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WATCH: Someone to be Thankful For (A Free-Range Turkey Rescue)

Ask most people about the meaning of the term “free-range” and it is likely to conjure images of an idyllic farm, where animals roam in the outdoors and are treated with great care.

David Phinney, Rescue Ranch Animal Care Coordinator for Animal Place Sanctuary travelled to a “free range” farm to rescue young female turkey who was found in the farm after she evaded her captors the day a transport truck came to haul away turkeys to be slaughtered for Thanksgiving.

When Phinney arrived at the “farm,” what he witnessed was far from idyllic. The facility, like most “organic” or “free range” farms essentially consisted of large sheds, where thousands of birds are packed in, with very little access to clean air or the outdoors. Birds in such facilities often suffer from the same mutilations that occur in factory farms, such as debeaking, dehorning, and castration without painkillers, yet most consumers assume the label “free range” implies a more humane animal product.

“It smells like the most disgusting mix of mold, feces and rotting flesh that you could ever imagine. It’s heavy with ammonia, it burns your nostrils , it burns your mouth, it burns your eyes…it’s just really, really toxic,” describes Phinney in the short video below.

The rescued turkey will spend the rest of her life with 26 other turkeys at Animal Place Sanctuary.

Watch the captivating short film below and have a healthy, happy and cruelty-free Thanksgiving this year!