John Netzel’s 13-acre backyard is not only his sanctuary, but it is where over 80 animals have come to rest and retire.

“I get to learn about them and their individual personalties, and they get to do the same with me, so like i say it’s like having a very large family or living with a very large group of best friends, basically.” Netzel says. 

Five years ago, Netzel opened Peaceful Fields Sanctuary to do his part in saving the thousands of farmed animals that die each year due to neglect and abuse. Netzel says many farmed animals are looked at as objects with only monetary value. 

“As a living being they have value and it has nothing to do with money just like us… They want to be free to enjoy their lives and have a good time, and eat , and they all have personalities.” he says. 

He says some animals end up at peaceful fields and other rescues because  people buy animals as a gift, a gift  they can’t afford, or don’t have the time to take care of. 

“A lot of times its rather impulsive where folks, non farmers will get animals.” he says. 

 Or they don’t do their research. 

“Even the legality issues, because in a lot of urban ares, having backyard chickens is becoming fashionable , but still in a lot of urban areas its illegal to have roosters.” he says. 

Each day, Netzel gives food, water, medical care and lots of love to the sanctuary chickens, sheep, goats, a horse, a donkey and pot belly pig. Netzel, who grew up on a farm, says helping animals is his true passion 

“The difference between it being just too much work in general and something your passionate about something you love, if you love it you want to do it.” he says. 

And although Netzel loves saving and caring for the animals, he hopes that there will be no need for the sanctuary. 

“Were one of the few fields that we go out of business.” Netzel says. 

If you’d like more information on how to help the animals housed at peaceful fields, visit