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Who We Are

Our Mission Statement

Karma Bob's Backyard is a place of refuge for animals, most of whom have been abused, abandoned, rescued, or bought from farms that intended to sell them for their meat.

Following Buddhist teachings on the kinship of all beings, we welcome our animal kin who come to us with absolute respect.

We make it possible for them to live out their lives with us in accord with their natural inclinations, while we meet their needs for food, shelter, safety, medical treatment, end of life care, and, most of all, love.


Our Origin Story

The two humans who founded Karma Bob's Back Yard, Cheryl McCathran and Joe Mikrut, and the first few volunteers who came to lend a hand, all practice Buddhism in the Tibetan tradition; but, very soon, volunteers, visitors, and social media friends from all kinds of backgrounds, with all sorts of reasons for experiencing kinship with animals, began to turn up.


The growth of this human network produced more and more opportunities for animals of many kinds to find their way to our 8 acres of land in Berne, New York. A large, diverse, multi-species community of kin began to flourish.

In this moment, Karma Bob's Backyard is made up of yak; Alpaca; chickens; ducks; a horse; sheep; goats; rabbits; pigeons; dairy cows; cats; a dog; two more- than- fulltime human hosts (Joe and Cheryl) who live on the land with our animal kin; and an ever expanding and contracting, in-person and remote, group of part-time human volunteers that has numbered a total of twelve over the last year.

We invite you to get to know us by browsing this website. It is our hope that you will consider joining our community of kin in any of the several ways described under the  Support tab. We look forward to hearing from and meeting many of you.

Meet The Team


Joe Mikrut

Heavy Yakipment Operator


Cheryl McCathran

Director of Avian Affairs

Karma Bob's Story

Karma Bob was the yak that started it all... Our Refuge is dedicated to him, providing him with a well deserved legacy. To read more about his origins, and how he threw us into the path of rescue and refuge for others, go to his page here.

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