Birds of a Feather Come Together! 28 lives saved as Staten Island Turkeys move Upstate

Just weeks after 200 rescued hens were flown in from California, Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS) is once again at the center of a large avian rescue. This time, CAS welcomed nearly 30 turkeys from Staten Island to their new home in the Hudson Valley.turkey

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has been monitoring the turkeys since they were found on the grounds of South Beach Psychiatric Center over a decade ago. Finding appropriate shelter for the turkeys has been complicated. While the original birds were part of an abandoned domestic flock, the turkeys have since interbred with local wild turkeys, making the current flock hybrids, neither fully wild nor domestic. The turkeys are beloved by Staten Islanders who have fed the flock for years; they no longer have the instincts necessary to survive in the wild. Earlier this summer, South Beach Psychiatric Center declared the turkeys to be a nuisance and contracted the USDA to remove the birds. An initial round-up resulted both in the killing of many turkeys and the convergence of animal welfare protesters on Staten Island.

“It’s encouraging to see federal and state agencies partnering to find humane solutions” said Brian Shapiro, New York State Director for The Humane Society of the United States. “Now these animals will be properly cared for and enjoy their natural lives in the Catskills.”

A coalition of groups who often find themselves on opposite sides of animal issues came together to create a happy ending for the turkeys. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) worked tirelessly with the USDA and DEC to coordinate a relocation of the birds. The DEC conducted a formal walkthrough of CAS and declared the Saugerties sanctuary a suitable home. Goosewatch NYC secured funding for the construction of a turkey barn and as the terrified birds were taken into the safety of their new home, the final shingles were being nailed onto the roof.

“There is a burgeoning compassion in this country for animals historically considered food,” said Kathy Stevens, who smiled as she held one of the juvenile birds in her arms. “There is no greater example than this one. We are grateful to everyone involved, and thrilled to offer sanctuary to these animals who want their lives as much as we want ours. We can’t wait to get to know them and to share their stories.”turkey2

The cost of caring for the rescued residents at Catskill Animal Sanctuary requires a steady stream of donations and we depend on compassionate supporters to sustain our critical work. There’s lots to do and our new friends are counting on us! Together, we can give these turkey the lives they so richly deserve. Won’t you please take part in this important rescue and help ensure that no bird is left behind?

Click here to Fortify the Flock with a one-time donation

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One reply on “Birds of a Feather Come Together! 28 lives saved as Staten Island Turkeys move Upstate”

  1. Bless you all so much. I was devastated to learn of the sudden and surprise (at least to us Staten Island residents) culling. Thank goodness at least some of these majestic creatures (that survived Sandy) will finally be safe.

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