Visit a Farmed Animal Sanctuary This Summer For the Ultimate Inspiration
Summer is the perfect time to visit farmed animal sanctuaries, where you can hug a cow, cuddle a chicken, and give a pig a belly rub.
During the COVID pandemic, sanctuaries that normally welcomed visitors throughout the sunny season were closed to the public. Fortunately, the summer of 2022 will see the reopening of many sanctuaries to guests—so it’s a good time to start planning a trip!
Farm sanctuaries rescue animals from cruel and neglectful circumstances, offering them a peaceful place to live, access to unlimited healthy food and top-notch veterinary care—all while providing public education about animal farming. Beginning with Farm Sanctuary, the first such sanctuary in the US, the farm sanctuary movement is going strong, with organizations springing up across the country and around the world.
Tours at farm animal sanctuaries offer people the opportunity to make friends with individual animals and discover their personalities while learning about the realities of factory farming, all while getting in some heartwarming hugs and cuddles.
Here are some of Kinder Beauty’s favorite farm animal sanctuaries that are open to the public this summer.
Luvin Arms (Erie, CO)
Ahimsa (a philosophy of nonviolence toward all living beings) is at the heart of Luvin Arms’ work to rescue and care for abused and neglected animals.
The sanctuary—located close to Denver and Boulder, Colorado—was founded in 2015 by Shaleen and Shilpi Shahs. The organization has rescued more than 800 animals, including pigs, turkeys, cows, goats, sheep, chickens, donkeys, and ducks.
To meet the animals, Luvin Arms offers two types of tours: “Connect Tours” and “Compassion Tours.” Opt for the one-hour Connect Tour (recommended for all ages) to meet a few of the sanctuary’s animal residents and indulge in edible treats at the end. The Compassion Tour lasts 1.5 to 2 hours and offers a more in-depth experience, during which visitors will meet all of the sanctuary residents and learn about inhumane farming industry practices. Recommended for ages 10 and over, participants will also receive delicious treats when their visit comes to an end.
Schedule your tour in advance via the sanctuary’s website.
Kinder Beauty is proud to partner with Luvin Arms through 2022, where a portion of our proceeds go towards supporting the important work this sanctuary does!
Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary (Poughquag, NY)
Tranquil Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary, approximately 80 miles north of New York City, is run by co-founders Ellen and Bill Crain. Situated in the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley, the sanctuary currently provides a peaceful and loving home to over 150 animals. Overseeing the care of so many rescued residents comes naturally to Ellen, a doctor who formerly ran a pediatric emergency room, and Bill, an activist, author, and college professor.
Though the sanctuary was closed to visitors for many months during the pandemic, they have reopened for small tours, with safety protocols in place to help prevent the spread of COVID. The sanctuary requires that tour reservations be made at least one day in advance. Details for booking your visit can be found at the sanctuary’s website.
Barn Sanctuary (Chelsea, MI)
Driving through Detroit on your summer road trip? Take a quick detour to visit the sanctuary made famous by the Animal Planet television show, Saved by the Barn!
Barn Sanctuary in Chelsea, MI is devoted to rescuing and rehabilitating abused and neglected farm animals. Founder/president Dan McKernan left a six-figure job in tech to turn his family’s farm into a farm animal sanctuary.
Stop by the property to meet residents including Harper, a turkey who was given to McKernan by a local Tractor Supply employee when the young chick was deemed unlikely to survive. Today you can meet her in all of her feathered glory, living the good life at Barn Sanctuary. Book a public or private tour this summer via the sanctuary’s website.
Farm Sanctuary (Watkins Glen, NY & Acton, CA)
Led by president and co-founder Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary was the first organization of its kind when it was founded in 1986. The journey began with the rescue of one sheep, Hilda, who had been left for dead at a stockyard. Hilda fully recovered and became the first ambassador of the farm animal rescue movement.
Farm Sanctuary has been going strong ever since. Today, its rescue centers in Acton, CA and Watkins Glen, NY provide homes for nearly 1,000 rescued animals. In the decades since it was founded, Farm Sanctuary has inspired many people to open their own farm sanctuaries that offer a safe home and loving care to formerly abused and neglected farm animals.
