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Review for Gentle Barn Foundation, Santa Clarita, CA, USA

Rating: 3 stars  

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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Role:  General Member of the Public