Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Fairfield Cty/Housatonic Valley, CT

Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary: Honoring Passion for Animals in One Girl’s Memory

Mar 02, 2015 01:34AM ● By Leslie McLean

Catherine Violet Hubbard

“Creating this Sanctuary is reminiscent of the life that Catherine lived; it is to honor what she would have wanted.”
~ Jenny Hubbard


Two years ago on December 14, 2012, 6-year-old Catherine Violet Hubbard was one of the 26 people killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. This community has been dealing with significant trauma ever since that day. Horrific events such as what occurred can spark transformation in those left to pick up the pieces. For the Hubbard family, there has been a positive shift in moral and spiritual focus. “Catherine was a very quiet soul…she had a special connection with all animals,” her father, Matt Hubbard, remembers. The focus of Newtown’s Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary – established in her memory – will reflect her compassion for animals by providing adoptive services for companion animals, refuge for farm animals, and native wildlife rescue and release services.

When a tragedy such as this happens in a small community such as Newtown, it has significant energy that explodes locally, flows regionally, and expands to the global community. The outpouring for the sanctuary has progressed to an international level. The creation of the Catherine Violet Hubbard (CVH) Foundation Inc. as a 501(c)3 was started in 2013. The most significant contribution was in the fall of 2014 from the State of Connecticut, which donated 34 acres of land. The focus to this point has been on fundraising events and creating a volunteer network. Local and regional families, elementary, middle and high school students, veterinarians and several animal rescue organizations have sponsored fundraisers from lemonade and bakery sales, annual vet clinic parties, golf tournaments to the Waldron Family fundraiser in North Salem, New York.

All these efforts were driven by like-minded thinkers focused on Catherine’s vision of compassion, acceptance and determination. The mission of this Sanctuary is once again based on Catherine’s values:

Compassion: Treasure all living things with the belief that all creatures, great and small, deserve to live free from harm in their natural environment.

Acceptance: Believe in the innate beauty and grace of animals, nature and people.

Determination: Operate with the solitary goal of providing the optimal support and care for animals. Share experiences, resources and expertise with other organizations and individuals interested in building sanctuaries.

Since the donation of the land, the Catherine Violet Hubbard Sanctuary has the ability to incorporate agricultural education. One of the key components of the architectural plan’s phase one will be the building a community garden. Agriculture will be a significant part of the foundation. Professionals will educate the community on how to seed, grow and harvest a garden, while chefs will share how to cook nutritionally with in-season foods grown in the Northeast. CVH will likely be a sustainable nonprofit as it has many fundamental resources. Giving children early opportunities to foster animals and grow plants is hoped to be a way to influence a shift in our culture and provide children healthier outlets. CVH focuses on the idea that community collaboration is critical as a way to survive and thrive.

CVH has had local and national help in its development. The Animal Center in Newtown, a no-kill, nonprofit animal rescue organization, was the original “collaboration of love” based on Catherine Hubbard’s passions and hopes. Support coming from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the State of Connecticut and Governor Malloy, The Jane Goodall Institute, Best Friends, Cornell University, PH Architects, Tracy Locke Marketing Firm and all the volunteers has been prolific, inspiring significant hope and serenity for the family. The resources donated by all of these aforementioned contributors will allow the sanctuary to start building the main building, vet intake, community garden and culinary kitchen in 2016.

All permitting regulations are expected to be met and processed in 2015. The 2nd Annual Butterfly Fundraiser will be held on June 6, 2015 in downtown Newtown from noon to 4pm. For volunteer and sponsorship opportunities for this fundraiser, contact CVH at 203-313-8391. Other upcoming events will be posted on the website, which will be upgraded by the end of March.

Leslie McLean is district sales manager for Natural Awakenings Fairfield County and volunteer coordinator for the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary.

For more information or to make a donation, call 203-313-8391 or visit or To volunteer, email the volunteer coordinator at [email protected].

Join Our Email Newsletter
Natural Awakenings Delivered to your Home! Click to sign up.
Follow Us On Facebook
Interview with Stephen Dinan of The Shift Network
Eat More Citrus for a Thinner Waistline
COVID Kids: Stress Can Impact Sperm and Future Offspring