Seven courageous sheep are headed to a sanctuary to live in peace after escaping from a New Jersey slaughterhouse.

Passersby noticed the sheep wandering the streets of Paterson and informed police. Officers stepped in to get the animals out of harm’s way and transported the sheep temporarily to the city’s animal shelter, according to news reports.

Animal control then decided the heroic animals wouldn’t be returning to the slaughterhouse and contacted Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue, which gladly agreed to take in the sheep.

As the six sheep were being transported to their new forever home, authorities received another call about a seventh sheep who had fled for his life and was a few miles away in Hawthorne, according to news reports. Officers rescued the last sheep, and soon all seven of the fearless animals were reunited and headed to their new lives where they’d be forever safe.

“If they were going where I think they were going [the slaughterhouse], they would probably be dead by now and put on someone’s plate,” Paterson Chief Animal Control Officer John DeCando said. “But now they’ll live the rest of their lives the way they should be on the farm.”

Skylands Animal Sanctuary will allow the sheep to roam freely across 600 acres of pristine grazing areas. The sheep can now rest knowing their daring journey has come to a fruitful end.

This story of the sheep’s escape serves as a reminder that animals value their own lives and will often do whatever they can to avoid a violent and painful death.

To read more uplifting stories of animals rescued from a horrific fate, check out this article.  And remember – we can save animals bound for slaughter every day just by choosing delicious and kind vegan meals.