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  

4 people found this review helpful

I am another happy donor. I heard through the grapevine that runs rampant in the animal rescue community that these negative postings are from a very small disgruntled group of volunteers who ganged up and one is actually suing the Gentle Barn for a lot of money, trying to make a big buck on the backs of abused children and animals. It seems this person has their own ego involved and is putting it ahead of the well being of the animals and kids this organization helps. Time and resources allocated to the animals and children are now being squandered on this nonsense and a lawsuit because some control freak didn't get their way and felt slighted. This is all about money b/c this person is trying to line their pockets so in my objective view, I side with the Gentle Barn because this loses all credibilty for me. I know who this person is and they've actually been to my house at a fundraiser. I also know Jay and Ellie for the same reason. I work with several animal groups and know many people and this community has lots of squabbling and control issues and I've actually seen people put their own egos in front of the animals because they think they know best and know what is best for an animal over others. And this is another case of that. These few people come on and post using different screen names because they are intent on taking the GB down. I wonder why there are no new postings? Maybe b/c the lawyer told them to stop in order to make more money and preserve their lawsuit?? Who knows. There are a few people who have been sucked in by this small group who had valid concerns and are decent people but just didn't understand all the facts like Ellie loaned the GB $800K or more of her own money to keep it going and build it so maybe she tried to get paid back? I don't know but there are a few bad apples in this group influencing the other decent people with lies and then the whole thing snowballs and festers with synergy. They are led to believe that the Farm Sanctuary will 'take over' and the animals will be better off. But this is not true because the numerous donors who give to the GB are not going to suddenly start donating to the Farm Sanctuary so this will be the end of funding that could be helping more animals and children therefoe less animals rescued in the future, etc. This is a destructive effort at the expense of many animals, present and future, as well as many abused and disabled children getting help if these people get what they think is best and the GB closes. No one is going to magically take over and keep it running. No one knows how to do what Jay and Elly do or have built successfully for years. That's why there is so much jealousy. Most people would love to have accomplished this but don't have the skill sets that it takes. I've heard both sides and have spoken to people on both sides and I think this is a big mistake. In my opinion, Jay and Elly have made some mistakes and are not perfect but this hateful attempt to close the GB is outragious and cruel and at the expense of the animals and kids.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

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

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

27 people found this review helpful

This organization is currently under investigation by California Attorney General for financial fraud. Today is May 14th, 2012 and yet Guidestar does not have tax information for The Gentle Barn for 2010 or 2011 yet. This is due to the fact that the organization has yet to file their tax documents for 2010 or 2011. Do your homework before you consider giving money to this organization. It seems they are in some very troubled waters and there is no way to know how it will turn out.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Remove the leadership (Officers and the current Board of Directors) and replace them with a functional board and leadership.

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

Badly

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

A little

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What is unique about this organization?

They have a truly inspirational business model. If run correctly, there is terrific potential in the vision.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 1 stars  

23 people found this review helpful

When I first went to volunteer at the GB I was elated. I had found my peace and my passion. A place where I can give and receive love. The people that were there were also fantastic. After a while when the rose colored glasses came off, I began to see what was some of the worst behavior I could imagine. The owners Ellie and her husband Jay are on a whole other planet. I planet where they are the be all end off knowing everything. They live way outside their means for a non profit salary. A boat, a wedding in Vegas , a housekeeper, lavish stuff for the kids, that believe me spared no expense. Or did it? Yes the expense of the animals. They are so delusional to think that supplements will make everything better. I have never seen so much neglect of animal care in my life. The suffering and miserable existence that some of these animals endured was horrific and when brought to their attention we were made to feel stupid and unknowing. These 2 people have NO business doing what they are doing and should be ashamed of themselves they way they treat these animals. As volunteers most of us have left , not so much of the way of how badly they treated us but the animals. Most people would wonder why we stayed but we were all worried sick for the animals we came to know and love. The evil that resides in the minds of those 2 people is unreal to me. They are not the people they portray and eventually the world will see it, just as the community there has. Their reputation w the businesses where they are located is bad...they have alienated everyone because they think they are untouchable. The animals are a reason to have that place exist and they are the reason anyone should be there. DO NOT give $$$ as it DOES NOT go to animal care, it goes to the owners. This is not a lashing out as a disgruntled volunteer its a cry for help. They must be stopped for the sake of the animals.

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?

None

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  

26 people found this review helpful

My concern with the Gentle Barn is the complete lack of financial oversight. They have a board, but have never had a board meeting nor produced any board minutes. They use Foundation monies for personal reasons regularly - for vacations, for their boat, for their kids, and to pay for their family therapy sessions. I believe that they do some good work with the animals and with their programs, but until the financial aspect is corrected, I would not donate money to them. Donate your time - that goes right to the animals, but your money may very likely not go to the care of the animals at all.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

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?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

26 people found this review helpful

During my time at the gentle barn I have been verbally attacked and cussed out by Ellie, I have seen Jay whip a horse with a rope for no real reason and I have been asked to lie more than once. They are evil money hungry people who treat the volunteers and animals with no respect! Jay is really good at selling the sob stories of himself and Ellie and the animals. DONT BELIEVE HIM. I was involved there for three years and have never seen people lie about so many things. Many of the animals there are not even really rescued, they are pets that Elli and Jay decided to take in. They say they are kind and loving yet they treated me with no respect and screamed and cursed at me until I cried. They cant even produce simple answers, I asked Elli many times how old Zoe was(a horse at the GB) and she responded that she lost the paper work. Seems a little sketchy to me. Then there are the even more simple questions, where are the cows? where are the barns? who is on the board? Please do not waste any time or money on this organization. There are many real rescues that need your help.

