Animal Place spearheads the rescue of 3,000 hens from a caged "egg-laying" hen farm
Flies 1,150 out to east coast sanctuaries for the first ever flight of adult birds

A big thank you to the generous PR firm Evolotus for helping spread the word about this incredible effort.

September 7, 2013- watch our Hens on a Plane Coast to Coast Airlift video!

September 4-5, 2013 - The hens departed Hayward at 7:15 pm and after a turbulent flight arrived safely at Elmira, New York at 6:30 am Thursday morning.

Want to help?

1. Sign up for our Sanctuary Sweets recipe list and help cut eggs out of your diet. We'll send you a vegan breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipe weekly.

2. Apply to adopt one of the 2,000 + hens still at our Grass Valley and Vacaville sanctuaries. 

3. Leave a positive comment on one of the MANY news stories (this is just a sampling)! SFGate, Fox40, CBS San Francisco, News10 Sacramento, NBC New York, UPI, The Guardian, Christian Science Monitor, MarketWatch

September 3, 2013- 

Check out our FAQ regarding this flight.

1,150 hens are flying in style from Animal Place sanctuary in California to New York for permanent placement. This is the first time in history a private plane has been chartered to fly hens from coast to coast. The hens are part of a group of 3,000 Animal Place saved from gassing at a California egg farm. A private donor stepped up to foot the bill allowing Animal Place to fly the hens in a private jet.

“This is the first time adult birds have ever been flown across the country,” says Kim Sturla, Executive Director. “A generous donor offered to fly the hens across the country and we jumped at the opportunity.” 

The 2-yr-old white leghorns are from a battery cage egg farm where they lived in cages so small they couldn’t stretch their wings. When they were 8-days-old, the hens had a portion of their beaks cut off without pain relief to prevent fighting in cages.

The hens will be carefully loaded at Animal Place’s two facilities in Grass Valley and Vacaville, then trucked to the Hayward Executive Airport for a 6:45 pm departure. They will be arriving in New York around 7 am on the 5th.

Nine sanctuaries and shelters will be taking in the 1,150 hens, adopting them out or keeping them permanently at their refuges.  The remaining 1,850 are available for adoption through Animal Place in California. Those interested in adopting can visit

“These hens have been through so much,” says Jamie London, Animal Care Director, who will be accompanying the hens on their flight to New York. “And like dogs saved from puppy mills, these hens have been liberated from a life of misery and will enjoy the rest of their lives in peace.”

Sanctuaries and Shelters Involved

Animal Place – rescued 3,000 hens from gassing, coordinated flight of 1,150 hens to east coast
Marji Beach
Education Director
Animal Place
Grass Valley & Vacaville, CA

Farm Sanctuary – taking in 500 hens
Susie Coston
National Shelter Director

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary
Jenny Brown
845-679-5955 (office)
845-706-1151 (cell)

Catskill Animal Sanctuary – taking in 200 hens
Kathy Stevens

Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, Inc. – taking in 200 hens
Annette Fisher
330-281-1387 (cell)
330-296-5914 (office)

UPC – taking in 50 hens
Karen Davis

SASHA – taking in 100 hens
Christine Wagner
Assistant Director

Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester – taking in 80 hens
Joanna Dychton
Farm and Safety Manager
585-223-1330 x 266

VINE – taking in 20 hens
Miriam Jones

Coming Home Animal Sanctuary – taking in 6 hens
Laura George, DVM
Executive Director

August 29, 2013 - 

We are excited to announce that 1,150 of the 3,000 hens saved will be jetting in style across the country to sanctuaries and shelters on the east coast! A private donor is footing the bill, ensuring that no money is taken from the care of the animals at the sanctuary. Animal Place will be flying the hens out September 4th with a New York arrival on September 5th. 

Check out's story and please share! covered the story, please leave a nice comment!

August 16,2013 - Here are some of the hens dust-bathing for the first time. This is a highly instinctual behavior that the hens could not perform inside their 12"x16" cages.

August 10, 2013- A photo of one of the hens. Many of these hens have severe de-beakings, some so severe that a portion of their tongues have been cut off.

August 7, 2013 - Watch the hens walking on earth for the first time

Read Education Director Marji Beach's experience at the farm

August 6, 2013 - Read some experiences had by intern and temporary animal caregiver Anna Spitzer and volunteer Roni Seabury.

July 29, 2013 -

From cages to homes and sanctuaries, Animal Place secured the release of 3,000 hens from a California "egg laying" hen farm. For two years, these hens have lived in cages. Now they will be free with the help of Animal Place and our partnering shelters and sanctuaries.

Over two days (July 29th, July 30th), Animal Place staff, interns, and volunteers pulled hens from their cages and transport them to our Grass Valley sanctuary where they will receive around-the-clock care. A thousand hens will go to our Rescue Ranch shelter, where they will be welcomed by 580 hens from another battery caged "egg laying" hen farm. After they are health-checked, they will be transferred to other sanctuaries, shelters, or permanent homes.

"For more than two years, these hens have only known the small space of a cage", says Marji Beach, Animal Place Education Director, "Now free they will touch the grass, feel the sun, and stretch their wings for the first time." The hens arrived with severely overgrown toe-nails. All had been de-beaked, in which a portion of their beak is cut off without pain relief.

In 1-2 weeks, a thousand will fly to New York to be welcomed by sanctuaries and shelters on the east coast including Catskill Animal Sanctuary, Coming Home Animal SanctuaryFarm Sanctuary, Lollypop Farm, and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

The Sacramento SPCA, Sonoma Humane Society, and the Marin Humane Society will also be accepting hens. Sanctuaries up in Oregon and Washington will also be taking in hens, including Lighthouse Farm Animal Sanctuary, Wildwood Farm Sanctuary, and Pasado's Safe Haven.  

The large scale of this operation has only been possible with the shelter and sanctuary community coming together to help. 

Animal Place is no stranger to large-scale hen rescues. Last year, we spear-headed the rescue of 4,460 hens from Turlock, California where two farmers left 50,000 hens without food for more than two weeks. Over a year, we placed most of the hens we rescued into permanent homes through our Rescue Ranch adoption program.

Since 2010, more than 8,000 chickens – most from egg farms – have been saved and rehomed, avoiding unnecessary slaughter thanks to Animal Place's Rescue Ranch.

The farm, which will remain confidential, reached out to us after receiving a packet of information on our Rescue Ranch program…which asks egg farmers to relinquish custody of hens instead of sending them to slaughter. To date, this is the largest farm that has agreed to release birds to our sanctuary.

While we work towards the end of farmed animal exploitation, when we can help the nonhumans already in existence, we will do so. 

You can help:

Donate towards the care of the hens! A bag of chicken feed is $18 and will feed hens for a week.
Apply to adopt some of the hens! Fill out a form here. There is nothing more special than providing a loving, permanent home to these incredible hens.
Volunteer to help care for the hens at our Grass Valley and Vacaville shelters. Or, want more in-depth volunteering? Apply for our internship program and stay here to help!
Make the kind decision to keep eggs off your plate! Sign up for our Sanctuary Sweets list and receive a weekly vegan breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipe!

Media Inquiries:

Photo opportunities of the rescued birds available at our Grass Valley and Vacaville sites. 

Marji Beach
Education Director

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