Our Mission

Chester’s Barn is a 501c3 non-profit animal sanctuary, respite care, and therapy visitation program. Our mission is to provide a loving sanctuary, educate on animal care, good farming practices, and how animals help us. Our commitment is to be compassionate toward all beings especially those most vulnerable that don’t have a voice. Saving lives one animal at a time.

Some of the animals get to go out on therapy visits. The animals are often rays of sunshine and improve emotional and social well being of those they visit. Chester’s Barn is committed to making our world a better place for both critter and human. We visit nursing homes, schools, shut ins, and businesses. 

We will accept animals, when space allows. We cannot take in everyone but the ones we take in become family, and we do everything we are capable of to give them the best life possible.


Benefits Beyond the Barnyard

Chester’s Barn is also committed to human health wellbeing. Science demonstrates that pets, either large or small can help alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Interactions with animals can help people manage their long-term mental health conditions. The bond between human and animal is enormous and can lead to many mental health benefits.

A tribute to a kind soul that left us too soon.

Rich Wagner Jr shared a special bond with Hershey. If it wasn’t for Rich’s kind heart, Hershey’s walk on earth would have ended years ago. Rich sold his Dairy farm in Skaneateles, NY and was re-locating to another state. As he watched his herd sell, there was one special cow that he could not part with. Hershey! She gave the best kisses and she meant the world to Rich.

She is forever homed at Chester’s Barn until her time is up. Rich lost his battle with cancer in 2023 and the day he passed away Hershey was not her perky self, she was sad, depressed, and sullen. Did she know, could she feel that something bad had happened? Animals and humans have bonds that are hard to comprehend yet closer than some human to human relationships. Hershey attended her soul mates funeral via zoom in her pasture. 

Thank you Rich for saving Hershey. Goodnight for now until we meet again.

In Memoriam

Rick Janssen shared a special bond with one of our rescue horses, Sammy. Sammy intuitively knew that Rick was disabled and was both extra gentle and attentive to Rick. Sammy and Rick each benefited from interacting that day.

We sadly lost Rick on May 17, 2022, but memories of him will last forever. This visit was a true reflection of the kind of reciprocal love and compassion that’s shared between animals and humans. It’s a wonderful connection of unconditional love. We know how to love unconditionally because an animal has taught us.