The Gentle Barn, the Santa Clarita-based national non-profit organization that rescues and heals abused animals and works with at-risk and special-needs children, has opened a new Gentle Barn in St. Louis.
With operations in Santa Clarita, California and Knoxville, Tennessee, The Gentle Barn is now serving animals and kids in three states.
The new St. Louis Gentle Barn sprang up suddenly, as part of the organization’s effort to rescue six cows that escaped from a slaughterhouse there.
The Gentle Barn’s Jay Weiner and Ellie Laks, with ButterCup the Cow, display the results of their GoFundMe campaign in St. Louis.
In a 23-day emergency GoFundMe campaign, The Gentle Barn received $400,000 in donations from 5,000 people from all 50 United States and more than 40 countries, enough to purchase property where the cows could live out their lives peacefully.
Along with thousands of public donations, Gentle Barn received matching contributions of $50,000 from a couple of supporters that jumpstarted the $400,000 GoFundMe campaign.
“Chico, Spirit and their brothers are very special animals with an incredible message that has resonated with people around the world,” said Ellie Laks, founder of The Gentle Barn. “We’re so excited to create a location in St. Louis and want to thank everyone who has continued to the campaign. The cows will become ambassadors in Gentle Barn’s program and will help children and adults break through emotional barriers. What a dream come true.”
The St. Louis Six – escaped cows rescued by The Gentle Barn in St. Louis.
Celebrities and athletes close to Gentle Barn, David Backes, Richard Marx, Daisy Fuentes, Tori Spelling, Rick Springfield, and Dodgers stars, Clayton Kershaw, Brandon McCarthy, Chris Hatcher and Rich Hill contributed memorabilia and shared the campaign through social media in support of raising the funds to purchase the property and to support the additional $200,000 for start-up costs.
“It is life changing to be witness to these sentient beings who deserve freedom and to live their lives without fear,” says Jay Weiner, Co-Founder of Gentle Barn. “What a special day the grand opening will be when we can bring the community in to experience the magic of these animals.”
You can support the opening of The Gentle Barn MO and help name a cow by visiting http://www.gentlebarn.org/stlouissix. Use the hastag #stlouissix in social media.
About The Gentle Barn
The Gentle Barn is a national nonprofit, founded in 1999 as a safe haven and place of recovery for abused animals. Gentle Barn offers their unique philosophy of rehabilitating animals and connecting their stories of survival and healing to the experiences of children who have suffered any type of trauma. By interacting with the animals and taking a hands-on role, those who participate in the programs learn empathy, trust and forgiveness.
Photos courtesy The Gentle Barn.