|You can help make the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary a reality by donating today. This sanctuary will be a place of healing; a place where animals' lives are saved, a place to launch humane education programs – a place where all creatures, great and small, are rescued, respected and loved.|
Please make checks out payable to The Animal Center, PO Box 475, Newtown, CT 06470, noting on the memo line the donation is for the "Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary"
Animal Sanctuary Planned In Memory of Catherine V. Hubbard >more
Jenny and Matt Hubbard Inteview with Anderson Cooper >more
Hartford Courant features "Catherine's Dreams" on front cover Sunday, January 26, 2013 >read article
From her parents: "Catherine told us one day she would care for animals. She made business cards and included her self-appointed title: 'Care Taker. '" >more
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Animal Sanctuary Planned In Memory of Catherine Violet Hubbard
On December 14, 2012, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and took the lives of twenty innocent children and six adults. The unthinkable had happened and for people everywhere, the world stopped. It just stopped.
One of the victims was six-year-old Catherine Violet Hubbard, a beautiful child who will be remembered for her love of all animals and her constant smile.
To honor their child, the Hubbard family requested that donations in memory of their daughter go directly to The Animal Center in Newtown, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to animal rescue and welfare.
Today, the Hubbard family and The Animal Center are pleased to announce plans to build The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, a place where all creatures, great and small, can know the touch of a kind hand and be safe from harm.
The Animal Center’s longtime vision of creating a sanctuary resonated deeply with Catherine’s parents, Jenny and Matt Hubbard. “Catherine loved all animals,” say the Hubbards. “She would chase down strangers just to pet their dogs, squeal with delight as butterflies landed on her arm and sit for hours watching baby birds in a nest. We would overhear her whispering to insects and animals…her words: tell all your friends that I’m kind.” >View the Hubbard's family statement.
The Animal Center can think of no greater tribute to this young child than creating an animal sanctuary in her name. “For all of us who love animals, Catherine is a kindred spirit and we will do whatever it takes to make her dream a reality,” says Harmony Verna, Vice President of The Animal Center. “This sanctuary will be a place where neglected, abused or homeless animals can get a second chance at life, a place for children and adults to connect with animals and the natural world. Animals have an amazing capacity to love and heal the human spirit. We hope Catherine will think it is the most beautiful place on Earth.”
While The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary will not happen overnight, it will happen, promises Ms. Verna. “We are just at the planning stage of this project but hope that within five years, we will be welcoming the first school children to the sanctuary.”
The Hubbards fully embrace the hope and goodness this sanctuary symbolizes. “Whenever a kitten purrs from a loving touch, whenever a dog nuzzles into a child’s hand, whenever a butterfly dances between flowers, Catherine’s smile will be there.”
The Animal Center of Newtown is an all-volunteer, non-profit rescue organization dedicated to helping animals through compassionate, no-kill programs. Created in 2004, The Animal Center runs its rescue programs entirely through a volunteer foster network. All adoptable animals are in the safety and comfort of private homes. The Animal Center DOES NOT currently have a shelter.
Statement from Jenny and Matt Hubbard, January 2013
We would like to thank you for your amazing support and generosity in honor of our daughter, Catherine Violet Hubbard. Your kindness and compassion have moved us beyond words and we are deeply grateful and touched by such an outpouring of love.
When Catherine was two months old, we watched as she was wheeled from an operating room into recovery. As the surgeon laid a small stuffed purple mouse at the top of her bassinet, he smiled and said that she would be fine. That was the start of her love affair with animals. As she grew, more animals joined the purple mouse. The collection was so big that at night we would sift through the pile to uncover her face. As we shifted the pile, we could softly kiss her warm cheek one last time before turning down the lights.
We look at her life and are not surprised that she is constantly surrounded by animals. She is sitting legs crossed in the middle of the yard, her hair falling on her face as she nuzzles our bunny in her lap. She is singing with the birds as she soars on her swing. She is scooting across the floor to be nose to nose with our dog. She is carefully toddling back to grab an animal she left behind. She is the animal fairy at her fairy party. She gallops through the house as she performs in the horse show on the whiffle ball bat she called “Whisper.” She is always the dog in the dog show while the doll sits propped up against a chair watching.
We were amazed as she interacted with all creatures’ great and small. She would ride her bike full speed to see the new cat at the bus stop. She’d run to the top of the yard to see the dogs being walked down the street. She would stroll through the barn to gently rub the nose of each horse reaching out of its stall. Each spring she would squeal when she would see a small nest tucked in the tree by her bedroom. She would open her window and sit until she saw the Mama bird fly back to its babies. She would lay a caterpillar on a low branch after she spent the day carrying it around in a mason jar. She would tell us that the caterpillar was going to tell its friends she was kind and they would come back to visit. We were never surprised that when she went to that tree, her caterpillar friends were always waiting.
When we close our eyes, we see Catherine mesmerized by the butterflies. She would stop short when she spied the first butterfly of the season. She would run to get her net and would throw it back and forth as she ran across the yard. When she finally caught a butterfly she would hold it, only for a minute, before gently nudging it to fly away. On warm summer days, we would smile as we watched her crouched in the garden with a huge butterfly on her finger. She had finally figured out how to catch one without a net. She would whisper secrets that would float to the sky on the butterfly’s wings.