After being closed to visitors for a large stretch during the pandemic, both of Farm Sanctuary’s shelters are again offering tours with safety protocols in place. You can book a tour of the Watkins Glen, NY or Acton, CA (near Los Angeles) sanctuaries online.
Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary (Poolesville, MD)
Overlooking the Potomac River, Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary serves as the idyllic home to over 200 rescued farm animals and also provides a protected habitat for wildlife. Occupying 400 lush acres close to Washington DC, Poplar Spring offers a trip to meet the animals amidst the stunning beauty of open fields, ponds, and streams.
You can spend time with residents including adorable Evie goat. Before coming to Poplar Spring, Evie lived with humans who were planning to shoot her after she irreparably broke her leg. A caring veterinarian called Poplar Spring and soon Evie was living safely at the sanctuary.
Founded by Terry Cummings and Dave Hoerauf, Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary is open to tours and visits by appointment.
The Gentle Barn (Santa Clarita, CA; Christiana, TN & Dittmer, MO)
With three locations around the US, there’s a good chance you will be close to one of The Gentle Barn’s sanctuaries this summer. Why not stop by to get to know their rescued residents up close and in person?
The Gentle Barn was founded in 1999 by Ellie Laks. Since then, the organization has saved thousands of animals and hosted more than 500,000 people. The three sanctuaries are all within visiting distance of major metropolises; the Santa Clarita location is close to Los Angeles, Christiana is a short trip from Nashville, and Dittmer is an easy trip from St. Louis.
Book your visit in advance to meet their resident rescued animals, including Patsy cow, Smudge turkey, Queen Joni llama, and Petunia pig. It promises to be a healing experience for all, human and non-human animals alike.
Rowdy Girl (Waelder, TX)
Married to a cattle rancher, Renee King-Sonnen is an unlikely vegan. However, it was living at the Sonnen Ranch that helped her see the cruel reality of animal agriculture. “I couldn’t take the red trailer leaving with the babies anymore,” King-Sonnen shares on the Rowdy Girl website. “As a result, I started watching documentaries and slaughterhouse videos … I never looked back. Forever vegan!”
King-Sonnen didn’t stop at veganism, though. She turned the ranch into a farm animal sanctuary, raising funds to purchase all of the cows from her husband—who opted to go vegan, too! Today, their sanctuary, Rowdy Girl, sits on 147 acres in Waelder, near San Antonio, TX. Head online to find out how to book a visit and what tasty treats to bring for the animals!
Pasado’s Safe Haven (Sultan, WA)
If you’re planning a visit to the Pacific Northwest this summer, be sure to stop by Pasado’s Safe Haven to meet their many rescued residents.
Sheep, cows, dogs, pigs, cats, goats, alpacas, and more call Pasado’s Safe Haven home. Many are then adopted into a loving family, who will treat them as the sentient beings they are, rather than commodities—as they would be considered on a commercial farm. Others remain at the sanctuary, living out their natural lives in peace.
In addition to rescuing and rehabilitating farmed and companion animals, the organization investigates reports of cruelty and neglect and offers trainings for law enforcement, prosecutors, veterinarians, and animal control. Their mobile vet clinic and food banks provide services to families who might otherwise not be able to provide adequate care for their four-legged companions.
Pasado’s Safe Haven’s 85-acre property is located approximately one hour outside of Seattle and is open for public tours. To visit, register for a tour online.
SASHA Farm (Manchester. MI)
Founded by Dorothy Davies and Monte Jackson, the SASHA Farm sanctuary in Michigan cares for more than 200 animals in the heart of the Midwest.
All of the resident animals have come from difficult situations; some were left to die, some were discarded, some were mistreated or neglected. At the sanctuary, they have been given a safe home for the rest of their lives, along with protection and care by staff, volunteers, and veterinarians.
SASHA residents you may meet during your visit include Apple, a cow who was raised on a beef farm before being brought to SASHA, along with her daughter and other cows from their herd. And take a moment to give Gloria the Goat a pat on the nose! Gloria was rescued by Detroit Animal Control in 2014 from a neglectful home before being brought to the sanctuary.
SASHA plans to offer public tours throughout the summer. Check their schedule at the website in order to plan your trip.
Maya Gottfried is the author of books for children and adults, including Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary and Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal.