{stories and snapshots from my new york city life.}


Animal House

My friend Aubrey is a huge animal lover. People casually throw around cliches like, "Awww, MaryJo? She's so sweet she wouldn't hurt a fly!" Well, Aubrey literally would not hurt a fly. Or an ant, or a mouse, or anything that lives and breathes like you and me. She is one of the kindest, most warm-hearted mammals I know. When members of our group were researching activities to do this past weekend, Aubrey suggested we visit the Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Saugerties, NY. We were so glad that she did, because it was a beautiful place doing wonderful work. 

CAS provides refuge for mistreated, neglected and abandoned animals. Many of the animals suffered blindness, illness, and  post-traumatic stress symptoms after years of abuse. Here, on this beautiful 100-acre farm, they are treated with respect and kindness, as all living creatures should be. 

Our tour guide, who is the owner and director of the place, was an extremely enthusiastic hostess. She gave Aubrey a run for the money in the #1 Animal Lover contest when she stood on the fence, cupped her hands on her mouth like a megaphone and shouted, "I LOVE YOU, PIG!" into the fields. I now yell this to my boyfriend every night before drifting off to sleep.

This is Franklin. He was rescued from a pig farm after he was left to die because he was the runt of his litter. He now weighs several hundred pounds and don't take bull from anybody.

One of this guy's fine-feathered friends tried to eat the bracelet straight off my friend Kerri's arm. She handled the situation much better than I would have.

If I remember correctly, this sweet horse was completely blind and very old. 

Is there any animal more beautiful than a horse? Seriously, I think they are just the most magnificent creatures.

This is Zen. A worker at the farm called him by name, and he turned right around and came running down the hill. He was rescued as a sickly infant wandering around NYC's Meatpacking District, of all places.

If you're ever in the Catskill region of New York, I highly recommend a trip to this very special place.


  1. It's my boyfriends dream to own a farm! These pics are fantastic! Can't get over how frigging cute that pig is! tooo tooo presh!
    xo tash

  2. What an amazing place! I love visiting my aunt's farm in PA. She takes such good care of her animals and has brought many abandoned animals under her care. Thank you for sharing this lovely place with me. I only wish I was closer so that I could visit!

  3. Oh what a cool place?! Great photos love.


  4. Wow this is very touching
    Keep in touch!


  5. I love, love, love this place!! I grew up on a farm in Canada (we are talking middle of nowhere) and had tons of animals!! Now I live in Southern California and find myself a cat rescuer. I think compassion is built in a person's blood and cat's are in mine! (but i'm not a crazy cat lady - promise!)


  6. that looks such a nice place... love the piggies and the horse...

  7. I want to be friends with Franklin!

  8. "I LOVE YOU, PIG" just made me laugh out loud for about 5 minutes straight.

  9. right there with you on the horses.

    my husband would kill me if i made out home a mini catskill. but what's a little death to help make abandoned animals happier?