Last week 50,000 hens were discovered, one-third of them dead, at an abandoned property south of Modesto, Calif.
The property was rented to A&L Poultry and used as an egg farm. Citing a spike in the cost of corn, Stanislaus Animal Services Agency estimated that the hens had not been provided food or water in two weeks.
It is expected that farm owner Andy Keung Cheung will be prosecuted on charges of animal cruelty and neglect. The living hens were in dire condition and set to be euthanized.
Immediately upon hearing the news, Animal Place and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary took action to rescue the thousands of hens that showed hope for survival. Initially the rescue groups were denied access to the property, but pressure from the public as well as organizations such as Farm Sanctuary, who are slated to welcome some of the surviving hens to its Glenn County location, convinced the Animal Services agency to allow rescuers onto the property to save as many of the birds as they could.
The two organizations coordinated the heroic rescue of 4.460 hens who are now recovering due to the loving care of those at Animal Place, Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary, and other organizations including Save the Cocks in Paso Robles. This is not the end of the story. These hens are still facing an uphill battle, many of them requiring feeding tubes or specially prepared food. As you can imagine, this is a massive undertaking for their caregivers who are working around the clock to ensure that these brave birds have top-notch care.
In order to rehabilitate these hens, the organizations need feed and helping hands. Animal Place is posting periodic updates on their website with pleas for you to play a role in helping these hens. Please consider volunteering if you live in the area, or donating to the cause if you can afford it. If you’re in Portland, attend the Emergency Turlock Hen Rescue Benefit Day being held on Saturday. Be sure to sign the petition calling for Andy Keung Cheung's prosecution and spread the word about this story and the incredible work these organizations are doing to ensure the rescued hens live a long and happy life. Remember, eating eggs and other animal products contributes to horrific cruelty like this. Please consider eliminating these products to make the world a better place for these and all animals.