Posted on Feb 07, 2019
The heart of our work is animals, and the heart of caring for them is hay. We take in animals who are too sick, too scared, too lame, or too old to be adoptable anywhere else, and we exert enormous effort into helping them recover and enjoy the life all animals deserve. Many of our animals did not get the care, food, water, shelter, or love that they needed, and the key to helping them recover is giving them those things. When we take in an animal who has been abused or neglected, feeding them fresh, organic hay not only fills their bellies, but shows them that at The Gentle Barn they are cared for and nurtured, and from there they can start building trust.
When an animal is being starved, they spend most of the day looking out of their enclosures wondering if food is coming. The ache in their bellies worsens until days later they stop watching and hoping and resign themselves to die. Once at The Gentle Barn, we need to show them that food will always come, and they will never have to wait or wonder. We feed our animals at exactly 7 in the morning and again at 4 in the afternoon, and they will never have to wait, even for five minutes. This consistency helps them settle into the barn, recover physically, and start paying attention to other things, like friends, trusting people, and playing, sometimes for the very first time.
We can easily give them shelter in our barns, clean water from our well, love through the gentle hands of our staff and volunteers, but we need your help to give them fresh hay to fill their bellies and their hearts. Hay, feed, and vet care are the largest part of our budget and for the month of February; we are raising funds to cover our vet bills, buy feed, and purchase trucks of hay for all three locations. In the dead of winter, where the grass is dormant in Missouri and Tennessee, we need it now most of all. Thank you for being our valentine, donating to our hay campaign, being part of our gentle family, and loving animals with us!