The Gentle Barn rescues animals from severe abuse and neglect who are too old, sick, lame, or scared to be adopted into homes. We are sanctuary to horses, donkeys, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, llamas, peacocks, emus, cats and dogs. Once rehabilitated, the animals help us give hope and inspiration to children with the same stories.
Ellie Laks founded The Gentle Barn in 1999; it was a dream of hers since she was seven years old. Animals were always very healing and nurturing to her as she faced the challenges of growing up, finding herself, fitting in, feeling understood, etc. She majored in special education and psychology, and with her special love of animals and children, The Gentle Barn was a perfect way of putting all her talents and passions into one.
Jay Weiner joined The Gentle Barn in 2002 as a volunteer, but fell in love with the place and the two joined forces to heal even more children and animals together. Like Ellie, Jay also turned to animals for the support, love and nurturing he needed as a child.
The Gentle Barn started on a half-acre property in the middle of the San Fernando Valley, CA. In 2003 Ellie and Jay moved The Gentle Barn moved to a six-acre paradise in Santa Clarita, CA. The property is complete with large horse and cow pastures, a red and white barnyard for the smaller animals, an organic vegetable garden, lots of shade trees, and a panoramic view of gorgeous mountains. Their over one hundred and seventy rescued animals are safe and happy at The Gentle Barn, and there is plenty of room to welcome their visitors and the children they host.
In 2015 The Gentle Barn opened it’s second location in Knoxville, Tennessee. It is their goal to open Gentle Barns in every state so that everyone in America can hug a cow, cuddle a turkey, give a pig a tummy rub, look into the eyes of these animals and know for certain that we are all the same, and deserving of the same rights, respects, and freedoms. Since its inception, The Gentle Barn has been home to hundreds of animals and host to over 400,000 people.
Thank you to my guest, founder Ellie Laks...come to the barn and see for your self :)