Posted on Aug 26, 2014
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
The Gentle Barn was my dream since I was seven-years old. Animals were always my best friends and confidantes when I was a small child and when I grew up I wanted to have a place to heal animals and love them as they have always healed and loved me. I started The Gentle Barn in my small half-acre backyard in Tarzana, California after finding an abusive petting zoo and bringing some of the sickest and weakest ones home with me. I kept bringing animals home from that petting zoo until one day I looked out my window to the back yard and realized I had started The Gentle Barn. It has been a wonderful journey from then to where we are now. We have had very hard times of not knowing where the next bale of hay would come from, we had to move, evacuate from a fire, we have rescued animals from all over the country, we have had thousands of school field trips, and we have worked with thousands of at-risk, inner city, and special needs kids. We started with a hand full of animals in a small backyard and we now have 170 animals who have all been saved from the worst situations imaginable and are now living in paradise with their every need met.
I am so very grateful to all the people who support The Gentle Barn: our staff who work tirelessly for our cause, the volunteers who are so dedicated to the animals, the board of directors who are the very backbone of the organization, the donors who enable us to do this work and without whom we could never have done so much, and to my family and, especially, my Jay who helps me live my dream every day! I feel so blessed to be living my vision and going to work surrounded with my best friends, the animals. They have taught me so much! They have demonstrated forgiveness, courage, trust, and unconditional love, and inspire me every day to be a better human. I look forward to many more years of service, devotion, and hard work saving animals, helping people live healthier lives, and being an ambassador for our Mother Earth.
Thanks to all of you for being a part of our gentle family!
Written by Ellie Laks
Founder, The Gentle Barn