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75 Reviews
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March 4, 2013
6 people found this review helpful

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March 4, 2013
6 people found this review helpful

As simply a visitor to the Gentle Barn since 2009, I can say the place definitely isn't creepy at all. Some of these reviews are just bashing the place to bash the place, and they're all under fake names. The volunteers who are leaving their names come off a lot more legit and sound reasonable then the people who keep posting under fake names saying how bad, or good, the Gentle Barn is. Granted, I'm not using my real name either, but I'm not just bashing the place or defending it.

I'm just a fan who discovered the Gentle Barn back in 2009, when they didn't even have a parking lot and you entered on the other side from where you do now. I've always loved it, but the volunteers who have issues and have at least said who they are, are making me second guess things now. I actually recognize a few of the volunteers from going there and was shocked to learn about all the drama.

I would go to the Gentle Barn about 4 to 5 times a year on Sunday. So from the outside, I never really saw anything, other than the few times I watched Buddha really struggle to lay down and you could tell she was in a lot of pain. I loved Buddha but always assumed she had the best care. Same with Josh and some of the older animals. They looked a bit rough at times, but they were old so that's what I chalked it up as. I certainly hope those older animals that have died in the last year were taken care of and not neglected in any way.

The other thing I noticed was that as the Gentle Barn got more exposure from Ellen, the place got really busy and they set up a bunch of new rules. You have to wait now to go to the upper barnyard and listen to Ellie give a speech every time, unless you buy a season pass. Which I did. Her speech is about how the place started, don't chase the animals, and to live a meat free diet. Nothing too crazy but I certainly didn't need to hear it every time I went there. And it does sort of seem that they're trying to get more celebrities like Pamela Anderson or Rose McGowan to attach their name to the place, and then charge $100 to go to parties there. The vibe has changed a little bit due to their fame, but it was nothing I couldn't over look.

I'm kind of torn about the whole thing. I just got a year membership last Summer, but now that I've found out about all this, I'll keep my eyes on it and see on the Gentle Barn reacts to all this. I read they are being investigated and some of the claims the volunteers are reporting definitely need to be addressed.

As a vistior with no knowledge of the inside workings of the place, I'd give it a 5. I've always enjoyed it and had a good time and I love all the animals. But it definitely sounds like there are a lot of legal issues going on and the treatment of volunteers isn't good, so for that I'd give it a 1. The brings my final total to 3.

I certainly hope things work out for the Gentle Barn. If they have anything to hide, the truth will certainly come out eventually. It's really a bummer to see some of these volunteers who were "special people" to the animals be banned from the property. I understand that when you have a business, you're not going to make everybody happy and you might have some disgruntled employees over time. But there are just too many names and too many stories for it to be isolated. And that sucks. And it sucks most of all for the animals. They don't deserve to be stuck in the middle of all this. They've gone through enough.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

March 4, 2013
14 people found this review helpful

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March 4, 2013
14 people found this review helpful

Have you ever been to a place that was supposed to be fun and happy, but it just felt wrong and sort of creepy? That is my experience with the Gentle Barn. It sounds so good. I love the idea of rescued animals all happy and healthy, but that is not what I found. Some of the animals were great, but some of them were so unhealthy that I think they are being exploited long past the time they should have been released from their pain. There was a red cow there that made me want to cry. How could anyone force this poor guy to keep living? If this cow was my dog, I would have had him euthanized.

And there is something wrong with the people too. I can't really describe it, but something is definitely wrong. It sort of reminds me of a secret society that my friend tried to get me to join back in college. People don't talk freely, and they are always on the lookout to see if they are being watched by anyone else in the secret society. This place felt like that. Creepy. I won't be going back. There are other petting zoos I can take my little girl to visit.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Somewhat badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

March 4, 2013
12 people found this review helpful

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March 4, 2013
12 people found this review helpful

