An Afternoon at the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary
Catherine’s heart was devoted to caring for animals. She used her money from recycling bottles to buy a box of dog biscuits for the Animal Control Center, and left out food for the cats she assured us lived behind our home. I would watch her as she would cup a butterfly in her tiny hands and whisper to it as it took flight. She would tell us it was going to tell its friends she was kind and they would come back. Not surprisingly, we would be mesmerized by the flocks of butterflies that fluttered through our gardens. She told us one day she would care for all the animals.
Sadly, her gentle whisper was silenced on December 14th. A gunman took the lives of six adults and twenty children at Sandy Hook Elementary. Catherine was among the children killed. So much was lost that day. We lost our daughter, our son lost his sister, the world lost its innocence. However, in the time since her death we have found things. We have found love, support, kindness, and community. We have found hope and a new purpose. We are Catherine’s butterflies. We are her messengers. We carry her voice, her hopes and her dreams and will create the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. It will be a place where her kindness will be felt not only by all creatures, but also by every person and community it touches.
In 2014, Connecticut State Representatives, Senate and Dannel P. Malloy conveyed 34 acres of pristine farmland with breathtaking woodlands, rolling meadows, and meandering trails. As Dannel P. Malloy stated, “It is beyond inspiring that Catherine’s love and compassion for animals will live on through this sanctuary for generations to come.”
When the sanctuary buildings are created, the first structure you will encounter will be a pavilion with red terra cotta tiles- the only structure with such tiles. Reaching out from the pavilion are two colonnades stretching to the main building on the left and to the veterinary intake on the right. The pavilion (the gateway to the Sanctuary) represents Catherine: the tiles her hair, the colonnades her arms welcoming humans and animals alike. A pavilion sculpture, an exact replica of the frame for what will come, emerges from the meadows as you approach the top of the tired farm road. The pavilion stands watch over this sacred space, a beacon of hope, and embodies the beauty, optimism and purity of all that lies ahead.
It’s our privilege to share what we hope Catherine thinks is the most beautiful place on earth with you.