Posted on May 10, 2018
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
We have some very exciting news! After searching for almost two years, we have finally found our forever home in Tennessee! According to our model of being in the most populated city in each state, The Gentle Barn should have always been in Nashville. But because of Dudley’s need to be near his UT surgeon, we elected to rent a property in Knoxville to start. When our two-year lease was up, we started looking for land in Knoxville to no avail. After not finding anything that would work, we recently expanded our search to Nashville, and within a few weeks found the perfect place!
Thirty minutes from Nashville, it’s forty green acres of gorgeous land, complete with barns, woods, pastures, a lake, and a house. The cows and horses would live mostly out in pasture except for in extreme weather. They would eat off the land, have plenty of room to explore, run, and play, and we would have room to rescue more cows once we’re settled. The pigs will have an excellent time splashing in their mud hole, rooting up pastures, and playing in the woods. Our birds will explore, chase bugs, and sunbath. The property will be more easily accessible for travelers. We’ll host way more field trips, private tours, and groups of children with special needs. And we’ll be able to open up many, many more hearts.
The only reason we opened in Tennessee was because of Dudley. He was world famous, helped us go national, and put smiles on millions of faces. After his unexpected departure, we got thousands of letters from around the world from people who were struggling with Physical or emotional issues, suicidal, terminally ill, or scared to leave their houses, and he inspired them all to persevere, overcome, and live better lives. He encouraged thousands to adopt plant-based diets, in turn saving thousands of more animals. Once set up, we’ll be able to plant a tree in Dudley’s memory and lay his ashes to rest. And for the rest of time, everything we do, every animal we rescue, every child we heal, and every heart we open will be done in Dudley’s memory and his honor.
We are now in escrow, set to close at the end of June. We expect to build fences and prepare barns in July, move the animals in late July or early August, and open our doors in Nashville in mid to late August, just in time for The Gentle Barns nineteenth anniversary! We need to show proof of funds in thirty days and need your help! Please donate and help us create Dudley’s legacy. We cannot do this without you!