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?

None

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

24 people found this review helpful

I would be very interested to knowing exactly who these secret board members are. To date no one has ever heard of them except the previous reviewer. Surely, the names of the board members is not top secret is it? And to the other volunteers that keep talking about how wonderful and peaceful The Gentle Barn is, it is wonderful and peaceful on the surface. As long as you don't get to close and you don't know too much, you will be fine. Once you get below the surface you see the problems. One problem you really want to stay away from is Ellie and her temper. She is a verbally abusive crazy person. So sad to see. I thought for sure she was mother earth when I got there. Boy was I wrong. Such a disappointment. And for the record, I have a very full and busy life and have found someplace else to volunteer at in addition to school and work and family so I'm not sitting around with nothing to do but some things are worth shining a light on.

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?

None

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: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I am very close to someone who is on the board of The Gentle Barn and I am a donor as well as a fundraiser for charities including the Gentle Barn. I've worked with them for years and watched them grow since inception. These posted allegations prompted board members, myself and fellow donors to investige the matter. We demanded transparency as none of us were happy with what we read here nor do we wish to donate into such an alleged situation. We discovered the postings are by ex- volunteers who are angry at the Gentle Barn for personal reasons. They are not on the board or even deeply affiliated hence they have limited access to detail regarding these matters . I can understand why certain issues appeared questionable to an outsider but when we approached them with credibility and demanded transparency, we were obliged. We not only confirmed these allegations don't correlate with the examined facts presented but we learned some surprising information. Though I don't have the right to disclose the information provided without obtaining permission-I will confirm that regarding the 60 cows and barns incident, there is a credible information as to what happened and I will ask permission to post the variables as I would like to see resolution for those who are concerned. I can assure legitimate explanations as to the alleged financial accusations- there has been no immoral activity such as theft or using funds raised for charity on personal usage. In fact, though I am not at liberty to disclose details, I was astonished by certain aspects of generosity that enabled the Gentle Barn not only to exist but to flourish and the extent of hardship and risk so given at times would be nearly impossible to recoup based on what we witnessed. According to what I've seen in the animal rescue community, there seems to be a frequent occurance of personal conflict I find baffling and I've concluded there are those who are prone to jealousy, control issues, and outright drama- unfortunately at the expense of the animal's well-being and/or the functionality of organizations. I became invested in The Gentle Barn as I watched it unfold and will never forget how the abused children from group homes responded to the animal therapy. I was amazed at how this program helped these at-risk and abused kids in conjunction with at-risk animals . The place is magical and likened to heaven by the work it does. These people work so hard for little to no compensation compared to industry standards. Frankly, I'm appalled at how this misperceived resentment has catapulted into such damage when such lack of justification is apparent based upon my objective pursuit of the truth. I cannot believe people could literally have vested interest in tearing something apart without absolute substantial fact to justify it. It's baffling how defective human action can be during the reckless pursuit of revenge. The grounds are spotless, well-groomed healthy animals approach strangers with no fear only to give unconditional love to needy and broken children yet a shortsided view can be blind to see the truth in just that one lonely variable... I'm speechless and left wondering what is wrong with some people? Don't they have better things to do? Like go volunteer someplace else? Or are they so caught up in 'self-absorbtion' that they can see that there is more that matters in the world besides themselves??? Or what really matters in life???

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

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

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I think it is sad that disgruntled ex-volunteers feel the need to spew such poison about such a great organization. I love The Gentle Barn. The animals are amazing and the grounds are spotless. They obviously care deeply for each and every animal and the kids who come there too. I don't know of any other organization that does the kind of work they do. I get happy every time I drive through those gates and know I get to spend time with the animals. I feel like my work there really helps them and helps kids too. How could you not like a place like that?

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?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 1 stars  

28 people found this review helpful

Please read the September review here first! It pretty much sums up the REAL Gentle Barn. The previous poster appears naive. All of us so called 'haters' actually love the mission statement of the Gentle Barn. We just don't like getting scammed. The staff IS friendly. The facility IS nice. They DO rescue animals. However, there is little to no accountability at this place. Concerned donors and volunteers voice their concerns on Facebook on "Gentle Barn Concerns". Until they clean up their act, I do NOT recommend donating to this organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Volunteering

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Change the leadership and provide transparency.

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

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

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

I donated to save 60 cows and build barns nearly 1.5 years ago. Neither has happened and information regarding their fundraising has been removed from their website.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

To save 60 cows!

What would you tell others about this organization?

Stay away until they clean up their act.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I have to disagree with all of the negative reviews of The Gentle Barn. I love The Gentle Barn, think Ellie and Jay are amazing people. The staff and volunteers are so generous . The mission is beautiful. I guess you don't make a difference without getting haters. These reviews sounds like disgruntle misplaced crazy people. I understand you are hurt, but lashing out on every forum possible is crazy talk. Move on, make a difference and stop going after people who are making a huge difference.

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?

2011

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