Forty Starving Sheep Saved from Backyard Slaughter Operation in New York's Hudson Valley

Animal Rescue Organization Now Experiencing Christmas “Baby Boom

SAUGERTIES, N.Y., Dec. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In an extremely rare victory for farm animals, three New York organizations–an animal rescue organization, a law enforcement agency, and a district attorney’s office–have secured the release of 40 starving sheep from a backyard slaughter operation.  As the rescued sheep heal, a Christmas “baby boom” is occurring as the sheep give birth to tiny lambs. Ten have been born to date.

After limping and gravely malnourished sheep were discovered wandering on a major thoroughfare in Saugerties, New York, the Ulster County SPCA and Catskill Animal Sanctuary, one of the nation’s leading sanctuaries for farm animals, collaborated on an investigation.

At the outset, a veterinarian issued the sheep’s owner an “order to comply” with three conditions: put weight on the animals, deworm them, and treat debilitating and life-threatening hoof rot. When investigators returned one month later, nearly half of the original flock was missing, and the remainder were close to death, leading the veterinarian to recommend immediate seizure or slaughter of the remainder of the flock. Assistant District Attorney Felicia Raphael successfully negotiated the immediate surrender of the animals, and the forty remaining sheep were transported to Catskill Animal Sanctuary, where they received life-saving interventions, including blood transfusions.

“Once we learned of this horrific situation, we went into overdrive to bring them to safety,” said Kathy Stevens, Founder of Catskill Animal Sanctuary. We are beyond grateful to the SPCA for intervening on their behalf, and to Assistant District Attorney Raphael for handling their case.”

ADA Raphael believes the case should have resulted in a felony conviction, but as she explains: “Unfortunately, someone who severely mistreats farmed animals cannot, in most cases, face a felony charge in New York. Until legislators strengthen animal abuse laws, prosecutions are limited. In this case, the primary goal was to rescue the 40 remaining victims. We achieved that goal, and the SPCA will regularly inspect the defendant’s farm to make sure any animals he may acquire in the future are being properly cared for.”

To prepare for the sheep, CAS erected quarantine paddocks, converted a former tool barn into a nursery, and ordered huge quantities of supplies, ranging from full-body quarantine suits to medications, to lots of extra hay. The vulnerable sheep received immediate treatment for life-threatening worm infestations, anemia, and hoof rot so extreme that several were physically unable to stand.  Many others walked on their knees. Within days of their arrival, three sheep passed away, despite being given blood transfusion from healthy resident sheep.

Today, all are recovering, and working their magic on a staff that has fallen in love with them. “If you don’t know sheep, you don’t know what you’re missing,” said Sanctuary Operations Director Andrea Burritt. “They are such gentle, soulful animals.” CAS also collaborated with two partner sanctuaries that adopted nine of the sheep: Farm Sanctuary welcomed seven sheep and Woodstock Sanctuary accepted two young boys.

Since the sheep have arrived, CAS is thrilled to announce the birth of ten tiny lambs just in time for Christmas. One, of course, has been named Felicia in honor of the district attorney. Most are healthy, but because of their prolonged and severe neglect, several mothers aren’t producing enough milk, so staff is bottle feeding and/or tube feeding the vulnerable lambs.

Originally, Catskill Animal Sanctuary agreed to accept just fifteen sheep, but when it was presented with an “all or nothing” situation, CAS did what it has done for 22 years: it said “yes” on behalf of dozens of animals in urgent need.

“It’s pretty simple,” Stevens said. “They want their lives as much as we want ours….and we believe they deserve them.”

To learn more about the rescued flock, the work of Catskill Animal Sanctuary, or to donate in support of this life-saving rescue, please visit

About Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Founded in 2001, Catskill Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit, 150-acre refuge in New York’s Hudson Valley. It is home to eleven species of rescued farmed animals with between 200 and 400 residents at any given time. In addition to direct animal aid, the Sanctuary offers on-site tours, an award-winning vegan cooking program, and educational programs that advocate veganism as the very best way to end animal suffering, improve human health, and heal an ailing planet. Founder Kathy Stevens is an author, former Huffington Post blogger, and speaker on topics of animal rights, animal sentience, and the imperative of veganism.

For more information:
Kathy Stevens, Catskill Animal Sanctuary (914) 388-4984, [email protected]
Regina Carbonari, Ulster County SPCA 845-331-5377 x 211 [email protected]
Felicia Raphael, Ulster County ADA 845-802-4745

Media Contact Information:
Lauren Witt, Account Supervisor
(817) 721-5576
[email protected] 

Cision View original content to download multimedia:

SOURCE Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Forty Starving Sheep Saved from Backyard Slaughter Operation in New York's Hudson Valley WeeklyReviewer

PR Newswire World News

World Reviewer Staff
World Reviewer Staff
The first logical thought has to be "no way". I'm the World Observer! Ill find and share important news all day.

Latest articles

Earnings Disclosure

WeeklyReviewer earns primarily through affiliates and ads. We don’t encourage anyone to click on ads for any other purpose but your own. We recommend products and services often for our readers, and through many we will earn commissions through affiliate programs.

Related articles