Rescued Hens Jetting in Style

Rescued Hens Jetting in Style

1,150 rescued hens flying from California to New York in private jet

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – September 4, 2013 – 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 standard practice for hens after they slow down their egg production. A private donor stepped up to foot the bill allowing Animal Place to fly the hens in a private jet.

Farm Sanctuary has joined Animal Place and nine other sanctuaries in this incredible effort to fly 1,150 hens from California to New York. On September 5 at 7:00 a.m., Farm Sanctuary will be picking up more than 700 hens at the Elmira Corning Regional Airport, and volunteer transporter Mike Stura will be transporting 400 to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary and Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Vine, Sasha Farms, UPC, Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, Coming Home Sanctuary, and Lollypop Farms will be picking up birds from Farm Sanctuary’s Watkins Glen shelter over the next few weeks. Some of the remaining Farm Sanctuary hens will be placed in loving vegan/vegetarian homes, although birds requiring special care due to industry abuse will become lifelong residents of Farm Sanctuary, where industry birds can live to be over a decade old with proper care.
“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.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome these long-suffering hens to Farm Sanctuary,” says Susie Coston, Farm Sanctuary National Shelter Director. “Chickens are smart, social animals, and it’s heartbreaking to think of them suffering such intensive confinement. Here, they will be able to spread their wings, sunbathe, breathe fresh air, and do all the things that chickens love to do.”

The two-year-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 eight days old, the hens had a portion of their beaks cut off without pain relief to prevent fighting in cages. Hundreds of millions of these birds are in production annually, and birds are killed between one-and-a-half and two years of age, only to be replaced by younger birds who then endure the same cycle of abuse.

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 p.m. departure. They will be arriving in New York around 7:00 a.m. 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 – picking up 700+ hens at Elmira Corning Regional Airport
Susie Coston
National Shelter Director

Catskill Animal Sanctuary – taking in 200 hens
Kathy Stevens

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary – taking in 200 hens
Jenny Brown
845-679-5955 (office)
845-706-1151 (cell)

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
About the Flight
Departure: September 4, 2013 at 6:45 p.m. out of the Hayward Executive Airport in Hayward, California
Arrival: September 5, 2013 at 6:55 a.m. at Elmira Corning Regional Airport

Media Available:
B-roll footage of the hens being crated and loaded into the plane is available upon request. Photographs of hens are available upon request.