May 21st, 2013
4 years ago we helped save 400 animals left for dead by a hoarder, Snoopy was one of them. She was so scared that she would charge at us with teeth bared for the first 6 months she was here. Surrounded by patience and kindness, Snoopy finally realized that her hard times were over, that we are her friends and she has learned to receive and give love. She now loves tummy rubs and comes running when we give her treats. She just had surgery for uterine cancer and she has recovered just fine. To sponsor a Gentle Barn animal, go to: http://gentlebarn.org/virtual_barn.php
Charlie and Lacey wag their tails now! They love their new life! They are getting stronger, building muscle and working through their arthritis but because they seemed to have lived outside for 14 years, got no exercise and ate a poor diet, we still have a ways to go till they are fully healed. One treatment for one of them costs about $12.50, can you please help us continue their therapy? To help us with their vet care, donate $12.50 at: https://www.gentlebarn.org/donate.php Thank you!
I just got off the phone with the surgeon in Kentucky and he said that Worthy looks good. They did a chest X-ray of her and it’s all clear, the pneumonia is gone. They did radiographs of her leg and it looks very good as well. Tomorrow they will take off her cast, remove her stitches and see how the leg looks. then they will most likely put another cast on for another two weeks. We will let you know what the vets says after seeing her leg: fingers, toes and paws crossed! We just keep seeing her gallop in a grassy pasture with a straight leg!
The Los Angeles Police Department confiscated Sir Lancelot when they found him emaciated and almost ridden to death by his abuser. Because he was older, underweight, lame and unrideable he was scheduled to be euthanized at the animal shelter. At the last minute an officer called and asked us to save his life. We have spent a year and a half giving him acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy and ultrasound to heal his body, and high quality hay and nutrition to help him gain weight. Lance has made a full recovery at The Gentle Barn, is happy and healthy and has made many friends. He will retire here with love and respect for the rest of his life. To sponsor a Gentle Barn animal, go to: http://gentlebarn.org/virtual_barn.php
The next animal communication class is next Saturday, May 25th from 10AM – 5 PM taught by the real deal animal communicator and grief councilor Amanda. Sign up for the class and learn to connect better to your intuition, solve medical problems, behavioral issues and get closer to your furry friends. To enroll or to get a private reading go to: www.adeeperunderstanding.com
Charlie and Lacey wake up every morning and wait patiently at the bottom of the stairs for their foster mom to come down and give them breakfast, love and a walk. They love their new life! They are getting stronger, building muscle and working through their arthritis but we still have a ways to go. One treatment for one of them costs about $12.50, can you please help us give them more therapy? To help us with their vet care, donate $12.50 at: https://www.gentlebarn.org/donate.php Thank you!
Chloe probably underwent severe abuse that caused neurological damage and was found at a high kill shelter unable to walk and shaking violently. She was going to be put down but there is a sparkle about her that anyone who has met her understands, so we pulled her out to see if we can help her. With regular acupuncture, vibration therapy and Sun Chlorella Algae Super Food she can now walk and run, is affectionate, playful and loving. She still wobbles a little so we have more work to do, but she is well on her way. Isn’t she adorable?!
Toby needs a home. He is about a year old, neutered, very submissive and playful with other dogs, loves children and is great on a leash. If you live in Los Angeles and would like to give Toby a forever home in exchange for his devotion, email us at email@example.com or please share. Toby will be at The Gentle Barn on Sunday from 10-2, if you want to meet him.
We had a great group of kids for a field trip today. They hugged the cows, gave pigs tummy rubs, cuddled with turkeys and brushed the horses. They loved that Rascalina’s favorite spot to be itched is on her belly button!
Shanti was rescued from a backyard butcher where she had no food, water or shelter. She lived with so much stress, cruelty and fear, that when she came here we named her Shanti, which means peace to inspire her to find it. She has blossomed here and follows us around like a big dog, begging for more affection. If you are wondering what the backyard butcher is, go to: http://youtu.be/VQnL6yKHNDo To sponsor a Gentle Barn animal, go to: http://gentlebarn.org/virtual_barn.php
Our sheep got hair cuts today! Its very hot here now so we did our annual sheep sheering to make sure they are not overheated. We put plenty of sun screen on their backs so their new pink skin is protected. We don’t care about the wool, we just care that our babies are comfortable, but If you are local and would like to have their cruelty free wool, email us. First come, first serve, firstname.lastname@example.org. Doesn’t Stanley look handsome?!
