The Gentle Barn is a wonderful organization. The founders and staff truly love animals and have the experience to rescue and rehabilitate them while giving visitors a positive educational experience. I also love their programs for helping children through gentle interaction with the animals. The facilities are professionally and responsibly maintained giving maximum benefit to the animals. I am a supporter and enthusiastically recommend support of this organization without hesitation.
Review from Guidestar
Tired of rumors, I researched and they ARE BEING INVESTIGATED by the ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE as allegedly, the founder and her husband took money from the charity...
If you look at the public filings, they justify it by claiming they took no salary but what they spent on themselves far exceeded a salary according to the Attorney General who wouldn't be involved if it wasn't serious. Look it up! I heard they 'lawyered up' so it appears they are fighting the investigation.
It appears they didn't have a functioning board but formed one for the investigation but chased that board out (who wanted them to be accountable) and brought in their friends.
In my opinion, the whole thing is terrible and where there is smoke, there is fire. The AG office doesn't waste their time unless there is solid evidence.
The Gentle Barn are so great. I'm so happy that there is a place like this for animals to be rescues and rehabilitated. I have friends who volunteer there and have been there myself and just love it. Ellie is so kind, and I am enamored by how magnanimous the Gentle Barn is.
I've known about the Gentle Barn since 2001. I live in the area and run non-profit Animal Advocates. I've visited other farm rescues such as Farm Sanctuary Los Angeles. I also read their book "The Gentle Barn."
Few days ago the person who runs it posted she found a baby squirrel. She said she contacted all the wildlife rehabbers and they all told her to "just let it die." She then said "At Gentle Barn, no can do! Please, give us money to care for it."
I am the closest licensed wildlife rehabilitator to the Gentle Barn. She did not contact me. I offered to take it and no response. I emailed and posted. I have never ever told anyone to just let an animal die. All of her Facebook fans were saying "what horrible rehabbers!" "evil people!"
Then she posts another pic of the baby squirrel stating the wrong age, condition.... She obviously knows nothing about squirrels. She again asked for money for the baby. A baby squirrel would probably eat maybe $2 worth of food while one raised it for release.
I again offered to take it and told her one needs permits to have wildlife or else it's a felony. She then deletes my posts and bans me from the page. She then tells me she gave it to a licensed rehabber but would never say which one. I called them all. None of them were contacted by the Gentle Barn. I now believe there was never a baby squirrel ever just like there were never 60 cows needing rescue.
If you search Google for "Gentle Barn" and "squirrel," you will see a blog post with more information, photos, documentation of the many, many problems with this non-profit. They make up stories about fake animals that need donations for medical care, rescue. They live off the non-profit with three kids yet don't take a salary. Tax evasion? They raise money to build barns which they never built. They spent donations on an expensive wedding in Las Vegas. They are allowing animals to breed. They don't always give the animals proper care. If you question them, you will be banned from the property.
They are being investigated by the state Attorney General and the IRS. They were sued by two ex-employees. All of this is public information.
It breaks my heart when people put this magical place down. First most, not all, of the negative reviews have come from a group of ex-employees and volunteers that were not doing what was best for the barn and were asked to leave. Do you really want to read a review from someone who is only being vindictive? I have been volunteering at The Gentle Barn since April 2011. I volunteer in the upper barnyard during the week and as the manager on Sundays, as well as with new rescues and the cows. The experience has been nothing if not life changing. Ellie and Jay are two of the most caring, compassionate, giving people I have had the honor of knowing. The animals are well fed, well cared for, and very loved. They always have clean water, plenty of food, a clean place to sleep, plenty of love, and medical care when needed. When a sick animal is reported care is immediate and thorough. The vet comes first but no expense is spared in using alternate therapy along with vet care to increase healing and quality of life.
All I can say is WOW! I don't where a lot of these other reviewers went but the Gentle Barn I've gone to with my kids is NOT the same place. The place we go is great. Its educational. They don't try to push anything on you and I was really surprised how good the veagan food was. It was awesome to watch my kids learn about the animals and the plant diet without feeling like we were being scared into the lifestyle with horror stories of factory farming and animal abuse. They have a very gentle approach to educating the public. As far as doing it for the money is concerned, how much do you think it would cost to feed 170 farm animals! Its not like you can go to Walmart and pick up food for them all! And that's not counting the medical expenses - these animals have not come from the best of places and were not all treated with rainbows and daisies! I commend them for what they have done and continue to do and hope I can bring my family here for many more years!
I have a great deal of respect for the way that the Gentle Barn is run. The Gentle Barn's treatment of the animals that have been lucky enough to find a home with them has been exemplary in my nearly two years of experience of volunteering with the organization. I work directly with the animals up to four days a week, so the alleged mishandling and misconduct that has been reported on this site would be obvious to someone in my unique position if it had actually occurred. I would not hesitate to report abuse of any kind if it were a reality. I've worked in the non profit world for the bulk of my professional career, and disgruntled volunteers and ex employees are an unfortunate commonality no matter the organization or cause. I find it very sad and suspicious when people who once lent their time and effort an organization later seek to destroy it. Other non profit organizations should take note of these disgruntled people because I suspect that they won't be happy volunteering or working with any organization. My hope is that they will soon find something to fill their emptiness other than hate.
