Inspiring Women of the Capital Region: Kathy Stevens

SAUGERTIES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Kathy Stevens is inspiring and brave to face down a charging 2,000 pound steer twice at her non-profit Catskill Animal Sanctuary near Saugerties in Ulster County.

“If a cow’s coming at you, you just go—‘hahya!’ and it never fails,” Stevens says.

Stevens was raised on a horse farm in Virginia, moved to Boston, and worked as a teacher. Turning down a career as a school principal, she founded Catskill Animal Sanctuary on a run-down old farm in a secluded hollow between the Hudson River and Esopus Creek.  They rescue from as far away as Wisconsin, Missouri, and Virginia but most of their animals come from the Capital Region and the Hudson Valley.

“Lots of the horses come from the Saratoga Region.  Lots of Animal hoarding; lots of over-breeding; terrible, terrible,” Stevens says.

Today Stevens inspires everyone with her non-profit Sanctuary and Education Center.  Home to hundreds of rescued farm animals, including Violet, the YouTube-famous head-butting goat born here after its mother was rescued from the infamous Backyard Butcher case in Orange County.  An Appaloosa horse without eyes, and a friendly pig that’ll roll over like a dog to have its belly scratched.

“Oh, it’s very simple. They want their lives as much as we want ours,” Stevens says.

Stevens gets emotional when she explains why she does it.

Stevens has written two books about her journey, and her vegan lifestyle.  At the sanctuary, plump turkeys only get close to a human mouth for a peck on the beak, and lots of love.

“This is the type of turkey commercially bred for Thanksgiving and the ones who escape that fate,” Stevens says. “They grow to these massive birds that develop the same health problems that morbidly overweight people do.”

Whether bravely facing down a hungry steer or rescuing blind horses, lame turkeys, or butting goats, Kathy Stevens is one of the Capital Region’s top 50 inspiring women.

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