An elderly horse who lost his vision. Cows and sheep who were abandoned. A pig destined for the slaughterhouse who now wags his tail when he’s happy, just like a puppy does. These are some of the amazing farm animals you’ll help if you support the 4th Annual Goat Games, a hybrid online fundraiser and family fun event based upstate created to provide much-needed funding for animal rescues and sanctuaries across the country, including several in New York and New Jersey.
Hosted by the Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS), Saugerties, NY, the online fundraiser will run Aug. 7-13. The family fun event is on Saturday, Aug. 12, on site at CAS.
Many rescued farm animals have heartbreaking back stories. But when a sanctuary takes in these helpless creatures, they’re able to receive food, attention and medical care that allows them to live full happy lives as they bring joy to all the humans who meet them. (They also receive lots of love.)
But as you could imagine, the much-needed care they receive can be quite expensive, especially for sanctuaries that are home to dozens—and sometimes hundreds—of animals. Goat Games gives people a chance to help, and is designed to make it easy for animal lovers literally anywhere in the world to donate in support of so many animals exploited for meat and dairy products.
“These animals want their lives as much as our beloved cats and dogs want theirs,” Kathy Stevens, founder and executive director of CAS, said. “And, prices have increased to the point where we can’t keep up with inflation.”
Hay, for example, is an expensive necessity at farm animal sanctuaries, including the 150-acre CAS, which is home to 11 species of rescued farm animals and hundreds of residents at any given time.
“We buy about 11,000 bales of hay every year. And the cost of hay in a very short period of time has gone from $6.50 a bale to $10,” she explained.
Here’s How the Fundraiser Works
Hosted by CAS, the hybrid online fundraiser will run Monday, Aug. 7, through Sunday, Aug. 13. The campaign will benefit farm animal sanctuaries across the country that are home to adorable animals including gorgeous goats, dapper ducks, beautiful bunnies and so many other farm friends.
As the goats and other farm animals watch as spectators from the virtual sidelines, humans will rally family and friends to support the sanctuary team of their choice, either by donating directly on the fundraiser site, or by creating social media fundraisers through platforms like Instagram and Facebook (just as you would do for a birthday fundraiser).
These are the sanctuaries participating in Goat Games 2023:
- Catskill Animal Sanctuary – the hosting Sanctuary (Saugerties, NY)
- Farmaste Animal Sanctuary (Lindstrom, MN)
- Goats with Horns Animal Sanctuary (Gilbert, AZ)
- Heartwood Haven (Wauna, WA)
- Hoofsnhorns Farm Sanctuary (Tuscan, AZ)
- Indraloka Animal Sanctuary (Dalton, PA)
- Little Bear Sanctuary (Punta Gorda, FL)
- Peace Ridge Sanctuary (Brooks, ME)
- Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge (Pittsboro, NC)
- River’s Wish Animal Sanctuary (Spokane, WA)
- Sanctuary One (East Point, GA)
- Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary (Poughquag, NY)
- Safe Haven Rabbit Rescue (Clinton, NJ)
- Sweet Farm Foundation (Himrod, NY)
- The Barnyard Sanctuary (Blairstown, NJ)
- VINE Sanctuary (Springfield, VT)
- Yesahcan Sanctuary, Inc. (Arcadia, FL)
All participating sanctuaries will take part in the six-day virtual campaign to see who will be the Greatest Of All Time or “G.O.A.T,” a title earned by raising the most money. All donated funds will support the operational needs of each sanctuary, including food, shelter, and medical needs.
But don’t worry! No matter where each sanctuary places in the competition, they’ll get to keep the funds donated in their name. The collective fundraising goal for all the sanctuaries is $250,000.
“As donations across the country have seen a significant drop and the costs of resources, like hay and grain, rise precipitously, increased donor support is critical,” Stevens further explained. “Sanctuaries not only offer refuge, medical care, and a chance at a fulfilling life to animals in need. Many also offer programs that connect the dots between our food choices and many of the most urgent health and environmental challenges we face, including and especially climate change.”
What to Expect at the On-Site Catskill Animal Sanctuary Goat Games on Aug. 12
The week-long online fundraiser will culminate with a special on-site event at CAS held on Aug. 12 from 11am to 3pm. Expected to draw hundreds of animal lovers from around the region to its Saugerties property, the event will include old-fashioned games, a children’s tent, vendors, food trucks, a silent auction, live music performances, and memory-making special moments with outgoing rescued farm animals.
“After a three-year hiatus from on-site events, we’re excited to have a little fun again and bring together sanctuaries from all corners of the country for the 4th Annual Goat Games,” said Stevens. “Goat Games is a remarkable opportunity to showcase our resilience in this challenging time and raise vital funds for farmed animals around the nation.”
Tickets for the on-site event are $25; free for ages 6 and younger, and active military and veterans. The address is 316 Old Stage Rd., Saugerties, NY. Goat Games is sponsored in part by the ASPCA and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.
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