New Paltz Give-Back: Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Photo courtesy of Catskill Animal Sanctuary.

If you have pets, you know that spending time with them can brighten your day and improve your mental health. Similar to how therapy dogs are often brought to college campuses during midterm or finals week to help de-stress students farm animals can have the same effect. 

At Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Saugerties, NY, you can volunteer to help take care of adorable animals that have been rescued from factory farms and other difficult situations to live out a carefree life full of love. 

In 2001, the sanctuary was founded by a teacher, Kathy Stevens, who had just turned down a job at a high school. Ever since then, Catskill Animal Sanctuary has saved more than 5,000 farm animals. Their mission states, “Catskill Animal Sanctuary rescues farmed animals, ignites social change to end their exploitation, and champions vegan living.” 

Weekend tours are available up until November. The tours give guests of all ages the chance to learn about all the animals and their unique stories. The sanctuary has rescued all sorts of farm animals from horses to cows, to the friendliest sheep you’ll ever meet, named  Ferguson.  

The sanctuary’s operation wouldn’t be possible without all the staff and volunteers. Animal care volunteers clean the barns and coops and prepare and restock the animals’ food. They also need volunteers for “Compassionate Cuisine,” their vegan cooking classes and for the business side of things like paperwork and processing online orders. To sign up to volunteer, you can email

If you want to learn more about the sanctuary or animals in general, you can tune into Stevens’s weekly podcast, “Herd Around The Barn,” where she talks about “farmed animals, our relationships with them, and the impact of that relationship on all of us.” 

To find more information on the sanctuary blog, volunteering or ways to donate you can visit the website, and make a difference in the animals’ lives. 

About Remy Commisso 45 Articles
Remy is a third-year student from Rochester NY. When she’s not in the Oracle office, she’s listening to new music and having movie nights with friends. This is her first semester as features editor. You can reach her by emailing