I was blessed to have four, hardworking interns this summer; Jon, Eric, Kisha, and Tara – you rock! Each intern brought a unique set of skills, a huge desire to help, and a passion for the work they did. Jon’s film work showed off our reinvented Compassionate Cuisine program, our 2012 Shindig event, and our rescued roosters, Emmett and Jailbird. Eric’s film work shared with you Rambo’s goodbye, the Homestead renovation, and Amelia’s sponsorship. Kisha, a graphic design girl, created pamphlets, advertisements, web content, and more. Tara researched the history of The Homestead (for weeks on end!), helped spread the word about CAS through many, many online avenues, and caught beautiful photos of our rescued animals. Tara (an English major) is a wonderful writer, so I asked her to share with you all a reflection of her summer spent at Catskill Animal Sanctuary... Thank you interns for your hard work and great attitude – keep in touch!!
It may seem that the picturesque and winding Old Stage Road on the outskirts of historical Saugerties, New York, only has two ends. However, tucked into the signature Hudson Valley foliage and unsuspecting quiet drive is place that fosters endless avenues for its inhabitants to lead meaningful and happy lives. This bright light has spent just over a decade burning on the passions of its founders and supporters, and, no doubt, still has a long life ahead of it. This summer, I was able to join the organization as an intern and learn quite a bit about this hidden treasure.
I experienced a powerful welcome the first day I arrived at CAS. Everyone at CAS works hards to rescue as many animals as possible and therefore has a mentality of welcoming every living being as their equal. Director and Founder Kathy Stevens even welcomed me into her home, literally, where I completed my work in an office with a wonderful view of the CAS grounds. This lifestyle commitment is a reflection of the selflessness and dedication emanating throughout CAS.
CAS’s annual Shindig was scheduled within the first weeks I began my internship. At the Shindig I saw the staff’s passion and support echoed by frequent visitors and newcomers alike. Everything the event offered was a perfect introduction to what CAS stands for — and there were fun activities and delicious vegan food! It’s no wonder I was able to find my voice so easily when I was tasked with reaching out to promote the CAS message. When I wrote to editors and bloggers, the passion of all those who believe in and support CAS strengthened my words into a community cause. Later, I enjoyed one-on-one time with the animals when I photographed them for the CAS website and hoped that each unique personality could be communicated via a simple photo.
Again, my timing here was lucky as I saw the opening of a CAS landmark: The Homestead guesthouse. I spent a great deal of time researching the history of the beautifully renovated Homestead, tracing its ownership and stories. I was not only intrigued by the possibility of a great legend behind this restored farm house, but was also reminded of the illustrious and colorful history of the Hudson Valley all together. Catskill Animal Sanctuary is surrounded by great history, a great town, and great people. With a solid foundation like that, all there is to be concerned about are the animals, and CAS is certainly devoted to them one hundred percent!