Posted on Feb 04, 2016
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
I began following The Gentle Barn in 2011. I fell in love with all the animals, and I learned all their stories. Ellie became my new hero, and I admired her immensely. She was living her life the way I'd always dreamed of living mine. I grew up with chickens, rabbits, rats, birds, crabs, fish, dogs, and a chinchilla as pets. I always wanted to be a veterinarian as a child, but I knew that I wasn't cut out for it, so I dreamed of helping animals in need and giving them a forever home filled with love and security. I became an animal rights activist and vegetarian in 1989, and, since then, I have dedicated my life to helping people and animals in need. Thanks to Ellie and the profound influence she's had on my life, I am now vegan and living in harmony with my beliefs. When I heard about Dudley, I was so excited to learn that The Gentle Barn had rescued him and brought him to my home town! I was able to meet Ellie and Jay in January 2015, and that was a dream come true for me. I was in awe. Five months later, my family and I attended the first Saturday The Gentle Barn Tennessee was open to the pubic. I immediately inquired about volunteering, and have spent every week and as much of my free time as possible volunteering, building relationships with, and loving all the animals there. It is my place of peace and harmony, and all is right with the world when I am there. I have also made amazing connections with so many incredible people through The Gentle Barn Tennessee. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity that landed in my back yard, and I feel The Gentle Barn Tennessee has changed my life in so many positive ways. I can't thank Ellie, Jay, Mike, and Andrea enough for letting me be a part of such a wonderfully amazing organization.