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Pets & Animals

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

First All-Vegetarian Elementary School Visits Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Moses (R) and Miriam were rescued from an animal hoarder, along with another pig and 7 goats.
  • Catskill Animal Sanctuary
  • Moses (R) and Miriam were rescued from an animal hoarder, along with another pig and 7 goats.

Today, June 19, the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, a refuge for rescued farm animals and horses in Saugerties, will get a special visit from New York City's first all-vegetarian public school. The 50 third graders will get up, close, and personal with the sanctuary's 30 horses, 800-pound pigs, and one of their 2,000-pound steers, Tucker.

Queens-based PS 244, The Active Learning Elementary School, is New York City's first grade school to serve an all-vegetarian menu five days a week. The school feeds nearly 400 students, from pre-kindergarten to third grade. PS 244 incorporates healthy eating and living into its academic curriculum, and the school made the transition to a meat- and fish-free menu as part of a city-wide mission to improve public health.

During their visit to the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, the third graders will have the opportunity to meet some of the 2,500 rescued animals, including three pigs and seven goats that were recently saved from an animal hoarder. CAS will introduce the children to daily farm chores such as feeding the pigs, grooming the horses, and walking the goats around the sanctuary's free-range farm. In addition to spending time with rescued animals, they will also learn about issues that affect farm animals through an observational learning activity called “Just Like Me.” A vegan lunch will be prepared by the sanctuary's chef.

Opened in January 2001, the sanctuary's mission is to rescue and rehabilitate abused farm animals and horses. In addition to emergency rescue services, CAS provides programs that educate the public about the impacts of agribusiness and the cruelty to farm animals that's often a reality of that system. Some of CAS's residents include 500 "broiler" chickens, or chickens who are slaughtered at six-weeks old for food. The CAS's animals have been rescued from mailboxes, dumpsters, and on the shoulder of the Thruway. The sanctuary's 100-acre property in Saugerties is maintained through donations and visits from the public.

For more information, visit the Catskill Animal Sanctuary's website.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Terrier Thrown From Moving Truck Awaits New Home

Posted By on Wed, Jun 12, 2013 at 9:00 AM

  • Hudson Valley Humane Society
  • Bennie

Sometimes bad things happen to good dogs. On the afternoon of Monday, June 3, a terrier mix somewhere between the age of two and four was thrown from a black, flat-bed truck on Powell Avenue in Newburgh. Witnesses of the event rushed in to help the dog, who was uninjured. After being taken to the Hudson Valley Humane Society headquarters in Pomona, the wiry white-and-tan dog was given the name Bennie.

Bennie is 35 pounds, neutered, and very sweet, according to the Hudson Valley Humane Society website. The shelter has received many applications to adopt Bennie, and is in the process of making a decision about his future home. To inquire about the status of Bennie's adoption, call the HVHS at (845) 354-3124.

The person responsible for throwing Bennie out of the truck has not yet been found. Anyone with information is asked to e-mail

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Family Fun at Kelder's Farm in Kerhonkson

Posted By on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 9:36 AM

The Jumping Pillow at Kelders Farm opens in late April weather permitting

We always have family fun at Kelder's Farm on Route 209 in Kerhonkson. There are great U-pick farm stands along Route 209, but Kelder's Farm first appealed to me because it has a petting zoo and a bouncing area for kids. This "Jumping Pillow" is a big hit for my kids. They also have hayrides and you can milk a cow for $2. We bounce for at least an hour! There is no time limit. You pay $5 per person for a wristband, but you can bounce all day if you like.

It is a really beautiful place, so if you go, don't forget your camera! You can also pick your own fruits and vegetables in season at Kelder's Farm. I would definitely recommend Kelder's Farm for any child who loves to jump and bounce. There is also a small edible mini-golf course. The hardest part will be getting them off the jumping pillow! Also, just FYI, the restrooms are porto-potties so if you have a porto potty phobia, best to go somewhere else before you start the jump-a-thon.

I love pizza so I was very excited to find Pizza Barn, a laid-back, beautiful, rustic pizza place in Accord that makes gluten-free and organic pizza on Route 209, not far from Kelder's. All the pizzas here are made of organic ingredients and grass-fed, hormone-, antibiotic-, and nitrate-free meats. The kids loved the pepperoni pizza. We loved our square slices made with organic whole grain flour. We didn't get to try the gluten-free pizza, so we'll have to try it next time. It is really hard to find gluten free pizza in the Hudson Valley, so I was happy to find this one for all you gluten-sensitive folks.

