| 2 min read | by Lonnie Huhman, |

The Barn Sanctuary and Ugly Dog Distillery are partnering on a very unique gift drive this holiday season aimed to help make this winter a comfortable one for a special group of animals.

Throughout the next few weeks, Ugly Dog Distillery is hosting a charity drive for the Barn Sanctuary in an effort to collect gifts for the Barn’s care team and the rescued animals at the sanctuary to put under their holiday tree.

A good cause holiday drive inside the Ugly Dog Distillery. From left: Ugly Dog manager Rob Mida, Barn Sancuary founder/president Dan McKernan and its Executive Director Kelly Holt.

For Ugly Dog, this collaboration and drive is a first for them, but it’s one they hope is successful and can be continued into the future.


Ugly Dog Distillery Manager Rob Mida said they pride themselves on supporting all things local, whether it is with the staff, which is basically all Chelsea residents, or where it gets supplies, such as down the road at Agricole Farm Stop. He said the Chelsea community is lucky to have such a cool and important place like the Barn Sanctuary.

“This is a no-brainer for us,” Mida said of the gift drive.

According to its website, the Barn Sanctuary was established in Chelsea on McKernan Drive in 2016, in pursuit of, “a lofty mission to change the way the world views farmed animals by rescuing, rehabilitating abused and neglected farmed animals in need.”

The Barn Sanctuary provides a loving home specifically for farmed animals because farmed animals are the most abused and neglected group of animals in the world. It is home to over 100 rescued farmed animals including: cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, sheep, and goats.

“Every rescue at Barn Sanctuary is treated as an individual, deserving of empathy and respect,” its website states in telling the Sanctuary’s story.

It is a non-profit organization, so donations and the generosity of others plays a big part in helping it to keep its mission going.

Its founder and president Dan McKernan said they are very appreciative of the help from Ugly Dog to offer up its location as a place to collect gifts. He said the winter months can be a challenging time for the care team and animals, many of which have special needs, so the support is always something they are grateful for.

“This is great to be working with a local business like this,” McKernan said and added they hope to develop other local partnerships as well because, like Ugly Dog, supporting each other in the community is important.

So if you’re feeling even more giving this holiday season and want to support a cool, local service then go to Ugly Dog and drop off an item or send it there. It’s located at 218 S. Main Street in downtown Chelsea and is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, noon to 2 a.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. It’s closed on Monday.

Here’s the list of items the Barn Sanctuary is in need of: feeding pans, 8 quart, heavy duty rubber, 2 gallon buckets, impact resistant plastic, Durable large 12″ mixing and serving spoons, Goat and sheep hoof trimmers, VetWrap – self-adherent cohesive bandaging tape, Gauze – rolls or pads, medium and larger, Nitrile disposable gloves, medium and large, Structural screws, 10 by 3 1/8″, Large heavy duty screw hooks, 3.3″, Fence and deck screws, 2″ #8, corrosion resistant coating preferred, Fence and deck screws, 3″ #9, corrosion resistant coating preferred, Zinc-galvanized steel carabiner spring snap links, 3″, All weather outdoor heavy duty duct tape, Industrial ultra heavy duty UV cable zip ties, 11-12″, Gift cards to Chelsea Lumber Company, Tractor Supply and Family Farm and Home, Young pig food –  Mazuri Mini Pig Youth Diet, dried meal worms, All species electrolytes and Bales of hay or straw.