Posted on Aug 24, 2017 | Comments (0)
What began as a childhood fantasy and a temper tantrum to my parents has now blossomed into so much more than I had ever hoped. Rescuing animals has always been something that just ran through my veins. 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, their pain was my own, and I had to help them. Bringing home animals caused friction in my household as my poor parents had their hands full with the three of us kids; taking in animals was just too much for them. No matter how much I begged or pleaded on behalf of a chicken, rabbit, dog, cat, duck, or turtle, that animal was ushered out of the house as soon as I was at school. Coming home to find my new friends gone caused me so much pain I thought I would die. Out of that agony came the outburst: “You’ll see, when I grow up I’ll have a big place full of animals and I’ll show the world how beautiful they are!” It is such an amazing feeling to finally be authentically me with no roadblocks. No one at home to tell me I cannot bring in a lost animal, or spend money on an injured one. I have no one to tell me that I’m crazy or to stop my nonsense. When an animal is in trouble, with the help of our staff, volunteers, donors, and sister organizations, I get to choose to help. I finally know who I am, I am on track fulfilling my life’s purpose, and it feels amazing!
The Gentle Barn started with rescuing over a dozen animas from an abusive petting zoo. Over the last eighteen years we have gone on to do many more amazing rescues! We rescued four veal calves from Texas who were dying. We raced them home to California to get the care they needed and they are now living in our barnyard, huge, gorgeous, healthy, and happy as can be. We’ve rescued veal calves who come in more dead than alive. We work so hard to breathe the life back into them, and after months of vet care, Sun Chlorella, and love from our staff and volunteers, seeing them run and play for the first time never gets old! We rescued over sixty animals from a back yard butcher, over two hundred dogs from a hoarder, and even revamped an entire pound in Ohio. We’ve placed animals in homes all over the country, and brought hundreds of animals into our own family. We have done impossible surgeries on animals no one thought would live, only to see him or her gallop and thrive. We have worked tirelessly with feral dogs and cats to get the honor of cuddling with them for the first time. We have rescued senior animals at the end of their life, so that they could transition in our arms with dignity and grace, instead of at the cold hands of a stranger at a shelter. We have stayed up many nights to witness a pregnant rescued animal give birth and promise them that their baby would never be taken away from them!
There have been times when this work has been so hard on my body, and I have been so physically fatigued, that I wondered how much longer I would be able to do this. There have been times when I was so crippled with the despair of losing an animal that I thought I could not go on. The thing that keeps me going is the joy, hope, gratitude, and love in the eyes of each and every animal we have saved. The image of each of their eyes is seared in my memory forever; all I have to do to see them is to close my own. The animals we have rescued have inspired me to be a better human being. They have taught me so much about life and about myself. They have healed me right back. I would do anything for them, and will work for them till I draw my very last breath.
While Jay and I are in the trenches doing this wonderful work, it is you who have made it possible. We would have no barns or fences, groups of kids or rescues without your support. Thank you for donating, for following us on social media, for volunteering, for visiting, for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers, and for loving animals as much as we do! You have enabled me to live my dream. You have made it possible for animals to find goodness again. You have funded a place for children to find themselves. Thank you for enabling us to expand to Tennessee and to be changed by Dudley forever. Thank you for enabling us to open in Missouri and to save the St. Louis Six. On behalf of every single animal we have ever rehabilitated, thank you for giving us life! Thank you for eighteen magnificent years!