GENTLE BARN FOUNDATION

Rating: 2.76 stars   79 reviews

Issues: Animals, Children & Youth, Education, Environment, Crime & Law

Location: 6050 Corbin Ave Tarzana CA 91356 USA

Mission: The Gentle Barn Foundation was established after a life-long dream of helping children and animals together. The goal is to teach people kindness and compassion towards animals, people and our planet. With the hands on experience that children get at The Gentle Barn, they learn that animals have feelings and need love just like people do, teaching people to be kind and compassionate to each other. We also want special needs children to have the chance to meet our special, therapeutic farm animals.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

22 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.

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

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 .

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

19 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.

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

I was a volunteer and special person at the Gentle Barn for two animals and worked every Sunday for 2 years from 2009-2011. I would be very happy to attend an open, public discussion with the current staff and Board of Directors regarding financial and animal care records.

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?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

21 people found this review helpful

My name is Louisa. I travelled from London, UK, to Santa Clarita in May 2010 specifically to volunteer at The Gentle Barn. I was very alarmed by many of the things I witnessed and have already given statements to the appropriate persons.

I would be very happy to attend a meeting with Ellie, Jay, an impartial mediator and those of us who have unsavoury experiences of GB, behind the facade.

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?

2010

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

42 people found this review helpful

I feel compelled to write this in response to so many of the five-star reviews being left on this site in defense of the Gentle Barn and critical of past volunteers and employees who are voicing their concerns about this organization's level of care for its animals and its use of donation dollars. In all honesty, if you're forming your opinions from any sort of remote vantage point – animal sponsor, Sunday public visitor, casual volunteer, Facebook fan – you should admit to yourself that you probably do not have the necessary information or insight to refute with any sort of intelligence the issues being raised by those who have been closest to the inner workings of the Gentle Barn.

I was a senior level volunteer there for two years, acting as both the upper barnyard manager and "special person" to Billy The Goat until his unfortunate death last year. I was also a regular donor. If you visited any Sunday between April 2010 and February 2012, you probably met me, even if you don't remember. I think I missed just two public sessions in the yard during my entire tenure as manager. With this in mind, I would like to respond specifically to those comments left here and elsewhere on line in praise of the barn based soley on what a "wonderful" and "magical" experience it is to visit on Sundays and see so many farm animals living together they way they do in the upper barnyard.

I can't begin to count the hundreds of conversations I had with people who were so delighted and so amazed to find themselves in the middle of what I so often heard referred to as "Utopia." Because you just never see goats living with a 1,000-pound pig living with a tiny little hair sheep living with turkeys living with llamas living with an emu living with chickens living with cows. Right? But have you ever asked yourself WHY you never see goats living with a thousand-pound pig living with a tiny little hair sheep living with turkeys living with llamas living with an emu living with chickens living with cows?

Because it is UNSAFE.

It's unsafe for all of the individual animals, for the staff working the grounds, for the volunteers trying to cover such a condensed and overcrowded area and for the public visitors with little to no experience with farmed animals who venture into the space. When you visit other sanctuaries - and I would hazard a guess this applies to ANY other responsibly run sanctuary – you will see the large pigs in their own area and the birds in their own area and the cows in their own pasture, etc. Because this is what is safest for all involved – most especially for the animals lucky enough to be living in sanctuary rather than dying in factory farms. Yes, a 1,000-pound pig should most certainly be able to run as many crazy, joyful circles around his space as he wants. But volunteers should never have to throw their bodies over smaller, more frail animals while he does, in the panicked hope no one gets trampled.

We all must be critical, intelligent thinkers who form our own opinions based on our own experiences. My experiences at the GB – while some were so very wonderful (like falling in love with so many animals and people there who've forever changed my life) – have also unfortunately led me to believe that the safety and well-being of the animals there takes a clearly measurable backseat to the all-important image of Utopia. Because Utopia tugs at the heartstrings. And because these kinds of emotional responses solicit donation dollars. I think – based on my lengthy and very involved tenure there – that the Gentle Barn no longer raises money to rescue animals. I am of the opinion the GB rescues animals to raise money. This distinction is very important.

