaries “to ensure they are supported, honored, recognized and rewarded for meeting important criteria in providing care to the animals in residence.” For more information on the GFAS, please visit: sanctuaryfederation.org.
What does it mean when a sanctuary gets accredited by the GFAS?
GFAS accreditation means that the sanctuary has reached the GFAS’ exceptionally high standard for farm animal care, which is decided after a comprehensive site visit. It also signifies a strong commitment to important aspects including sustainability of the organization, ethical principles, finances, staffing, education outreach, security and safety.
What does this mean for Catskill Animal Sanctuary (and the animals who live there)?
As of September 15th 2015, CAS is officially accredited by the GFAS. This accreditation means that Catskill Animal Sanctuary will now be recognised as an exceptional sanctuary for the public, donors and government agencies. It will encourage more support to the sanctuary, which means more support for the rescued animals and a wider spread of the vegan message that Catskill Animal Sanctuary promotes.
Praise from the GFAS
Daryl Tropea, GFAS Senior Deputy, gave the following observations from the sanctuary visit:
“Every animal has a story such as Joseph; a duck found living in a cage in New York City during a drug raid. Joseph now lives as a duck should, in a natural enclosure with several other ducks. Not only does Catskill Animal Sanctuary provide excellent care for these animals, but they also are leaders in raising awareness of farmed animal welfare issues. Their dedication to the welfare of all animals is undeniable.”
This is a fantastic achievement for everybody at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Their hard work and dedication to the rescued animals and educational outreach is inspirational. They are a fantastic ambassador for all farm sanctuaries worldwide.
To see what all the fuss is about, why not take a look yourself? Catskill Animal Sanctuary is open year round for tours to members and guests of The Homestead, and to the public for weekend tours from April to October. For more information, visit their website: www.casanctuary.org.
Connect with Catskill Animal Sanctuary
Photos courtesy of Catskill Animal Sanctuary, copyright Janet Holmes, and used with permission.