Morning video calls are so much better with baby goats frolicking in the background.
It’s been a long few weeks of sheltering in place at home, and we’re all running out of things to do to keep us entertained and excited. Thankfully, local establishments, including animal sanctuaries, continue to find innovative ways to give us engaging, at-home experiences.
In the Hudson Valley, Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Saugerties and Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls are now partnering with Goat-2-Meeting, a platform that connects animal sanctuaries with individuals through Zoom, Google Hangouts, BlueJeans, and GoToMeeting.
“Because of COVID protocols, we can’t welcome B+B guests, tour visitors, or cooking class attendees, so we are thrilled that with this partnership, we’ll be able to bring the Sanctuary to folks in need of a smile — and to get some of the support we need for our rescue and programming work,” says Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s Founder and Executive Director, Kathy Stevens.
Over at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls, Goat-2-Meeting not only allows the farm to keep the local community connected with the 400 farm animal residents onsite, but it also gives the sanctuary economic relief. Due to its two-month closure as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the site has lost nearly $28,000 in necessary funding. Fortunately, it’s already completed close to 130 calls in the span of a week and a half.
So, what can you expect on a call? Each session features everything from an introduction to the farm and meet-and-greets with the animals to a full virtual tour with opportunities for Q&A as well.
The 10- to 25-minute time slots are easy to book online, although they’re filling up quickly. Twenty-minute private tours for six individuals or less are a $65 donation, while 20-minute group tours with unlimited guests are a $100 donation. As far as formats go, there is both a family and friends option (perfect for a happy hours or birthday parties) and a corporate option (team bonding shouldn’t stop now!).
Waiting for your time slot to arrive? In the meantime, check out Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s Youtube channel for farm-filled content or Woodstock Farm Sanctuary’s Facebook page to stay connected with its animals.