A few years back, Daniel McKernan quit his job in tech to start an animal sanctuary right here in Michigan. They've saved more than 500 abused and neglected animals! The nonprofit was recently featured on Rachel Ray's TV show.

Check out the full segment below!

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Dan McKernan Runs Barn Sanctuary in Chelsea, Michigan

This isn't Dan McKernan's first time on television - you might recognize him, and his Chelsea Mich., rescue, Barn Sanctuary, from the Animal Planet TV show, "Saved by the Barn".

Or maybe you follow Dan or Barn Sanctuary on social media - I do have to say, the photos they share are SUPER adorable!

Barn Sanctuary, Facebook
Barn Sanctuary, Facebook

Before all that though, back in 2015, Dan was working in as computer developer in Austin, Texas.

As Dan tells it, he liked his job and made good money, "but I knew working behind a computer screen was not what I envisioned my life to be."

A few different things coincided to change Dan's course. He adopted a vegan, plant-based lifestyle and says, "I was eager to do more than just keep animals off my plate," and,

I consumed Gene Baur’s book ‘Living the Farm Sanctuary Life’ on the weekend, and I admired the selfless life he chose for himself.


Gene is the founder of the largest farm animal sanctuary, Farm Sanctuary, and I am humbled to have him as a mentor and friend.

His dad then called asking what to do with the 140-year-old family farm in Michigan.

Dan shares what happened next,

I obviously didn’t want to sell the historic family farm to a large corporation, and that’s when I decided to trade my good living for a great life. I’m fully committed and all in when I have my mindset on a goal.

I quit my tech job, returned to the farm in rural Michigan, and turned my family’s centennial farm into a sanctuary for farm animals in need of a forever home.


Barn Sanctuary, Facebook
Barn Sanctuary, Facebook

Creating the Barn Sanctuary hasn't been an easy task. Aside from the struggles of reviving a farm that had sat dormant for 30 years, starting a charity, and the heartbreak and hard work that comes with animal rescue and rehabilitation, Dan has also been open about his own struggles with depression and anxiety. You can read more of McKernan's journey here and here.

He says, "Barn Sanctuary saved me."

Dan McKernan, Facebook
Dan McKernan, Facebook

Michigan's Barn Sanctuary Featured on Rachael Ray Show

On May 3, Dan appeared on Rachael Ray's TV show to talk about Barn Sanctuary and his new children's book "The Farm is a Family."

On the show, Dan talks about the more than 100 animals that live at the farm - donkeys, cows, goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, pigs, cats, and more.

He also shares the mission of Barn Sanctuary,

What I hope everyone can learn from Barn Sanctuary is that farm animals are unique, whether it's a chicken or a turkey or a goat. They feel emotions just like people do. By respecting farm animals every day, you can protect the Earth and really make a difference in this world.

The Rachael Ray Show and one of their sponsors Arrowhead Mills, gave Barn Sanctuary a $10,000 donation to keep up their incredible work!

If you'd like a copy of Dan's book, it's on sale now at Amazon and other retailers.

We can also visit Barn Sanctuary in person! The farm opens to public tours this month.

Want to work at Barn Sanctuary? They're hiring paid summer interns, a Programs and Community Manager, and an Executive Director.

LOOK: Stunning animal photos from around the world

From grazing Tibetan antelope to migrating monarch butterflies, these 50 photos of wildlife around the world capture the staggering grace of the animal kingdom. The forthcoming gallery runs sequentially from air to land to water, and focuses on birds, land mammals, aquatic life, and insects as they work in pairs or groups, or sometimes all on their own.

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