Find more ways to eat, play, and recharge your spirit in the Hudson Valley at Vanessa Ahern's blog,

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary: Peace, Love, and Animals

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Mike Stura leading a tour at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

The goats have reason to smile at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary opened for the season the first weekend of April, and will be open to visitors on weekends up until November. We have been members here for a few years now, so the goats and turkeys remember us. Look how the goats smile. The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary is a perfect place to take the kids to teach them about farm animals, and if you go on one of the tours you will learn how every animal got rescued and made it to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. (Be ready to hear statistics on how many cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys are killed for human consumption every day too!) Every animal has a story, and to see pigs hanging out and spooning in the mud may make you think twice about eating bacon. (If you follow the WFAS page, owners Jenny Brown and Doug Abel have convinced many to go vegan.) Although I'm not a vegan, I eat much less meat than I did a few years ago. (Right now, I'm trying to just eat meat once a week. I'm still far from being a vegan, but it's a start). Save the dates for the Jamboree, a day of family fun on July 6, and ThanksLiving 8.0 on October 20, where animals are the guests instead of the main course.

For more fun things to do in the Hudson Valley visit Vanessa Ahern's blog, Hudson Valley Good Stuff.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Top Five on Friday: Dog Parks of the Hudson Valley

Posted By on Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Gardiner Dog Park
  • NRCBarrett
  • Gardiner Dog Park

Last week we compiled a list of our favorite parks in the Hudson Valley. This week we're narrowing our focus a bit for all you pet lovers out there. According to T. S. Eliot, "April is the cruellest month," but not if you're a four-legged canine who's been cooped up all winter. We're declaring April Dog Park Month! Here are our top five picks for local dog parks—places where pooches can exercise and play off-leash in a controlled environment under the supervision of their human. Dog parks are also social hot spots, both for canines and humans.

1. Beacon Dog Park
The Friends of Beacon Dog Park, a not-for-profit organization, officially opened the Beacon Dog Park on March 30 with a ribbon-cutting celebration and after party at Dogwood. The community-funded park, located at Memorial Park next to Route 52, includes two separate areas, one for small dogs (30 lbs. and under) and one for all dogs. The park is open from dawn until dusk seven days a week. Don't miss the Beacon Barks Parade on April 27, a parade and street festival on Main Street celebrating the area's animal shelter, rescue, and welfare organizations sponsored by the Beacon Dog Park and the Beacon Barkery. In addition to the parade, there will be live music and a series of dog acrobatic and Frisbee performances in the grassy park by Hudson Beach Glass.

2. Gardiner Dog Park
Thanks to community donations, like fencing from Ireland Corners Natural Pet Center, a pet waste station from Gardiner Animal Hospital, and arbor and landscaping provided by the local Girl Scouts Troop, the Gardiner Dog Park opened in May 2012, just behind the town hall on route 44/55. The park includes a separate small dog area, benches, a shade structure, and a water spigot. Visitors are encouraged to bring drinking bowls for their dogs. The park plans to open for the season near the end of April. Visit the Gardiner Dog Park Facebook page for opening day information.

3. See Spot Run Dog Park at Overlook Park
The dog park at Overlook Park in Poughkeepsie is a one-acre oasis on an island in the middle of a pond. The fenced-in area includes a pavilion with two picnic tables. No Pitbulls or children under the age of 6 are allowed in the park. There is a $25 annual fee for LaGrange residents and $50 for Beekman, Pleasant Valley, Unionvale, Pouquag, and Town of Poughkeepsie residents.

4. Dog Park at Thomas Bull Memorial Park
The dog park is just one of many activities at this Montgomery park. Its offerings also include an 18-hole golf course, driving range, tennis courts, ball fields, fishing, an exercise area, playgrounds, volleyball courts, and horseshoe pits. There are picnic pavilions and tables, benches, comfort stations, and even a museum. The dog park is a fenced in 1.5 acres of grass and rolling hills with two divided sections, one for small dogs and another for all dogs. There are water fountains, benches, picnic tables, waste collection supplies and facilities, and a shade structure. Free and open to the public daily from 7am to dusk.

5. Woodstock Dog Park
According to Vicki Famiglietti, one of the organizers of the upcoming Bark for Life of Ulster County event, the Woodstock Dog Park is off the beaten path (the directions on the park's Facebook page sure make it seem so: go up Dixon Road, turn left at the baseball field, and go to the back of the parking lot to find the trail that leads to the park). Located near the Sawkill stream with separate areas for big dogs and small dogs, the park also includes agility obstacles in the midst of the woodsy, natural terrain.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

7 Cool Towns for Hipster Cats in the Hudson Valley

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Chronogram is so Tasty

Dear Brian Mahoney,

I have unfortunate news. My cat ate my Daily Dose blog post. It was a really good one too (“7 Coolest Towns for Hipster Cats"). I’m sure it would have elicited a good amount of social media engagement and maybe even a comment. Don’t worry. I scolded her and put her on the naughty sofa. See?

Happy April Fools!

If you really want to adopt a cool hipster rescue cat in the Hudson Valley, my favorite place is Animal Kind in Hudson. This is where I got my cat. The adoption process is very smooth. They do ask for a donation, but it is whatever you can afford. An adoption comes with a 30-day health insurance for the cat too. If you have to surrender your cat for whatever reason or if you find a stray, this place will give it TLC, and work hard to find a forever home for it.

Find out where to eat, play, and recharge your spirit in the Hudson Valley at

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