Dan McKernan was a tech guy based in Austin, Texas, but the techie life didn’t put a smile on his face. So when his father asked Dan and his siblings what they should do with the family farm, Dan had an idea. He envisioned a sanctuary for animals; a peaceful refuge for animals that have been abused, abandoned, sentenced to death or are victims of natural disasters. Dan’s family were all in and with the help of his father, Tom, they established the Barn Sanctuary in 2016; a hands-on animal sanctuary dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and caring for farm animal refugees.
One of the first animals Dan rescued was a four-day old pig they named Little Dude. Little Dude, the runt of the litter, was found by a woman who noticed bites on his leg. It turned out that his siblings were chewing on his leg and the wound and bone underneath were infected. She called Barn Sanctuary and they took him in and began feeding the little dude milk straight from a baby’s bottle. Little Dude, who’s about to celebrate his first birthday, got the medical care he needed and the love of the Barn Sanctuary staff. He is now thriving at the barn amongst his other rescued barnyard buddies.
Barn Sanctuary is in the process of finishing renovations and additions to the barn and the rest of the farm thanks to the thousands of donations they’ve received and a generous gift from The Ellen Degeneres Show. They will open their doors to the public next month so visitors can interact with the animals and tour the facilities.
Barn Sanctuary is located in Chelsea, MI, where we met Dan, Little Dude, Cora the Cow, and all of the other rescued animals for this week’s Full Frame Close Up.