Catskill Animal Sanctuary is surprising people by bringing in farm animals during their Zoom meetings. The sanctuary has partnered with Goat 2 Meeting, a Sweet Farm Sanctuary program.
The Sanctuary, located in Saugerties (NY), aims to “recuse farmed animals, ignite social change to end their exploitation, and to champion vegan living.”
They launched their online virtual program after the Coronavirus lockdown. The Sanctuary wanted to continue their work and help give people a distraction by looking at the farm animals online. The Goat 2 Meeting allows people to meets goats during Zoom meetings.
Veronica Finnegan, the Communications Manager at CAS, told The Koala, “We were lucky in the sense that we were already beginning to create online programs before the pandemic. Our Youth Programs Manager, Lauren Barbieri, was already leading “digital field trips” for classes that are too far to visit the Sanctuary or who have financial obstacles that would prevent an in-person visit.
She also added, “Participating in Goat 2 Meeting has been successful because it provided a source of financial support at a time when we had lost all of our anticipated income from in-person visits (tours, cooking classes, and stays in our Homestead guesthouse).”
The Youth Programs Manager, Lauren Barbieri, mentioned her wonderful experiences as well. She said, “This afternoon I was on a call with an organization and we went over to say hi to Trudy the mini-donkey. We were chatting about mini-donkeys when I saw Trudy open her mouth.”
“I tried to warn the group and Trudy let loose with that LOUD donkey bray, right in front of us. She might be a mini-donkey but she’s still got quite a voice to her.”
The Goat 2 Meeting has helped a lot of people in these stressful times. The goats and sheep love to get their nose right up to the camera. People have been enjoying meeting the goats.
Dani Auretto, the Donor Relations Manager, also shared an anecdote
My favorite moment was Kathy (the Sanctuary’s Founder and Executive Director) forgetting she had a ginger snap in her jacket. And Amelia (the pig) chasing her across the field as she was talking to a group of students in their ancient Greek language class at the University of Iowa.”
Jokingly adding, “Also, the number of animal backsides now in Zoom screenshots is probably very high!”
Most of the farm animals have also been feeling alone since the sanctuary has not been taking any visitors. These virtual tours and Zoom Meetings have helped them as well.
Furthermore, Lauren Barbieri also added, “There’s definitely a lot of laughing. For some people, they don’t have much of an opportunity these days to get outside or to see any animal. People talk about how this is the best part of the day (or week, or month!) and they ask all sorts of questions about who the animals are, how they came to be at the sanctuary, which animals they get along with, how old they are, and more.”
“Sometimes they’ll ask about the animals and what they think about their particular business,” she further continued. “One group asked me if Christopher the sheep was interested in internet security. I told them that he might be. Christopher is very watchful and has his eye on everything, and is always looking out for his older friend Junior to keep him safe.”
The Goat 2 Meeting is an incredible way to learn more about the Sanctuary itself and the farm animals. The Catskill Animal Sanctuary is giving people the opportunity to experience joy while sitting at home.