‘Butterfly party’ pet adoption event celebrates animal-loving spirit of slain Sandy Hook girl

NEWTOWN — Jenny Hubbard was never able to give her elementary school daughter Catherine her lofty wish for a birthday party in her backyard with “all the animals.”

But in the years since Catherine Violet Hubbard died on the set of Sandy Hook, Jenny Hubbard has worked diligently to honor that birthday request in a way she hopes will make her daughter happy.

It’s the short version of Catherine’s Butterfly Party, an annual pet adoption event and fundraiser for the foundation launched in the name of the child killed which this year will have 25 animal rescues, 200 pets adoptable pets and an estimated crowd of 7,000.

This year’s pet adoption party is scheduled for Saturday at the Newtown campus in Faifield Hills on Mile Hill Road.


“Every year there’s something that shows us that she’s enjoying it all,” said Jenny Hubbard, executive director of the nonprofit Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. “It’s really a celebration of his life and his presence on this earth.”

Hubbard, who said her daughter would have turned 16 this month, said she wanted the event to remain free as it was a birthday party, and “I wouldn’t want otherwise”.

Meanwhile, sponsorships from this year’s event raised funds for an $8 million animal sanctuary project on 30 acres of land in Newtown owned by the nonprofit organization. With half of the money already raised, plans include a veterinary admissions facility and an education center offering animal and nature programs to the public.

“We want to create buildings that are not only resourceful for the community, but also serve as a refuge for humans and animals,” said Peter Paulos, the project’s architect, in a prepared statement. “I hope this project will fulfill Jenny and Catherine’s dream of providing refuge for all people and creatures in one shared place.”

Among the two dozen animal rescues that will participate are Danbury Animal Welfare Society, Bridgeport Cat Rescue, CT Parrot Rescue, Long Island Bulldog Rescue, Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue, House Rabbit Connection, Gimme Shelter, Best Friends Animal Society and the American Society for the Prevention. of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA.

“The ASPCA is thrilled to be part of this year’s Catherine’s Butterfly Party for the sixth time alongside other animal welfare organizations to help place companion animals into loving homes,” said Cecilia Ochoa, mobile adoption manager at the ASPCA Adoption Center, in prepared remarks. “With approximately 6.3 million pets entering animal shelters across the United States each year, community events that encourage people to adopt pets from their local shelters are more important than ever. .”

Philanthropist and equestrian Georgina Bloomberg will also be at the event on behalf of The Rider’s Closet, a company she founded and now part of the EQUUS Foundation, to accept donations of new and gently used riding apparel. .

“It has been so inspiring to collaborate with Jenny and see her incredible work on the sanctuary over the years,” Bloomberg said in a prepared statement. “The Rider’s Closet is thrilled to attend this year’s Butterfly Party and celebrate the animals that Catherine held so dear to her heart.”

[email protected] 203-731-3342

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