Serenity was rescued from slaughter. Before that she had never encountered a kind human before. She is absolutely terrified, but one day she will trust, one day her heart will feel joy, and one day we will hug her and she will know she is loved. Thank goodness we saved her, because she was pregnant. Serenity will get to stay with her baby Rumi for the rest of her life. To sponsor a Gentle Barn animal, go to: http://gentlebarn.org/virtual_barn.php
Just got of the phone with Rood and Riddle with a Worthy update: she and her mom, Indie are doing great! Worthy’s temperature is normal, they are resting a lot and being spoiled by the staff with peppermint candies and horse cookies. Their favorite thing is a grooming circle, we groom Worthy, Worthy grooms Indie and Indie grooms us. This is exactly what we did every day while we there for Worthy’s surgery.
Sassy was rescued from a backyard butcher. She was painfully thin and so very sad. It took months of constant care, but we finally nursed her back to health. Sassy nibbles on our faces, whispers thank you in our ears and cuddles with us daily. If we could house train her, she would be sleeping in our bed! She loves our visitors, especially people in wheel chairs. She does not leave their side and stands very close so they can reach her. Sassy is so special and we are grateful to have her as part of our family! If you are wondering what the backyard butcher is, go to: http://youtu.be/VQnL6yKHNDo To sponsor a Gentle Barn animal, go to: http://gentlebarn.org/virtual_barn.php
It was 104 degrees at The Gentle Barn today. As we fed all the animals, loved them, cleaned up after them and hosted a private tour, Biscuit was the only one with the right idea!
Sasha was ridden by an extremely impatient person who did not give her enough time to figure out what she was being asked to do. Every time she made a mistake she was hit, so eventually she froze completely. We worked with Sasha for two years while she gained confidence and came to trust that she was safe. Sasha is now our therapy horse, working with kids who are quadriplegic. She intuitively knows to come and groom them with her mouth and give them love when they cannot pet her. To sponsor a Gentle Barn animal, go to: http://gentlebarn.org/virtual_barn.php
I bet you didn’t know we had toads at The Gentle Barn? In the winter they come out and hop all around. We saved this one last night from our dog who thought he had found the best toy ever. We reminded him he lived at The Gentle Barn and we have to be gentle to everyone here. With the weather getting hotter the frogs will probably go underground soon, it sure was nice to see them!
Charlie is doing great, getting stronger by the day. Lacey came down with kennel cough and was eating, but seemed lethargic so we took her to get X-rays, per our vets suggestion just to make sure she didn’t have pneumonia. Lacey’s lungs are clear, whew! If you are just joining us: Charlie and Lacey lived together for 14 years and were brought to the shelter for being old. We took them home to The Gentle Barn and are helping their bodies feel stronger and healthier.
After surgery worthy had a slight fever, which the surgeon said was normal after anesthesia and such a long operation. This morning Worthy’s fever was normal, yay! She’s relaxing and eating and doing very well. The surgeon said that we won’t be out of the woods until she gets her cast changed in two weeks but he says the leg is completely straight and so far, so good!
May 21st, 2013
Charlie and Lacey continue to receive massage therapy, stretching, acupuncture, cold laser and aqua therapy to heal their neglected and aching bodies. We have a lot of work to do still to get them strong, building their muscles and walking pain free. By their condition it seems like they have been living outdoors for 14 years, they sure are living the good life now, and they deserve it! Charlie and Lacey both need treatments twice a week and it’s getting very expensive.
You can help: Donate only $12.50 and that buys a therapy treatment at our vet. They were neglected before but we can make up for that now and care for them properly, lets do this together, to donate for their vet care, go to: https://www.gentlebarn.org/donate.php thanks for your help!