And this is why (finally coming full-circle to my ultimate point here) I am so endlessly frustrated at such glowing reviews based solely upon the wonderful feelings people have upon visiting the barn. Yes, as farmed-animal advocates we LOVE that you feel so happy experiencing the joy of being around these wonderful souls. But as farmed animal advocates we also know that our own joy should never – EVER – be at the expense of any animals anywhere. In sanctuary especially, the animals must come first. As someone who staffed that yard from a strictly defensive position during my last year (Who can handle the big pigs best and keep them from brawling in such small barns? Who can best manage [cows] Holy and Madonna to keep them from falling in the pig pool and probably breaking a leg? Which volunteer has a strong enough personality to keep people away from any animals who are overwhelmed by the crowds but still make everyone feel welcome? Who can make sure yet another chicken or turkey doesn't get crushed under one of the pigs?), I most definitely believe your happiness visiting there has been granted at the expense of the residents who call that yard home.

All this being said, please know one more thing: We are not a small group of toxic, disgruntled, ex-volunteers filled with bitterness and hate. Our numbers are many and we are compassionate and concerned and – without exception – brokenhearted. Among us are experts in the fields of animal care and advocacy. Among us are college-educated, working professionals with both corporate and non-profit backgrounds. Among us are community leaders and concerned parents and people who LOVE the original mission statement on which the barn was built. We just think the founders have lost their way. And some of us, myself included, are trying to right our own personal wrongs of staying quiet far too long and watching animals suffer because of it.

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?

Some

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

25 people found this review helpful

I understand Darshan Sergi is trying to organize a public meeting with the Gentle Barn! I would love to attend!

My name is Erich Lange and I was a donor, volunteer, special person, served on the committee for the Gentle Barn's first golf tournament, possess a Lifetime Family Membership Card ($1000.00), and rode with Jay to the Planning Department in 2010. I have been to both of their facilities. I volunteered from May 2010 until I was asked not to come back in February 0f 2011. My first visit to the Gentle Barn was to make a $1000.00 donation to help save "60 sad cows". Here are a few questions I would like answered at the meeting:

1. Where is their 2010 IRS Form 990? (update 2/26/13 - it is now on Guidestar)

2. Where is their 2011 IRS Form 990? (update 2/26/13 - it is now on Guidestar)

3. Was the structure they put up on the Agua Dulce property permitted? I can't find a record of a permit.

4. What happened to the 60 cows from their 2010 campaign; the one where they raised $200,000?

5. On their 2009 IRS Form 990, I believe it says they paid $0.00 in salaries. How is that possible with a full office staff?

6. Jay once told me that he and Ellie didn't draw a salary. How did they support a family of 5 with no income?

7. If they weren't drawing a salary, how did they pay for their Las Vegas wedding and their various vacations (Hawaii, etc)?

8 Did their Board meet regularly BEFORE the Attorney General showed up in November of 2011? Do they have the minutes?

9. What does Ellen have to say about the 60 cows that were never rescued?

10. Could we ask to see their personal tax returns for 2010 and 2011 so we can see how they supported a family of five?

11. Were they responsible for my website being temporarily shut down?

12. How many "disgruntled" people did Ellie actually send her "Notice and Warning" to?

13. When the Gentle Barn was in Tarzana(?), was it zoned for an animal rescue?

14. GB faithful have claimed that my posts seeking answers are "filled with lies!" yet I am still waiting to have that claim substantiated. Please ask Jay, Ellie, Mike, Michelle, etc. to compile an actual list of these lies so I can apologize in public at this meeting. In two years the best any of them has come up with is that I had the name of a chicken wrong (the one that was accidentally killed by one of their pigs). The truth is that I have never knowingly lied about Jay, Ellie, or the Gentle Barn.

I hope this helps in preparing a list of questions for the meeting.

Erich O. Lange, P.E.
E-mail: wherearethecows@gmail.com
Facebook: Where are the cows?
Website: wherearethecows.webs.com

Was your donation impactful?

No

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

22 people found this review helpful

My Name is Nikki and I was a special person at the Gentle Barn for a horse named Princess. I was a special person to Princess for almost 2 years. I came to see her almost everyday; grooming her, walking her, riding her, and taking general care of her until I could not take the verbal abuse and prolonged stress I endured from Ellie and Jay any longer...forcing me to leave.
I also donted money for the "60 sad cows" campaign...the same cows that were never saved. I have filed a complaint with the Attorney General and the Gentle Barn is currently under investigation.
I would be very interested in meeting for a public forum to get answers.

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?

Some

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?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

20 people found this review helpful

My name is Kathy Lange. I was a donor, volunteer and a 'special person' to a cow at the gentle barn. I am willing to attend a meeting to hear what Jay, Ellie and the Board of Directors have to say about the allegations made on this and other sites.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful?