Dan McKernan knew he and the rest of the Barn Sanctuary team had to leap into action when he heard about the "egregious" conditions that animals in Nash County, North Carolina were being subjected to before police intervened. McKernan, who left his six-figure tech job behind to transform his family’s 140-year-old farm in Michigan into a rescue, gets the heartbreaking call in a PopCulture exclusive preview of Animal Planet's all-new episode of Saved by the Barn Saturday.
The call comes from Kim Alboum from the Humane Society of the U.S., who relays the story of the animals left in squalor in the Nash County property, including one found dead at the end of a chain. "There were dogs and cats and goats and chickens and pigs all in absolutely egregious conditions," she tells a distraught McKernan. "When I hear about a cruelty case that's this severe, my protective instincts just kick in," he tells the camera of his strong reaction. "If Barn Sanctuary can't help animals in this awful situation, then what are we even doing?"
While local law enforcement did file charges against the people responsible for the animals, and local rescue groups were able to swoop in and save the majority of animals, there was one massive group left unaccounted for — more than nine wayward pigs in need of capture before they could be taken from the scene. "It's gonna take a team to get them out," Alboum said.
"It's really hard to get a pig to go where it doesn't want to go. So it totally makes sense that they're the animals that the authorities could not capture," McKernan explained of the huge and stubborn animals. While his rescue could take in maybe five pigs longterm, he promised to get all the animals secured and out of the bad conditions with the help of his team.
"Thankfully we just opened up a brand new pig barn, Pig Palace," McKernan said. "Having this facility means that we can probably take a few of these pigs from North Carolina but I'm gonna get every last pig off that property because the living conditions are just terrible."
Will Barn Sanctuary be able to save these pigs from such a horrible situation? Don't miss the rest of the adventure on Saved by the Barn, airing Saturday at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet. For more from PopCulture on Animal Planet's latest programming, click here.