Adoption Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you adopt out animals? Catskill Animal Sanctuary is a rescue organization who seeks to save as many animals as possible while preserving the quality of life animals who call the Sanctuary home. Most animals live out their lives with us either because they have special needs or because their size makes them an unlikely candidate for adoption. But some animals are adoptable and by finding them forever home we make room to rescue more animals in need.

JacquelineHow do you ensure that animals go to a safe home? We have an application process involving an interview and a home visit to ensure that a safe, healthy, and loving home is being offered. Not everyone who applies is approved and we reserve the right to remove an animal if we discover that their living conditions have deteriorated.

What do you look for in a forever home? We look for individuals or families who can't wait to welcome farmed animals as a way of enriching their lives, who meet or exceed our adoption criteria (which differ for each animal), and, preferably, those who've had experience with the animals they're interested in adopting (though we don't rule out interested “first-timers” who are ready to do their homework!) In short, we look for homes where our animals' care will meet or exceed what they have at Catskill Animal Sanctuary.

Is adoption right for me? Adopting farmed animals is an important decision — something not to be undertaken on a whim, for just as surely as your dogs and cats, farmed animals require daily focus.Adoption may be right for you if you understand that farmed animals need daily care and attention; 2) you have the time and desire to provide these things OR the means to hire someone who can; 3) you also understand that most farmed animals need love just as much as your indoor companions do; and 4) you have the financial resources not only to provide for their basic care needs (food, shelter, bedding, and health care) but also to care for them in the case of a medical emergency.

Can I choose the animal I adopt? Yes! If you've bonded with someone specific, please let us know their name. If you don't already have someone in mind, simply pick a species and we'll match you with an animal who needs a forever home.

Do I have to live nearby? Our adoption zone includes all towns within a two-hour drive of Saugerties, NY. We will consider adoptive homes up to four hours under special circumstances.

I only want one animal – do I have to adopt two? Farmed animals are herd species and become distressed if they are the only one of their kind. Occasionally we have a rabbit or pot belly pig who would do fine as a single, but in general, if you don’t already have someone of the species you’d like to adopt you will need to adopt more than one.

I’d like a well-trained riding horse for my child – do you have any? Rarely. Usually, the horses who need our help need to be trained and would not be suitable for a beginner, or they cannot be ridden due to age or injury. We may be able to refer you to other organizations or to horses on our waiting list.

I’m looking for a very athletic horse for jumping and competition. Are any of your horses suitable? It is against our adoption policy to adopt horses for competitive riding.

Can I trade one of my current animals for one you have available for adoption? No. If your animal is having health or behavior issues we may be able to refer you to someone who can help.

Do you have any milking goats or cows? No. Animals only produce milk when they have a baby to feed. If we have a nursing mother arrive at the Sanctuary then her baby will get her milk. We don’t breed animals here and breeding is against our adoption policy.

Can I adopt animals for my petting zoo / magic act / dude ranch / egg farm? No. All of our adoptions are to families who agree to care for the animal for the rest of their natural life. We believe businesses that profit from the use of animals are exploitive of the animals and subject them to undue stress and boredom. Because our philosophies differ so greatly, it is inappropriate to adopt animals out to “animal businesses.”

Can I adopt a bunny as a classroom pet? No. Living in a small classroom cage, being mishandled by children, and being taken home for the weekend to rotating families are all highly stressful to sensitive rabbits. A social bunny might enjoy a well-supervised classroom visit as part of a humane education lesson.

Do I have to be vegan to adopt from CAS? Am I allowed to eat the eggs from my hens? No, we don’t require our adoptive families to be vegan. All families who apply for traditionally eaten species will be scrutinized. We expect that most non-vegan families who adopt hens will want to eat the eggs.

I’d like to adopt an animal as a gift for my child/spouse/mother, etc. Can we keep it a surprise? Our adoption process includes a home and barn visit and meeting all family members, so if you’re adopting from this Sanctuary it won’t be a surprise. Your family member might not be ready or willing to take on the long-term commitment of caring for an animal. We suggest surprising them with an animal sponsorship or a visit to the Sanctuary instead to begin the discussion about adopting.

How much does adoption cost? Fees vary by species and we ask for full payment at the transfer of guardianship.

Is the adoption fee tax-deductible? Yes! Your donation is fully deductible. Please contact your tax advisor with any questions.

Why should I adopt from Catskill Animal Sanctuary? We are a leader among  U.S. farmed animal sanctuaries and are accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries for having the highest standards of animal care. If you'd like to learn more about the Sanctuary's financial well-being,  you're welcome to review our tax filings with the IRS. We're very proud that independent reviewer Charity Navigator awarded Catskill Animal Sanctuary its highest rating of four-stars for our commitment to accountability and transparency. And GuideStar has also awarded us its highest honor, Platinum. We are the only farmed animal sanctuary to have all three of these honors!

Who can I contact if I have any questions? Please feel free to email Animal Care Director Kelly Mullins with any questions before or after you adopt an animal.