More from “Northern Virginia

Two lucky young turkeys were saved from the Thanksgiving dinner table this year and for the rest of their lives, all due to Peaceful Fields Sanctuary

Once animals are brought to the sanctuary in Winchester, they are there to stay.

“This is their forever home where they live out their lives, they are not used in any shape or form, they are not exploited or killed, they just enjoy the rest of their lives,” said the founder, John Netzel.

The 501-3C non profit was founded five years ago, and since then Netzel has been able to save almost 100 animals. His most recent rescues are the two turkeys, who at only six-months-old, are lucky to be alive.

“They were actually slated to be slaughtered today. They were rescued and saved and removed from the turkey farm in the Frederick Maryland area yesterday,” said Netzel.

Netzel was contacted by a member of the public, who didn’t want to imagine the two turkeys being on someone’s dinner table in just two days and thanks to their quick action, the turkeys will enjoy Thanksgiving and the rest of their lives at the sanctuary. 

“They are going to be extremely thankful and that’s kind of what the holidays are all about, being thankful and appreciative for what you have and for having friends and family, and turkeys have friends and family as well,” he says.

And if they didn’t have friends before, they have plenty now. 

“They have a lot of chicken friends that they are going to be having fun getting to know as well as ducks goats, sheep, pigs, cattle,” said Netzel.

Netzel says a majority of turkeys are raised at factory farms, crammed in small spaces, and don’t normally get the chance to go outside. 

“For these turkeys here, that potentially is the first time they’ve seen sunlight, and the first time they’ve felt grass at their feet,” said Netzel.

He hopes that as people educate themselves on how turkeys are treated, less of them will be the center of Thanksgiving meals.

Netzel says turkeys can live for years with the right care, but are usually slaughtered before they reach six-months-old.