Brook Katz, Founder
In many ways, Brook can be considered a modern- day “Renaissance Man”. First and foremost, Brook is an animal advocate in every sense of the word following a vegan lifestyle for over 30 years now. Brooks other skills include paramedic and natural medicine training, vegan chef and published author. To learn more about Brook, please visit http://brookkatz.com/
Brook has years of experience in working in animal advocacy. Brookhaven Animal Sanctuary is not the first sanctuary with which he has been involved.
While living in Maui, Hawaii, he became involved with a grass roots animal sanctuary, Lei Lani Farm Sanctuary. His friend, Laurelee Blanchard, owned about eight acres of land and made this property the home to a donkey, a couple of goats, and had about 15 cats that she had rescued. Along cam Brook who had had just saved about 60 chickens from a battery hen house and needed a place for them to safely live. Lei Lani Farm Sanctuary has grown immeasurably since those early days. With help from many people under the guidance and love of Laurelee Blanchard, it has thrived to become a model sanctuary for anywhere in the country. Lei Lani Farm Sanctuary now hosts well over a hundred animals of all kinds including: donkeys, goats, cats, chickens, rabbits, pigs, tortoises, and a deer the Sanctuary as a fawn whose mother had been shot by hunters. She is now a fully grown doe that loves to walk with people all over the property.
Brook & the Animal Adoption Fair
After living in Hawaii for 10 years, Brook moved to South Florida to help his family. When Brook arrived in Florida, he started working with many of the local charities. He soon recognized that they needed help, both in funding and in getting their causes or messages out. He noticed that most of the support went to the few big groups, and that most grassroots charities were left out. Seeing the inability for most groups to be seen or heard, and seeing that no major organization or government entity was reaching out to help them, Brook took it upon himself to coordinate an annual gathering to showcase those charities what had been overlooked. After reaching out to a few concerned animal advocates in the community, the plan came into fruition in the Summer of 2001. The idea was to gather as many animal groups as possible under one roof, to help them. Thus gave rise to the annual “Animal Adoption Fair”, which has grown into the largest animal charity event in the state!
This event gives ALL groups, big or small, the same equal footing for a day in the spotlight. The event is a non-political, non-religious, platform that gives ALL 501(c) 3 animal charities a FREE indoor booth space and a voice for the day to promote their causes, and get as many animals adopted to the thousands of people who have the benefit of also attending to this free community event. As of this year, the Animal Adoption fair has adopted out over 1,500 animals, so far and helped hundreds of rescues.
In the last 6 years, he has coordinated the ever growing “Annual Animal Adoption Fair”, now in its sixth year, in Fort Lauderdale, FL. It is expected that this year’s Animal Adoption Fair will be the biggest event ever, event bringing together over 70 shelter and rescue groups dozens more vendors and exhibitors, plus hundreds of animals available for adoption. Over 1,100 animals have found their “Forever Homes” over the past 4 years, alone.
Reason for Brookhaven Animal Sanctuary
In the seven years, in the event’s history, Brook has worked with hundreds of rescues and shelters in South Florida. The one common trait among each and every one of them: they have at least 1 or 2 “Unadoptable” animals. These are animals that for whatever reasons, too ugly, too mean, three legs, one ear, etc., will be with that rescue or shelter till they die. That is a huge financial burden, not to mention supplies, food, medicines, etc., that all these underfunded 501(c)3 charities have to shoulder. Furthermore, they take up space for animals that ARE adoptable. It isn’t fair or right, and since no major player is stepping forward with help or a solution, hence, the creation of Brookhaven Animal Sanctuary, Inc.
Brookhaven is now a 501(c)3 not for profit. The charity is in its infancy and developing the infrastructure as well as looking for a suitable site for the sanctuary. The primary search for land is centered Broward County, but will consider any appropriate properties in the South Florida area. The goal is to acquire at least eight to ten acres of land, fence it in, and create several housing facilities for both people and animals. Initially, there will be one housing area for people/staff, one for cats, and one for dogs. There will also be space available for pasture animals with a canopy area for protection from sun and rain.
The plans also call for having a full-time live-in vet and hospice care. This will be for the convenience and comfort of the animals, as well as a revenue stream for the Sanctuary as it will be able to offer clinic survives such as spay/neuter surgeries, and education programs for the community.
Additionally, the plans call for organic gardens to supplement food resources for both animals and people, and plan to dig a well as a source of water supply and use as much alternative energy as sources possible. The goal is to create a self-sufficient Sanctuary to better care for the animals.
Brookhaven Animal Sanctuary is unique in that intake animals will ONLY be from 501(c)3 shelters and rescues. This will NOT be an adoption center or a community intake facility. The animals that are taken in will be residents for life, unless they can be trained to be service or support animals for groups like the wounded veterans or disabled children. Brookhaven Animal Sanctuary will act as a networking center among all the rescues and shelters in South Florida. The community will not be able to drop off unwanted healthy animals, but rather will be referred to an appropriate rescue or shelter. This Sanctuary will fill a much needed gap, and benefit not only the animals, rescues, and shelters, but in fact the entire animal community in South Florida.
Using the successful Lei Lani Farm Sanctuary in Maui, Hawaii as the model where applicable, Brookhaven Animal Sanctuary will provide a unique and much needed service and support South Florida animal community.