After the vet hospital took Worthy off of antibiotics, a week after her surgery, she spiked a fever, which the veterinarian says is because of a slight pneumonia in her left lung. They said it is common in horses who have lengthy surgeries and have to stay under anesthesia for a long time, especially on one side, the side she has the slight pneumonia on. They continued her antibiotics and she is doing better now. She and her mom spend a lot of time sleeping in their soft, cushy stall and getting spoiled by the staff at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. Their favorite things are peppermint candies, horse cookies and grooming sessions.
Worthy’s cast comes off tomorrow and they will remove her stitches and see what shape the leg is in, we’ll keep you posted, fingers crossed! Thanks for your support and for loving Worthy and Indie with us, we cannot do this without you!
To donate for Worthy and The Gentle Barn, go to https://www.gentlebarn.org/donate.php
Toby is about one year old, neutered, very submissive and playful with other dogs, loves children and is a perfect gentleman. He would like to sleep in someone’s bed, go for long walks and have another dog to play with. If you are interested, please email us right away for an application, email@example.com or please share.
Most of the goats and sheep rescued from the backyard butcher will stay with us for the rest of their lives because they are still scared of people and we will continue to heal their hearts and minds from what they have been through. Some of the goats, however are young, friendly, gorgeous, fully healed and full of life and can have a home of their own. If you live in or around Los Angeles and are interested in adopting a goat or two as pets, companions and friends, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or please share.
Our next class to learn how to trust your instincts, solve behavioral issues, help with medical issues, and connect better with your furry friends will be on Saturday May 25th from 10AM till 5 PM at The Gentle Barn taught by the real deal animal communicator and grief councilor Amanda Reister. To enroll for her class or to have a private reading go to: www.adeeperunderstanding.com
Volunteer of the Month
Elyse has blessed The Gentle Barn for a year. When she first arrived about a year ago, she went through four weeks of training to learn how to brush, love and handle our horses. After completing her training, she committed to coming at least once a week to groom and walk our horses. Elyse is a delight, she always has a smile, she is gentle and kind to the horses, she is always positive and friendly to everyone and we absolutely adore her! We are grateful to her and our horses are lucky to have her! Thanks for being part of our gentle family Elise, we love you!
A Plant-Based Diet is Easy!
Did you know that you will spare approximately 198 animals a year, support the environment and live a healthier life by adopting a plant-based diet? If you love animals and want to explore a plant-based diet, we can help by leading you in the right direction to get the right amount of protein, calcium and iron.Please click here to visit our website for more information.
Not only does a plant-based diet help animals, but also it is essential for the environment. The United Nation is urging a global switch to a plant based diet!
A Plant-Based Diet is Delicious!
Recipe of the Month
Greek Lentil Salad
1 cup green or brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 ½ c cherry tomatoes, halved
1 c diced cucumber
1 c chopped green onions
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ t salt
½ c olive oil
¼ c lemon juice
¼ t black pepper
Place lentils in saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, partially covered, 25-30 min, or until lentils are tender but not mushy. Drain.
To make dressing: garlic, salt, lemon juice, pepper, in bowl, whisk in oil
To make salad: Toss lentils in dressing. Cool to room temp, stir in tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, and dill.
Per serving:275 cal, 7 g prot, 19 g total fat, 22 g carb, 0 chol, 200 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 3 g sugar
Sponsor a Gentle Barn Animal!
Because many of our animals have all been severely abused before coming here, and because we have to make up for that abuse by giving them the best lives possible, their care is very expensive. One of the ways we can afford to care for them is by you sponsoring them.
We have over 160 animals and they all need sponsors. Their sponsorship amounts vary from a $5 donation per month for a chicken to a $50 donation per month for a horse. If you are not already, we would be so grateful if you would become a Gentle Barn animal sponsor. You will get a picture and bio of your animal and regularly emailed update of how they are doing.
It is a great feeling knowing that your funds are going to care for an animal in need and The Gentle Barn as well, that you can have a special relationship for the life of that animal and that you are a part of The Gentle Barn Family. It also makes a great gift or a special way to honor a loved one.
Just go to our Virtual Barnyard and pick an animal that you love and get started! We cannot do this wonderful work without you, thank you!
