My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Gentle Barn Foundation, Tarzana, CA, USA
My name is Erich Lange and I was among the first volunteers to be banned from the Gentle Barn. But I was first and foremost a DONOR.
My initial experience with the Gentle Barn was in 2010 from a forwarded e-mail my wife received regarding the emergency rescue of 60 cows. To view a posted copy of that e-mail go to: http://www.lizardmarsh.net/2010/05/los-angeles-county-ca-sixty-sad.html
Up until that time I had never even heard of this organization. My wife and I were so taken in by the story that I stopped by their facility in person the following day, called the number on the sign, and was met at the gate by office staff member Darshan Sergi. I presented him with a check for $1000.00 and wrote on the comments section "Cows" (in reference to the 60 cows). He asked if I wanted a tour of the facility and I said no, I just wanted to help save those 60 cows. A more complete version of our stories can be found on my website: wherearethecows.webs.com
To this date, I still don't know what happened to the cows. While some of the other posters here may be "disgruntled" volunteers and employees, I would classify myself more as "one pissed-off donor"! We did become volunteers, fully believing are donation was going toward rescuing the cows, and spent roughly 8 months there before we were asked not to come back. The last time we were on the property and saw the animals we loved was on February 24, 2011, two years ago today. Not so happy anniversary :-( .
So, by now most of you know that the Gentle Barn is under investigation. This is not a "lie" or "false statement". I have spoken to the lead investigator and his assistant at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General. As horrible as some of the stories posted here are regarding animal neglect and mistreatment of volunteers and staff, I believe the reason for this particular investigation is in regard to the use of foundation money for personal purposes by the founder and her husband, and for fraudulent fund-raising practices.
I'm sure it is difficult for readers of these reviews to figure out what the truth is. Seriously, have you ever seen any other organization's reviews that seem to be either all good (5 stars), or all bad (1 star), with very little middle ground?
I have been attempting to sort out the truth for two years and have compiled a lot of information. I will be discussing what I have learned on a Facebook page called "Where are the Cows?" and also (eventually) in my book that goes by the same title "Where are the Cows?". Please join me on Facebook if you are interesting in finding answers. Answers that we as donors, former volunteers or employees, not only request, but demand. Answers and information you probably won't find on the Gentle Barn's Facebook page or their website.
Posted in honor, truth, and integrity,
Erich O. Lange, MSCE, P.E.
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