Compassionate Farmers Convert Chicken Farm into Animal Rescue and Sanctuary

It’s hard to imagine that just a few years ago the Halley family was raising close to a million chickens a year for Pilgrim’s Pride—one of the largest chicken producers in the United States. Today the Halleys are focusing on hemp farming and rescue opportunities that save lives rather than take them. 

The Halley family founded the rescue nonprofit Let Love Live in 2018. The organization works with local animal shelters and rescue operations in Texas and neighboring states to find long-term homes for horses, dogs, and farmed animals. In 2022 Let Love Live has rescued more than 1,150 dogs, and its staff has driven over 100,000 miles transporting the dogs to their forever homes all around the country. 

For 30 years the Halleys raised six flocks of chickens a year—192,000 birds per batch—in 12 factory-style sheds at their family farm in Cookville, Texas. Yet when faced with mounting financial and health troubles from chicken farming, Bo and Sam Halley decided to give up raising birds for good.

Farmers know more about the food system than anybody, and they want to be part of developing a more sustainable one. Mercy For Animals’ Transfarmation project offers a way for farmers to become part of the solution. With support from Transfarmation, Bo and Sam teamed up with their sister, Devvie Deany, and her partner, Evan Penhasi, to switch to growing hemp and rescuing animals.

Transfarmation recently gave a grant to support the expansion of Let Love Live. The Halley family plans to set up rehabilitation housing for donkeys on the family’s former cattle pasture. Partnering with Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, Let Love Live will house up to 150 donkeys while they rehabilitate and socialize before being adopted out by Peaceful Valley. This means that land formerly home to misery and suffering can now bring new hope to animals in need.

The Halleys are documenting this new part of their rescue operation to serve as a model to other farmers wanting to save animals’ lives. Please consider joining Mercy For Animals in supporting the family’s efforts to help companion and farmed animals.

Eager to learn more about our work to transition farmers away from animal agriculture? We’d love to hear from you! Visit to tell us why you are interested in Transfarmation.

*Bo Halley died last year, leaving a legacy of change and hope to build on, not only for his family but for other farmers seeking a better, more sustainable way to support their families and communities.