If you are not already, please join our Facebook page! Every morning we put a picture and story of a different animal so you can get to know our babies. And every evening we put a story of what happens here so you can feel like you are here with us. You can join us on Twitter too!
September 28th, 2012
We received a call from some people who knew about a Lakota medicine woman on a reservation in South Dakota who had lost her home for herself, her children and her grandchildren. With the harsh winter fast approaching something needed to be done to house her and her entire family. We have so much responsibility at The Gentle Barn; to care for 170 animals and host groups of children during the week and the public on Sundays, but the image of this woman and her family in the snow without a proper home was plaguing us, and the invitation was so strong. So with the reassurance of our great staff and volunteers we set out for the three day drive to South Dakota, materials, tools and laborers in tow.
The actual land was vast and gorgeous with glorious mountains, forests of golden, orange and yellow, and a canvas of sky that seemed to go on forever and at nighttime we gasped looking at the stars, not ever knowing there were so many! But this sacred, beautiful land is full of suffering, pain and Native history that was so thick we could almost see and touch it. The Morning Star Foundation bought the family a trailer, which needed to be worked on and set up, put on blocks and leveled. We also bought the family food and supplies.
It was amazing to witness a people who have dedicated their lives to living without the basic luxuries that we take for granted like hot showers, laundry machines, air conditioning, proper housing and television. Yet they were rich in culture, family, freedom, purpose and tradition. Living off the land, in order to preserve the land and their history and tradition. The Lakota land is very rich in natural resources like oil, gold and coal and the government would love to have the land back, but as long as the Lakota’s stand fast and occupy their land they cannot take it. If a family leaves the land however, then the government can take it from them. These people could easily have better lives somewhere else, but choose to live this way to keep the land and their ceremonies intact. On December 29, 1890 the Lakota people were rounded up and forced off their land. The people ran for safety through the bad lands of South Dakota. When they came out the other side they were surrounded, disarmed and killed by The US army, many of them were woman, holding babies. The monument at Wounded Knee stands in memory of the fallen victims of greed, hatred and bigotry and to remind us all that it was only in 1973 that the Lakota people demonstrated on the very same ground to gain the right to vote and finally won.
Standing at the monument brought us all to tears and we all felt very connected to our Native brothers and sisters that still don’t have the respect, the rights and the freedoms that they deserve! We felt blessed to be there and to play a very small part in their lives and in their struggles. We had a chance to partake in a sweat lodge ceremony and a talking circle and spent time talking to the elders and the chiefs about the traditions and ceremonies. Being connected to the land, to nature, to animals, to the children, to spirits and to each other is at the center of native culture and we felt so aligned with them as it is the center of what The Gentle Barn does as well, so we felt it very fitting to be three with them! As always we went there to give, but ended up taking much more away with us, and as the title of the book we read as children, We left our heart at Wounded Knee!
August 19th, 2012
Back in the beginning of The Gentle Barn, in May of 2000, someone told me about a miniature cow breeder in Washington State. I just had to call the guy to ask about this cow because I had never heard of a miniature cow before. He said that he raised miniature cows because they were small and gentle; easy to raise, easy to keep and easy to kill!? As he was rambling on about how gentle his cows were, he started telling me about a particular cow who was SO gentle that his grandchildren were raising her. She was a year old and couldn’t have babies, so sadly they were sending her to slaughter the next day. I couldn’t believe it! He had described her as so kind and safe for the kids and wiling to tolerate anything they wanted to do to her, I couldn’t believe that such a life would be thrown away because she couldn’t make money. By the time I hung up the phone, I had talked him into giving her to me. I made arrangements to have her driven from Washington to The Gentle Barn in California and I had saved my first cow!
When “Buddha” came off the trailer the first day I met her, she looked like an angel in a cow suit. She was warm and fuzzy and she smelled so good and she looked like she was smiling. Her eyes twinkled and I felt loved and accepted right away as if we had known each other our whole lives. Buddha allowed me to easily lead her into the barnyard and she went nose to nose to all the animals and walked around the yard completely comfortable and at ease. I was so excited to have her in my yard that I could hardly sleep. That night I kept walking out to the barnyard to watch her sleep peacefully among my other animals. How could I sleep in my house when I had such a magical creature in my very own backyard?! She took my breath away and I couldn’t tear myself away!
