The Gentle Barn has turned 18 and continues to celebrate its mission and message of spreading compassion and hope for animals around the world from its current locations in Santa Clarita, California, Knoxville, Tennessee and the newest animal sanctuary set to open September 24 near St. Louis.
“What began as a childhood fantasy has now blossomed into so much more than I had ever hoped,” said Ellie Laks, founder of The Gentle Barn.
“Rescuing animals has always been something that just ran through my veins,” she said. “From the time I could walk it was not something that I chose to do, it was something I had to do! When I saw an animal lost or injured, I could identify with their pain, and I had to help them. Now, when an animal is in trouble, with the help of our staff, volunteers and donors, I get to choose to help. I finally know who I am, I am on track to fulfilling my life’s purpose.”
In the photo above, Founder Ellie Laks and Co-Founder Jay Weiner are pictured with Rascalina at the recent anniversary party, where hundreds of visitors came from all over the country to recognize the many milestones achieved by The Gentle Barn.
The Gentle Barn began in a half-acre backyard in Tarzana, Californi in 1999. Since then, The Gentle Barn has evolved from being an animal sanctuary into a national, non-profit foundation based on the concept of adopting a more compassionate attitude towards all living beings and our planet.
Of the many programs and milestones of The Gentle Barn, here are a few of the most important achievements so far: rescuing and providing sanctuary to abused and neglected animals; shutting down a large backyard butcher; starting a Peace Enhancement Program through LAPD’s Youth Division; starting an Emergency Animal Rescue Service to serve Los Angeles County; rescuing 500 animals from a hoarder in Lancaster, California; organizing an Annual Holiday Giving Event in South Central Los Angeles; promoting the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet; opening a Gentle Barn sanctuary in Tennessee; and opening a third Gentle Barn sanctuary in Missouri.
The Gentle Barn Santa Clarita is open Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Private tours and events can be scheduled in advance by emailing email@example.com.