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Animal Planet’s new series Saved By The Barn offers deep empathy for abused livestock

Saved By The Barn
Animals and humans have a lot in common, more than you think, learn about it on Saved By The Barn. Pic credit: Animal Planet

Animal Planet is going to make you a barnyard loving fool if they can help it with the newly announced series, Saved By The Barn.

The new series was announced today by the network and is slated for an April 2020 release.

It stars former tech mogul Dan McKernan who traded in his fancy city life and went back to the farm and learned a great deal about himself and the world of farm animals.

Why Barnyard animals?

It’s easy to overlook livestock; they aren’t as readily available for most people as a dog or cat.

But people who deal with livestock, such as small family farmers and folks who raise farm animals already know, these barnyard critters can be downright charming and sweet, attaching themselves to humans and other animal species.

If you have ever seen the tuba and horn player and cows video, then you get where I am coming from. In fact, the more people get to see this, the more PETA wins the war against undue animal cruelty. And before you say, “But I love to eat meat,” just consider the possibility that cows, pigs, and chickens have personalities and feelings and emotions just like your puppy dog.

They may not be as fluffy and needy as your pooch, but they respond to kindness and play and have apparent emotions.

It’s hard to look at photos of Philippine whole hog head-to-tail roasted Lechon (chef Andrew Zimmern, cough, cough) after you spend the day playing with a few piglets.

Saved By The Barn premise

Ever work in the office and stare outside, yearning to breathe the air and maybe do something completely different, perhaps with your hands?

Enter tech executive Dan McKernan, who welcomed the chance to trade in a good living for a great and simpler life.

In Animal Planet’s newest series, McKernan kicked his six-figure tech job in Austin, TX, to the curb and left it all behind to take over his family’s 140-year-old farm in Michigan.

What he did with that property was astounding. He transformed it into the Barn Sanctuary, a safe place for rescued farm animals that have experienced abuse, neglect, and worse.

Animal Planet says: “In this exciting new series, audiences join Dan and his family as they learn the ropes of their new life on the farm, give these barnyard animals a second chance at life, and experience the compassion Dan brings to every animal in his care.”

What to expect on Saved By The Barn

You, the viewer, will be front row as we tag along as Dan travels across the USA to rescue barn animals.

We find some Chicago roosters bred to kill each other (cockfights). Plus we meet Charlie, a blind goat and two ducklings who undergo special water therapy.

Also, we get to meet Lola, a goat gifted some prosthetics for her rotted back hooves and many other farm animals that get the opportunity to be integrating into a new life at the Barn Sanctuary.

Have tissues handy as we are guaranteed to fall in love with Dan and his big-hearted family, and to be inspired by these animals rarely given such amazing second chances.

In the premiere episode, you see how the pasture is prepared after a harsh snowy winter in Michigan.

Who doesn’t love a good goat yarn? Dan shows us dwarf goats, Twitch & Portia, and even MORE goats named Steve, Chevy, and Martin, aka The Three Amigos.

No lions, tigers, and bears; It’s just pigs, cows, sheep, and more including one special rescue, Ginger, who needs surgery on her front legs after a birth defect has left her unable to walk.

No dry eyes for sure as Ginger’s amazing transformation from a shy sheep to becoming a part of the pack living the rest of her life on the new pasture will get you right in the feels.

This is guaranteed to be the series to watch with children so that they understand how we are all connected, and how the simplest acts of kindness pay you back tenfold. The way we treat the great and small creatures of the world matters. Dan’s show underscores this fact.

Be there. Animal Planet. Where we connect with our best selves.

Saved By The Barn premieres (and airs) Saturday, April 11 at 10/9c on Animal Planet.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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