It was clear immediately that Buddha was no ordinary cow and that she would be very special in my life and in the work of The Gentle Barn. Every time we would host groups of children or be open to the public Buddha would lay down in the middle of the crowd and invite, or practically insist to be hugged by everyone. She had the patience of a saint and when someone was leaning on her or snuggling next to her she wouldn’t move a muscle, ensuring the child’s safety. Late at night if I felt stressed or sad for whatever reason, I would go to Buddha and sit next to her and look into her wise eyes, that seemed to know the wisdom of ages and the secrets of the gods. Buddha would wrap her neck around me and hug me back and I would put my face into the back of her ear or her neck and I would feel warm, protected and completely safe and loved. SHE was healing ME!
Buddha very quickly became the chief ambassador of The Gentle Barn working with special needs children, with her patience and kindness. She worked with at risk children, lowering their defenses and helping them become vulnerable and open, and often bringing people to tears as they received her mutual embrace. Over the 12 years that Buddha served at The Gentle Barn she doled out over 300,000 hugs, worked with thousands of inner-city, at risk and special needs kids, she held still while people in wheel chairs brushed her and precariously leaned over to hug her, she adopted and raised orphaned or lonely animals, and she taught me, loved me and saved me every day she was here! But most importantly, Buddha showed hundreds of thousands of people that cows are not food. That they are special and deserving of love and compassion just like you or me.
This past Friday Buddha gracefully, easily and peacefully slipped out of her 13 year old, arthritic body as I held her head in my arms and whispered, “thank you, thank you, thank you!” We didn’t just say goodbye to a cow; we said goodbye to a teacher, a leader, a councilor, a great mystic, a friend and a mom. I don’t even know how it’s possible to have a Gentle Barn without Buddha here! As one of our volunteers wisely stated, Buddha was The Gentle Barn! But when animals leave us, we find a way to move on; no matter how impossible that seems to us right now. And Buddha wouldn’t have it any other way.
To every staff member who took excellent care of Buddha, especially toward the end when it was difficult for her to get up and she needed to be served water and food every hour, thank you! To every volunteer who brushed her, kept her clean, free of flies, loved and appreciated her, thank you! For every visitor around the world who had the honor and the privilege of meeting Buddha, who was touched by her, inspired by her, who shares in our grief, thank you! For every one of you who know how much Buddha meant to me personally, who knows that I meditated with her every night, that I snuggled with her every morning, that I talked about her every Sunday, that I worked with her every day with the children we host, who knows that I can hardly breath right now with out her, who is holding me in their hearts, sending me light or prayers, thank you!
And thank you, thank you, thank you Buddha for showing me unconditional love, for always being here for me, for raising me, for teaching me, and for being a mom to me!
Founder, The Gentle Barn
8 17 12
July 20th, 2012
We have a few more goats rescued from the backyard butcher who are young, healthy, friendly and are now ready for adoption as pets only! If you are interested and live in Los Angeles or surrounding areas, please email us for an application at email@example.com, or please share.
Hiroka, Hero for short (affectionately named by Sun Chlorella), is doing marvelously! She is in great spirits and the wound on her leg is almost completely gone. But, she needs more ultrasound on her swollen knee and more chiropractic and acupuncture for her back. To give her the treatments she needs we are going to bring her down to our main location in Santa Clarita and introduce her to the other horses and continue working on her body. We are very excited to introduce her to you as well!
Portia fancies herself as a queen and lords patiently over the other animals while sitting on her thrown. We felt that she needed a more glamorous thrown fit for a queen of her stature, so we put some bling into it! We don’t want to ruin the surprise, so come with your bow or curtsey and see her newly decorated thrown!
July 13th, 2012
We have a few more goats rescued from the backyard butcher who are now young, healthy, friendly and ready for adoption as pets only! If you are interested and live in Los Angeles or surrounding areas, please email us for an application at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most of the goats and sheep rescued from the backyard butcher however are not adoptable because they still fear humans and it will take many more long months of patience, time, love and rehabilitation to show them that they are safe here.
