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Welcome Home, Cecil & Hazel!

Our hearts are absolutely bursting as we welcome our two newest rescues to Catskill Animal Sanctuary: Longhorn cows Cecil and Hazel! These two breathtaking animals have only just arrived, but we can already tell just how much of an impact they’ll have for years to come.

They come to us from another sanctuary whose animals were profoundly neglected. Thankfully, Rancho Relaxo, a neighboring sanctuary, was able to step in and help facilitate the placement and rescue of the hundreds of animals, including Cecil and Hazel. Not many sanctuaries are equipped to deal with horned bovines, but thankfully, in our 21-years of rescue, we’ve had the pleasure of working with a number of cows with impressive horns, including Amos and Jesse, Rudy and Dozer, Zsa-Zsa and Patty, and even two Longhorns, Babe and Lincoln, who lived with us in our early years as a Sanctuary.

Despite their past and their impressive size, Cecil and Hazel are unexpectedly gentle. It’s hard for us to believe that anyone would want to harm them, but their lives were very nearly cut short. Cecil was rescued from an auction* after he outgrew a roadside attraction where he was being used for photos with young children who were placed on his back. We were told Hazel was rescued from a bidding war where people were offering thousands of dollars for the opportunity to mount her horns for decoration. Surviving their respective histories should have been enough, but sadly, their safe haven let them down and they were in need of a home once again.


Because of your amazing support, we’ve made a promise to Cecil and Hazel that from now on, they will only ever know a life of love, with the best care we can possibly provide. 


We cannot wait to introduce you to them, but for now, we’re giving them space to adjust to their new home, to receive the veterinary care they so desperately need, and to allow them to truly flourish. Here’s what we know about them so far:

Cecil is a love! He’s outgoing and curious, eager to play with his surroundings, graze in his spacious new pasture, and give us plenty of kisses! He is about seven years old, and is as gentle as they come. He is affectionate and jovial and has all the makings of a game-changer veganmaker!

Hazel (formerly known as Ladybug) is very doting toward Cecil, but wary of humans. She prefers to observe from a distance. Still, though, she is sweet and gentle, two words one might not immediately think of when meeting her for the first time. But to judge this book by her cover would be a mistake—it’s clear to us all, even after a short period of time, that she is curious about us, and we’re hopeful that she’ll learn to trust when she’s ready.

Longhorns have a long and rich history in our country, and you can feel the weight of that cultural significance merely by being in Cecil and Hazel’s breathtaking presence. Longhorns are descendants of original Criollo cattle, who came to the Americas from Spain on Christopher Columbus’ second voyage in 1493. Over the centuries, they were crossbred with English cattle breeds, resulting in the Texas Longhorn. By the 1900s, however, the “true” Longhorn had been largely erased due to this intensive crossbreeding, and many of them were replaced by breeds with quick-maturing characteristics, which meant cows could be slaughtered at a much younger age in order to meet a rising demand for beef. Cecil and Hazel are the result of generations of crossbreeding.

Modern Longhorn cattle are still bred by ranchers and farmers to this day. They are typically bred for their flesh, their milk, and for their iconography and importance to Texas history. Modern Longhorns are known for more than just their epic horns—they also can breed at a younger age than many other domesticated cows, and can continue breeding well into their teenage years, sometimes even into their twenties. Many other dairy or calving breeds are culled at a much younger age.

Animal agriculture values the efficiency of modern Longhorns,  but doesn’t take into account the emotional toll that a prolonged life of exploitation has on the individuals we know cows to be. It’s also not lost on us that these animals are revered as an icon of our nation’s history, and yet they’re also bred specifically to be killed for food, and even decoration.

Cecil and Hazel were thankfully spared from a tragic fate, and we’re so excited to watch them grow into the true icons we know they can be—ambassadors for their kind and symbols of the way all animals can be when permitted to live life on their own terms.

We hope you’ll stay tuned in with us as we learn more about them, and they adjust to their new life. We’re so excited to share their journey with you!

If you want to be the first to know more about Cecil and Hazel, we hope you’ll consider signing up to sponsor them! We will let you know as soon as they become available for sponsorship.


* Catskill Animal Sanctuary does not condone purchasing animals at auction, even to save their lives. We know this can be difficult to hear, but to a slaughterhouse, farm, or auction house, that money is green whether it comes from an animal rescuer, or someone who would harm the animals for food, decoration, etc. We never want those who would harm or exploit animals to benefit from a rescue, especially since any money we put into a broken system will just be used to harm and exploit more animals.



Love Spoken Here, Rescues


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One reply on “Welcome Home, Cecil & Hazel!”

  1. I am so grateful you were able to take Cecil and Hazel! I am just learning about the atrocities at ToF, and these two were some of the most memorable. Thank you for taking them in and giving them the care they deserve.

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