My name is Kim Grass, I volunteered and then worked in the Gentle Barn office in 2009 and would be very happy to attend an open, public discussion as Darshan proposes with the current staff and Board of Directors regarding financial and animal care records. I have high aspirations that the Gentle Barn philosophy and vision will grow into a real (legit) functioning non-profit to help animals and children alike. Having the current management answer the many questions about animal care and financial records that keep coming up could clear up many unanswered questions and possibly help to bring the Gentle Barn to a better place.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Somewhat badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 27, 2013
22 people found this review helpful

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February 27, 2013
22 people found this review helpful

I volunteered for over 2 years and was banned because my taste in friends was not up to Ellie's liking. Not sure why that is any of her business or why this would interfere with my taking care of the animals, but in her mind I guess it was. I helped out with the horses 3 to 4 days a week. I was a " special person" to one horse in particular for the entire time I was there as well as supplying arts and crafts projects for their Sunday events. When I first started there I felt like I had found the most wonderful sanctuary in the world. I would feel at peace the moment I went through those gates. I made wonderful friends who's friendship I cherish to this day. This is the way I wish it had stayed, but unfortunately I started to see that things were not what they appeared to be. Most of the volunteers were afraid of Ellie and I soon found out why. If you ever were to question her or try to tell her about something she would become a whole different person and not a person you would want to see or deal with. This is not a good thing when the welfare of animals is at stake. I soon started finding out that the stories we were told to tell about the animals were not exactly truths. I put up with this and decided to stick it out as long as I could, because at this point I was completely in love with these animals and felt like they needed my protection. Then animals started dying and more lies were being told about what had happened to them. Animals were not getting proper vet care and more and more of my friends were being banned for standing up for these poor creatures. Ellie and Jay believe that they have the animals welfare as their top priority, but I beg to differ. Who gets rid of loving, caring people who devote their free time to take care of these animals? Who love on them day in and day out for no other reason than to make the animals happy. Jay and Ellie obviously don't care about the animals when they drive away all the people who loved them. They obviously don't care how the animals feel now that their "special people" no longer come to visit. That was not even in their minds when they started driving out all the devoted volunteers.
I will gladly go to an open forum where Ellie and Jay can show us proof that these animals are all cared for properly and the money is going to the organization and not into Ellie and Jay's pockets.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A little

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 27, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

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February 27, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

This is such an amazing place!!! After visiting The Gentle Barn for the first time on a Sunday, I knew I wanted to volunteer there. I spoke to Ellie, the founder, and started the process to become a volunteer. That was 2 1/2 years ago and I have been volunteering ever since. I believe that Ellie truly loves animals and has made caring for them her full time job. Most people say that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, but I think The Gentle Barn is the happiest place on earth.

The Gentle Barn is an organization that rescues animals from abuse, neglect, slaughter, you name it. Although they primarily rescue farm animals, I have never seen them turn away any animals that needed to be rescued; including dogs and cats. These animals get to live the rest of their lives in a happy and loving environment. This organization is staffed with people who truly believe that all animals and people should be treated with kindness and compassion. We need more places like The Gentle Barn in the world.

On Sundays, the property is open to the public. For a $10 minimum donation, you can visit The Gentle Barn and meet the animals and hear their stories. There are cows, horses, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and llamas that you can meet.

While most of the people that work at or visit The Gentle Barn are vegans or vegetarians, they do not force veganism on anyone. They do ask that you not bring food made with animal products to their property out of respect for their work and respect for the animals. I wouldn't show up at your house eating your dead relatives so I think this is a fair thing to ask of visitors. If you want to have a bacon cheeseburger after you leave, that's your business.

The Gentle Barn also does so much more than open their doors to the public on Sundays. The Gentle Barn is host to abused children, kids recovering from substance abuse, kids on probation and in foster care, and children and adults with mental, emotional, and physical challenges. Through their interactions with animals, children and adults learn forgiveness, courage, strength, leadership skills, trust, empathy, and kindness. The healing that takes place when people get together with the animals is miraculous. I have been able to witness some of these interactions firsthand, and it is truly a beautiful thing to see.

