LEAP: Leaders for Ethics, Animals, and the Planet


We are thrilled to announce our exciting partnership with LEAP (Leaders for Ethics, Animals, and the Planet), as we join forces to provide a compassionate and humane alternative to traditional 4H and FAA (Future Farmers of America) programs. At Catskill Animal Sanctuary, we firmly believe in promoting kindness, empathy, and ethical choices towards animals. Together with LEAP, we are working towards creating an educational experience that fosters empathy, respect, and understanding for all beings.

Through this innovative collaboration, we will offer a unique curriculum that focuses on animal welfare, sustainable agriculture, and ethical farming practices. Students will have the opportunity to engage with our rescued animal residents, learn about their individual stories, and gain a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness between animals, humans, and the planet.

By choosing this humane alternative, participants will develop critical thinking skills, empathy, and a sense of responsibility towards the environment and all living beings. We are excited to embark on this journey with LEAP and empower the next generation of compassionate leaders who will advocate for a more compassionate and sustainable world. Together, we can make a difference and create a brighter future for animals, the planet, and ourselves.

Program Dates


LEAP will be held at Catskill Animal Sanctuary on the 4th Sunday of each month (except holiday weekends) from 10am-3pm:
10/22, 11/19, 12/17, 1/28, 2/25, 3/24, 4/28, 5/19, 6/9
Questions? Contact our Lead Teacher, Lauren Barbieri at lauren@casanctuary.org!

Learn about LEAP


Founded by three non-profit animal sanctuaries in Northern California – Jameson Humane, Blackberry Creek, and Rancho Compasión – LEAP (Leaders for Ethics, Animals, and the Planet) is the first-of-its-kind humane education program to reach high school students as a compassionate alternative to traditional agricultural programs like 4H and FFA.

Providing in-depth monthly curriculum, hands-on workshops at sanctuaries, and positive leadership training, LEAP will prepare the leaders of tomorrow to transform the food industry, advocate for animal welfare and human rights, tackle the challenges of food deserts and food insecurity, and lead the way in climate solutions.

We are located at 316 Old Stage Rd. in Saugerties, New York.

When you arrive at the Sanctuary, please drive all the way down the driveway, past the green gate, and park in the lot in front of our Welcome Hut. A staff member will be available to greet you and check you in.

Please do not proceed through the green gate until 9:45 AM. If you arrive earlier, please plan to come back at 9:45 once we are ready for visitors. Guests who arrive early may be asked to leave, as we have limited staff available to ensure the safety of our animals until that time.  

By applying to the LEAP Program, you have agreed to abide by the Sanctuary’s safety guidelines, which include:

  1. Dogs: While we love dogs, for the safety and well-being of our rescued residents, we ask that visitors leave their companion animals at home. We do not allow dogs onsite, and we do not allow dogs to be left unattended in vehicles. If a dog or another companion animal is found unattended on our sanctuary grounds or in our parking areas, staff may choose to alert the authorities to investigate per NYS laws.
  2. Footwear: We strongly recommend wearing comfortable and sturdy, closed-toe shoes as this is a walking tour. Guests with open-toe shoes may need to stay on the outside of some of the animal enclosures that tours visit.
  3. Speed Limit: It is very important that you DRIVE SLOWLY and CAUTIOUSLY, as animals walk about the property. The speed limit is 3-5 mph.
  4. Children: Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  5. Alert for Visitors with Birds: HPAI H5 (highly pathogenic avian flu) has reached our region. Because of the highly transmissible and deadly nature of this strain of Avian Flu, we recommend that you seriously reconsider visiting at this time if you have a flock.You can learn more about our avian flu prevention efforts here.
  6. Free-Roaming Animals: We have a variety of free-roaming animals on our property and ask that you consider each individual animal’s level of comfort with humans by listening carefully to the instructions of our guides when interacting with them. Please do not run, chase after, or pick up any of our free-roaming animals or allow children to do so.
  7. Food Policy:  For the safety of our rescued animals and our visitors, we do not allow visitors to bring any food on the tour. Many of our rescued residents are on special diets and can be harmed from other foods. For their safety and well-being, please do not feed them anything. While snacks are available when our Welcome Hut is open, please enjoy them before or after the tour. We require that any snacks brought on site be vegan as per our policy below.
  8. Vegan Food Policy: Out of respect for our mission and the values we uphold, we require that any food brought on site be vegan and free of anything from an animal (flesh, milk, eggs, honey, etc.). We are happy to recommend nearby restaurants that have vegan options for after your visit; we have a handout to help in this regard as well.
  9. Certified Service Dogs: Certified service dogs are not allowed on tours as many species are stressed by the presence of dogs. Visitors with service dogs are invited to visit our Welcome Hut, where they can purchase merchandise, become a member, and sponsor an animal. Our policy is in alignment with the guidelines set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  10. Smoking:  For health and safety reasons, we do not allow smoking anywhere on the property including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaporizers, cigars and pipes.
  11. COVID-19 Agreement:  All visitors must agree to this statement: I understand that due to the highly contagious nature of this virus that even with safety measures in place I may be potentially at risk because I am around other people. I waive Catskill Animal Sanctuary of any responsibility if I contract COVID-19 from this or any visit.

In light of COVID-19 safety, If you have experienced any of the symptoms in the list below in the past 48 hours:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • fatigue
  • muscle or body aches
  • headache
  • new loss of taste or smell
  • sore throat
  • congestion or runny nose
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea

We request that you reschedule your visit until you are symptom free for at least 48 hours.