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Gentle Barn Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal Services, Animals, Children & Youth, Crime & Law, Education, Youth Violence Prevention

Mission: To rescue, rehabilitate and give sanctuary to abused animals. Through the interaction with our animals, people learn reverence for all life.

Programs: Educational programs were designed to foster in children a sense of respect and responsibility towards animals and each other.

Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

34 Sheri73

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

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


General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I've been to the Gentle Barn multiple times. They take very good care of their animals and, if you subscribe to their newsletter, they are constantly providing updates on the animals they rescue both their medical condition, treatment and emotional health. I'm very confused as to why someone would describe it as creepy. There's nothing creepy about it. The space is bright and wide open. They provide educational sessions and family friendly events. They shelter the newest animals they've rescued from the public and existing animals until they are healthy emotionally and physically. I've been very impressed. Oh, and this is an animal rescue organization NOT a petting zoo. They rescue animals from those horrid petting zoos.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

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.

2 Katarina F.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is one of the most wonderful experiences. I have taken my daughter her many times, both individually and with her school. We have had the BEST time ever and everyone was so nice and welcoming. It was only $10.00 to gain entrance (which goes to supporting the welfare of the animals). We were able to play with the animals, brush a horse, and pet a pig's belly! It was the most fun we have had. It was also very clean and the animals were obviously very well cared for. I definitely will go many times again! Thank you Gentle Barn!


General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

As animal advocates and educated individuals, it is our responsibility to vet the organizations we support. It is our responsibility to hold them accountable to the highest standards – for the good of both the animals in their care and the overall health of the animal rescue community. We must question everything we read and everything we are told and not allow ourselves to fall victim to emotionally manipulative stories and photographs. And we must never, EVER allow the truth to be manipulated in any way. For all the animals we have ever loved, for all the animals who have made it to sanctuary and, most of all, for the millions and millions who NEVER WILL, we must endlessly seek the truth in every situation and live by our highest ethics.

If you are not allowed to ask questions, something is probably wrong. If the dates don't add up and the math doesn't work, something is probably wrong. If you're involved with an organization where you are not sure where the money is going, or where animal care seems negligent in any way, if that little nagging voice in your head starts saying something seems wrong...you are probably very right.

In April 2012 a popular animal sanctuary in Santa Clarita, California took in many severely abused animals from local authorities following an investigation of a now convicted backyard butcher. As quoted by the sanctuary's founder at the time of rescue, the animals were "...emaciated, malnourished, scared to death, they have infections, open sores, are infested with parasites, their eyes are infected causing blindness, their noses are runny and they have hacking coughs. They have high fevers..."

Over the past few weeks this sanctuary has been announcing births from some of the sheep rescued in last year's operation. This may bring joy to your hearts, as a lamb born into the safety of sanctuary is always wonderful news, but if you take a moment to research the gestation period of sheep, that joy may not be long-lasting. The gestation period for sheep is 145 days.

These sheep were rescued in April 2012 and started giving birth in January of 2013, which means they were impregnated six months after being brought to sanctuary.

Either this sanctuary is grossly unskilled at detecting the differences between male and female genitalia and, as a result of this ignorance, were not able to separate them at the time of rescue, or they simply allowed these sick and terrified animals to breed.

Evidence of neglect in basic understanding of reproduction and healthcare, or blatant breeding of rescued sheep should bring us all pause.


UPDATE 2/18/13: The sanctuary in question has responded to inquiries about the birth of the lambs with the following (names redacted):

"(......) policy is to never breed, if we have room for more animals we want to rescue them, not make them. When we rescued the animals from the backyard butcher, (......) was a tiny baby and when he was a couple of months old it was time to neuter him but he was very sick and the vet said we needed to wait to he could get stronger. we were going to separate him from the others but the vet assured us that he was too young to do anything. We neutered him when he was only 4 months old, but apparently he did do something. The babies that he has created will live in peace at (......) with their moms for the rest of their lives and the one male that was born will absolutely be neutered at 8 weeks!"

If this lamb was "tiny" at rescue in April and was neutered at four months of age, his surgery would have been in July. The sheep who have been giving birth over the last few weeks were impregnated in September - two months after they claim the lamb was neutered.

It is vital to question and verify everything, especially when the innocent are at risk of neglect or exploitation.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

We went to the Gentle Barn last Sunday and had a wonderful time. There was a $10 donation at the door which we found reasonable and knew that it went to a good cause. It was left up to the parents of babies and young children how much they wanted to donate for them. We brushed cows and fed carrots to the horses. The orientation by the founder was interesting and informative. We thoroughly enjoyed the upper barnyard. We got to give a belly rub to a pig, cuddle a turkey and pet many goats. Some animals did not want to be approached or petted and that was respected. All the volunteers were pleasant and knowledgeable. Before we left we enjoyed vegan pizza and cupcakes. We all had a great time and will come back often.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Sad to reveal the the truth about The Gentle Barn, I too thought this was a wonderful organazation, until recently receiving some very negative information about the GB not being on the up and up, being in the animal rescue circle, this type of news travels fast for the safe care of "our" animals. The Gentle Barn is currenting under investagation from the Attorney General, for good reason, mis-use of donations, as well as not caring for their animals as they state. I was on a GB blog today, 2/20/13 and yesterday 2/19/13, for the little filly with the deformed legs, from South Carolina, it is, as with all animals a very sad story. I received the information and decided to share this information with other bloggers, as always with these poor sweet animals, people will donate their last dime to help them, I posted on this particular site with the filly as I had noticed that the GB had put this post up seveal times, it is a heartbreaking picture. I suggested that the donors Google the GB to see what others had to say. Long story short, I also suggested this morning that we ask the GENTLE BARN to post pictures of the filly getting transfered from South Carolina to Kentucky for her surgery, her arrival there, the name of the vet and the hospital that is to do the surgery, as well as a picture story of this little gals recovery. I also mentioned "The 60 sad Cows from California" it was a huge donation effort on the part of GENTLE BARN, the cost was $200, 000, which was for the cows and the barns that were to be built. They did in fact raise this amount, then all news of the 60 cows was taken from all sites, and to this day not one barn has been built nor one of the 60 cows has anyone seen. Google all on the 60 sad Cows. After posting this today Gentle Barn deleted everything myself and others wrote about them and their practices. As well as all links to this page. They left all the postings that praise the GB and of course the ones that are donating to them, this action in itself speaks volumes.
If you continue to read all of these reviews, there is one from a lovely couple whom donated alot of time and money for the "60 Sad Cows" project and was also going to help with building of the barns, they are now banished from the Gentle Barn. There is also emails to and from this couple from Ellie and Jay that you can read yourself, it is very disturbing. Number one priority is of course the animals and their care, this must be stopped as soon as possible, secondary yet very important, is the donations going to these unscrupulous couple that are taking from big hearted anmal lovers even if it is their last dime. We must get them to prove their transparency with the animals and the donations. PLEASE HELP.