Catherine told us one day she would care for the animals. She made business cards that read “Catherine’s Animal Shelter” and included her self-appointed title: “Care Taker.” We had no idea when we asked you to remember Catherine by donating to The Animal Center, we would be able to make our daughter’s dream a reality. But thanks to the generosity from friends like you, we are pleased to announce that we will be building the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary in partnership with The Animal Center in Newtown.
The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary will be a place where all creatures are welcome; a place where all creatures will know that we are kind and they are safe. We know the sanctuary will not happen overnight, but we do know that it will happen – and that Catherine will squeal with delight as we welcome all creatures, great and small, into our place of hope, healing and love.
From the depths of our souls, we thank you.
--Jenny and Matt Hubbard
What is The Animal Center?
The Animal Center is an all-volunteer, non-profit rescue organization dedicated to helping animals through compassionate, no-kill programs.
When was The Animal Center created?
The Animal Center was created in 2004. The dog program was added in 2010.
Does The Animal Center have a shelter?
No. The Animal Center runs its rescue programs entirely through a volunteer foster network. All adoptable animals are in the safety and comfort of private homes, not in a shelter facility.
How many animals has The Animal Center helped?
Over 2,000 since its founding.
Does The Animal Center work with other animal rescue groups?
Abosolutely and all the time. We work with a wonderful network of animal advocates in many communities.
What is The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary?
In memory of Catherine Violet Hubbard’s love of animals, her sanctuary will be a place of healing; a place where lives are saved, a place to launch humane education and advocacy programs – a place where all creatures, great and small, are rescued, respected and loved.
Who is Catherine Violet Hubbard?
On December 14, 2012, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and took the lives of twenty innocent children and six adults. One of the victims was six-year-old Catherine Violet Hubbard, a beautiful child who will be remembered for her love of all animals and her constant smile.
Is building a sanctuary a new idea for The Animal Center?
No. This has been a goal of The Animal Center since its inception.
Why did the Hubbard family want memorial funds to go to The Animal Center?
Catherine Violet Hubbard loved all animals and her parents wanted to honor that love by reaching out to a local Newtown animal rescue group. A family friend adopted two dogs from The Animal Center and they were very touched by the compassion and professionalism of the organization.
Have many memorial funds been received?
Yes. People have been extraordinarily generous and donations are still coming in.
How much money has been raised?
We are still processing donations, but The Animal Center has received close to $200,000 in memorial funds. Donation amounts have run the gamut, everything from large donations, to a few dollars sent in from children who emptied their piggy banks.
What does this money mean to The Animal Center?
We are touched and inspired beyond words that the Hubbard family could reach beyond their grief to offer such a gift in memory of their beloved daughter. These funds will enable The Animal Center to save and improve countless lives and help transmute suffering into peace for many, many animals. We are deeply grateful for this family’s goodness, strength and support.
What is being done with the money?
All donations made in Catherine’s memory are being set aside into a special account. Decisions about the sanctuary and how the money is spent will be pursuant to the Hubbard’s wishes and The Animal Center’s mission.
How closely will The Animal Center work with the Hubbard family?
No decision will be made without their input and blessing. Jenny and Matt Hubbard are now members of The Animal Center’s Advisory Board and will have the final say in how their daughter is honored.
Where will the sanctuary be located?
In Newtown. A site has not been selected at this time. We are currently seeking land that can be donated for the sanctuary.
What are the features of the sanctuary?
We are still in the planning stages and welcome suggestions from children and adults. Some ideas include: a butterfly garden, petting area, walking trails, adoption area and craft room. It will be a lovely place and will be designed as if through a child’s innocent eyes.
How much will it cost to run the sanctuary?
A lot! We will be evaluating the resources and capabilities of the program’s sustainability at every step. Development, program facilities and animal intake will be contingent on funding reserves.
When will the sanctuary be created?
The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary will not happen overnight but it will happen. We are just at the planning stage and need to acquire land before the sanctuary can be built. We will update information on our website as progress is made.
What kind of animals will be at the sanctuary?
The Animal Center is a rescue organization and will maintain that mission with the sanctuary, a place where neglected, abused or homeless animals can heal and have a second chance at life. We’ll start with cats and dogs and then expand to other animals as we have the facilities and staff to properly care for them.
Will you have experts that can care for so many different types of animals?
Yes. We will only take in animals if we have a staff person with specific knowledge and expertise in dealing with a certain animal breed. Our priority is the safety and care of the animals in our program.
Does The Animal Center have paid staff?
No. The Animal Center is run entirely by volunteers.
Will The Animal Center ever have paid staff?
At some point paid staff may be required to run a large sanctuary, but not at this time.
Will the sanctuary commemorate the other Sandy Hook victims?
Yes. We will find a special and beautiful way to honor all the victims within the sanctuary.
What is The Animal Center’s stance on gun control and policy change?
The Animal Center’s focus is on helping animals and creating a sanctuary to honor Catherine Violet Hubbard. This is where our energy will remain.
What do you think Catherine would think about The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary?
Our hope is that she thinks it’s the most beautiful place on Earth.
How can I donate?
The Animal Center is a volunteer-staffed, Newtown-based 501 (c)(3) animal welfare charity founded in 2004, EIN # 20-2098257. There are two ways to donate. Online:[LINK TO BUTTON] You can also send a check to:
The Animal Center
Attn: Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary
PO Box 475
Newtown, CT 06470