On December 14th, 6-year-old Catherine Hubbard left for Sandy Hook Elementary School. Catherine was among the 20 children killed that day in a mass shooting. Six months later, her mother, Jenny, is dedicating her life to creating something her daughter would cherish - animals.
The Hubbards are planning a state-of-the-art animal sanctuary in Newtown in her honor.
Jenny says Catherine spent her summers playing with bugs and butterflies in the backyard. And she always kept a loving eye on their 14-year-old Labrador, Sammy.
"Sammy had arthritis," explained Jenny. "So Catherine would get underneath her, pull her up and help her."
Without Catherine, Sammy took a turn for the worse. And a week after they buried their daughter, the Hubbards had to tell their 8-year-old son Freddy it was time to let Sammy go.
"We said to Freddy, 'do you want to say anything to Sammy before we take her in?'" said Jenny. "He got on the floor and got in her face and said tell Catherine I say hi."
Catherine's dream was to open an animal shelter. She even created her own business cards.
The sanctuary will be designed from a child's point-of-view. It will feature a dog and cat adoption area, a farm animal rescue, and a wildlife rehabilitation center. There will be a learning center, a butterfly garden, as well as a gallery featuring Catherine's artwork.
"She gave us so many clues in her 6 years of her life and legacy," said Jenny. "So to be able to work on the sanctuary helps me remember all those great times."
To learn more about the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation and the sanctuary, click here.