When LA County Animal Control officers shut down a backyard butcher, they brought all of the animals to The Gentle Barn. I have seen animals so sick I did not think they would live, and they have made full recoveries. They use eastern and western medicine, reiki, acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, algae, massage therapy, energy healing, animal communication, and so much more to help heal the animals. It is such a blessing to be a part of the solution.

Volunteering isn't for everyone, but you should definitely come and visit on a Sunday and see what The Gentle Barn is all about!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 27, 2013
23 people found this review helpful

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February 27, 2013
23 people found this review helpful

My name is Ligaya and I, along with my family, volunteered at the barn from 2008 to 2011. I’m not bitter, I’m not angry. Jay and Ellie were never mean to us. What I am is sad. Sad for my daughter who lost faith in “good” people. Sad that she had to witness an unwillingness to take action for an animal that even she, at the age of 13, knew was sick. Sad for her that she lost a horse that she loved so much due to lack of care for a disease that a young horse, however hard their life had been previously, should have recovered with aggressive therapy. I have my proof but I’m still willing to sit down at a meeting and let them speak and show me that I’m wrong.

Here’s what I want proven: Why won’t local vets work with the barn? What did Halo the calf really die from? Why isn’t he on the memoriam page? Why, when my daughter had been stating for 3 weeks that he was sick, didn’t anything get done till he was down and couldn’t walk? Where are the papers on Mamma Dear showing her age and her original race name? We were told in the beginning that her race name was Ima Dear. When she came to the barn she immediately took to Addison the donkey and adopted him thereby receiving the name Mamma Dear. Upon further research, I found that a race horse name may only be used once. According to the Thoroughbred Database there was a horse named Ima Dear born in 1965. Well, we know that can’t be her. That would have made her 46 years old. Then, there was Ima Deer, born February 6, 1999. But Mamma Dear’s birth date on her stable card showed her birth year as 1990. Error? Possibly, except that we were told that she was 19 when we started working with her. So that means when she was put down in 2011 she was only 12. Is that why she fought so hard? It would have been great to have had a pic of the tattoo under her lip showing us all who she really was. By the way, if she was Ima Deer, she foaled a mare in 2006 and her name is Irukandji.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 26, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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February 26, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

We have attended the gentle barn on numerous occasions and have always had a great time.
The place is a haven for animals of all kind .
Their rescue work is nothing short of miraculous .
We bought a yearly pass and look forward to our next visit there.
The volunteers are always
knowledgeable and friendly.
Thank you for the work you do!
The Schneider Family

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 26, 2013
15 people found this review helpful

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February 26, 2013
15 people found this review helpful

My name is Laura and I was a volunteer in the upper barnyard for a year and a half, with some of that time being served as Barnyard Manager.
Contrary to what the positive reviews are saying, we are not a few disgruntled haters spewing venom. We write because we care about the animals and we
care that people are being duped by the front that is being presented by Ellie and Jay.
Knowing one thing to be true and then hearing the "stories" that come from the barn is nothing short of disgraceful.

I'd be happy to attend any public meeting. Good luck Darshan. I hope it comes together. It needs to.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A little

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 26, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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February 26, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

I have volunteered at the Gentle Barn for a while. It's a great place for all the animals and kids groups that come through there. It's sad to see so many ex employees and persons who were kicked leave negative comments on here just to feel like they are getting revenge .
Because that's all it
is.
I understand Erich Lange opened his own "rescue"
So it seems perhaps his concerns are a bit self serving.
Imagine if people you fired in the past could leave reviews on your company page.
Plus Erich and others just use different emails and continue to leave the same ranting over and over.
What good would it be to the gentle barn to have a forum with a bunch of ex employees and people who are up to no good?
Who would ever do that.
What I suggest is come to the gentle barn and see for yourself .

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 26, 2013
14 people found this review helpful

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February 26, 2013
14 people found this review helpful

My name is Krystina Saavedra. I volunteered for the Gentle Barn for 15 months. I was also employed for 8 months of that time. I served as Executive Assistant to the President. I would be happy to attend the meeting Darshan proposes.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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