Review from Guidestar
I have been coming to this wonderful place for upwards of 5 years with my family. The animals are well cared for and the people are extremely friendly. I have never felt intimidated or harassed and have had interaction with several volunteers as well as Ellie and Jay during visits. They obviously care deeply for each and every animal and the families who come here.
A friend told me about this site and the horrible things that have been said. I know people who volunteer here and friends and family who sponsor animals. Not everyone is liked... that's a part of life. I think it is unfortunate though that disgruntled ex-volunteers and staff have nothing better to do in their lives than to spread so much hate about such a great organization.
I have seen posts by and don't know who this Eric Lange person is but whatever his personal agenda is, he should not take it out on the animals and that is who it affects in the end. I have been told he has his own animal rescue that he is shaping it in the image of The Gentle Barn. If The Gentle Barn is so awful, why try to create a duplicate? I think its shameful to malign another charitable organization to further your own.
God Bless The Gentle Barn!
Still no changes at The (UN)Gentle Barn, just more slander of former employees and volunteers. Well, maybe there is a little more oversight now that they are under the scrutiny of several entities, including the CA Attorney General. I won't mention who all the others are, surprises are fun.
Since I left the barn, a number of animals have passed away, though old, their last days could have been eased if egos were not in the way, if people who claim to talk with animals had actually been listening to what they had to say. GB forgets that we have eyes and ears in the community, people willing to visit on Sundays, for years, write fake(positive) reviews to keep the wool pulled over the lamb in wolves' clothing's eyes, and even daily 'volunteers'.
Why does GB delete posts from people asking questions? From people asking for accountability? Things GB should want to leap to do, in order to prove they are legit? Is it possible they are not, in fact, honest?
So you believe in the people running GB 100%? Ask them for their IRS returns, and see if they give it to you. Ask them to their face about the 60 cows. Ask simple questions that should be no cause for alarm, including how all monies are spent. The public has a RIGHT to know, as the money comes from the public, the organization owns all the animals, including the dogs and cats in the house, as they are publicly funded, and the public has a RIGHT to information and accountability. It is silly to believe a non-profit just because it tugs on your heart strings. Remember, PT Barnum is credited for saying "A sucker is born every minute", though that was actually said by David Hannum. But many people believe the first thing they hear.
My name is Wendy. I volunteered at The Gentle Barn for about 3 years, from early 2009 until February of 2012. I worked with the first set of 6 veal calves, then worked as a horse groomer, then trained new horse volunteers, and facilillitated the program for adults with special needs who came to groom horses. I was also a Sunday horse manager for 2 years.
I would absolutely love a public forum meeting where the staff and board can speak for themselves and show us all the documents that will set our minds at ease and end these arguments.
I have been a big fan of The Gentle Barn until the last few days.. Several had asked questions for Worthy who was born with Windswept angular limb deformity which should have been corrected when she was a newborn. Worthy is now a yearling and it is now a complicated surgery.
They deleted my post along with others who just asked reasonable questions about Worthy
I only supported them because of Ellen DeGeneres..this was my post I posted under the picture of Worthy below.
I know for a fact there are Veterinarian teaching schools that would waive the fees for surgery. I hope with all my heart that Worthy Thrives and I don’t feel Summer was being mean or hateful as some of you have accused. I think people that own horses and love them know that to thrive for a horse might mean something completely different then your perception of thriving, especially if you have little knowledge of horses. If you just think about it for a bit. Horses thrive by grazing, by keeping up with the herd, Worthy is not very old, still a baby. She will eventually gain more weight, which will become the deciding factor as to whether she thrives. Yes it is very sad when you have a horse with leg and hoof injuries. Because their legs and hooves are priority in a horses life span.
I support the Gentle barn‘s ambitions, but when they ask for money donations, I think their replying to some of the concerns and questions about Worthy is only fair in return. Now a days people and non-profits have their hands out everywhere you go.
I had a filly many years ago born with a double knee and I did reply to the posts out of curiosity as to the prognosis in the beginning with Worthy and I was interested in who was doing the surgery because I do know several Equine Orthopedic Surgeons . My father and Grandfather were large animal Vets. My background is in Rehab for racing Thoroughbreds. I have read others posts requesting the same information. That does not label us as Anti-Worthy by no means. I would think it is because we care and maybe some have the funds to cover your needs but are business people who dot their i’s and cross their T’s before they hand out funds. Nothing wrong with that. I think the remarks towards those with questions or opinions were tacky and uncalled for. My best to Worthy #Ellen DeGeneres