ASPCA Helps Honor Sandy Hook Victim During Annual “Catherine’s Butterfly Party”

June 20, 2019

Sophie and Bunny

On Saturday, June 8, the ASPCA Mobile Adoptions team attended the fifth annual “Catherine's Butterfly Party,” a local event held in Newtown, Connecticut. This large, animal-friendly event takes place each year to honor Catherine Violet Hubbard— a victim of the Sandy Hook Shooting. The event celebrates Catherine’s love and compassion for all animals and is organized by her mother, Jenny, who is currently spearheading the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. This year’s event was especially meaningful, as June 8 marked what would have been Catherine’s thirteenth birthday. 

“Catherine had a natural ability to connect with and care for animals. She loved being in their presence and would whisper to them, ‘tell all your friends I am kind,’” says Jenny Hubbard when asked about the inspiration behind this event. “Every year, Catherine asked for a birthday party that would bring all of her favorite creatures together, and with Catherine’s Butterfly Party, that wish is fulfilled.”

A sign for the event next to a lavender butterfly bench

In 2013 Catherine was posthumously awarded the ASPCA Kid of the Year Award at our annual Humane Awards Luncheon. Since 2015, the ASPCA has continued to support Catherine’s event, bringing shelter animals to meet loving adopters outside of the big city.

organization tables and tents

This year, 30 tri-state animal welfare organizations participated in the event, and over 6,000 people were in attendance! In addition to plenty of adoptable animals, the event also featured nature and educational exhibits, a pet food drive, live music and various animal-themed vendors. By the end of the day, 55 animals were adopted from the various organizations—13 of whom came from the ASPCA!

ASPCA mobile adoption van and Chowder the dog

ASPCA Mobile Adoptions van was onsite all day, with adoptable animals like Chowder

Among the ASPCA adoptions was Otis, a sensitive dog who had difficulty walking outside due to his nervousness around the big, loud sights and sounds of New York City. Otis’s temperament made it harder for him to find the right match in the Big Apple, but because of Catherine’s Butterfly Party, Otis found a wonderful home in a less stressful environment where he is thriving. 

Otis the dog

Otis at the ASPCA. 

Otis’s new parents adore him, and they told us that he has acclimated to his new home and neighborhood quickly—he even has a new canine sibling! However, the best thing about this adoption is that Otis’s confidence is growing every day. He’s now comfortable walking outside, loves long walks and he’s claimed two local fire hydrants as his own. 

"The ASPCA has been honored to participate in Catherine's Butterfly Party since 2015, and this event holds a special place in our hearts,” says Eileen Hanavan, Director of ASPCA Volunteer and Foster Engagement. “We are grateful for the opportunity to spend a glorious summer day with a community of compassionate individuals who illustrate Catherine's kindness, and celebrate the lives of creatures big and small. Many animals have found loving homes as a result of these events, and we are thrilled and humbled to be a part of it, year over year."