July 6th, 2012
We just placed our first three goats who were rescued and rehabilitated from the backyard butcher to a really great home! The home uses the same veterinarian as we do, they have a huge area for the goats and they are going to take great care of them! We will monitor their progress and make sure they are safe and well cared for forever. Raven, Gypsy and Kara love it there!!!!!
If you are interested in adopting goats, please email us at email@example.com.
Madonna and Holy Cow just moved to the big cow pasture up the road so they can have more friends, more exercise and more fun! They were here for the last two years because they were very sick when we rescued them and we wanted to make certain that their issues were over and they were 100% healthy, and they are. They are making a lot of friends, exploring, playing and having a great time!
If you want to visit them in their new digs, and the 30 newly rescued animals from the backyard butcher, and the 40 cows that live on our other property, book a VIP private tour with our founder Ellie. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
June 29th, 2012
In 2008 we were part of a rescue with more than 400 animals from a hoarder. One of them was an emu we called Yoda. When we first rescued him he was wild eyed and scared. We spent months showing him he was protected and loved and took very good care of him. He finally realized he was safe with us and started allowing us to pet him. Throughout the first year we bonded with Yoda and he would put his head on our shoulder and we would wrap our arms around his neck and snuggle him and he would snuggle us. He looked so intimidating and powerful to newcomers, but he was always gentle, sweet and kind!
Yoda was amazing; he had a game he played with our peacock, Jewel. The first time I saw them play I thought that they were fighting. I was working at my desk in my office that overlooks the barnyard, so I can see all the animals while I work and I saw Yoda chasing Jewel around the barnyard and thought that it didn’t seem right. I got up from my desk and was about to run out to stop them when they stopped, turned around and then Jewel started chasing Yoda. It was like they were taking turns playing chase! They remained playmates for the rest of Yoda’s time here.
Yoda liked men more than women. When our animal caretaker came to work everyday, Yoda would see his car and come running to the gate to wait for him. Yoda would follow him around and be by his side as he did his clean up and feeding of the other animals. Yoda didn’t pay much attention to women other than cuddling, but when I came into the barnyard with my hair up he was all of a sudden very impressed! Yoda would run over to me and look at me like, “hay, whatcha doin?” He would follow me around and then sit down on his elbows and creep up to me and posture like he was about to mate with me. I would explain to me that I was flattered, but married and walk away. He ultimately would grab the rubber band and pull it out of my hair, exposing that I was indeed a woman and then he would lose all interest, as he threw the rubber band at my feet.
Yoda was an amazing ambassador with the at risk kids we work with. The children were always intimidated by him initially, because he looked so reptilian and imposing, but after seeing how he loved to cuddle and hearing my explanation of how he is so gentle they would gather around and pet him and stroke his fluffy head and watch him fall asleep. It would always lead to a discussion about how it feels to be judged and how unfair it is to judge someone else. Yoda was clearly different than what he looked like and so are most of the kids we work with.
On Thursday morning, June 28 we woke up to Yoda coughing up blood from his mouth. We called our mobile vet immediately and were told that she was not working that day. Then we called our bird expert and were told that he was out of town for the day. We kept calling as many hospitals as we could think of and were told over and over again that they did not work on emus, or that they were closed for the day. Finally we got a hold of one of the pet hospital we worked with in the past, that works on birds and were told that they were off for the day, but that the doctor came into the hospital just for a moment to check on some animals. She agreed to wait for us and to treat Yoda. We carried Yoda into the horse trailer after explaining to him what was going on and where we were taking him. We cooled him off so he would be more comfortable for the ride and were on our way.
We arrived at the hospital and got him into an observation room right away. As the office staff brought in an estimate, we gave them permission to do whatever they deem necessary to save our Yoda and explained to them that we never make decisions for our animals based on money, only for their highest good. The doctor gave him a shot to sedate him and drew blood to send to the lab. Then they started a series of tests and x-rays to determine why he was bleeding internally. After the tests were done, there was still no clue what had caused the internal bleeding, the x-rays didn’t show any foreign object lodged inside or any holes, etc.
Meanwhile we kept calling different bird vets to see if any of them might have had any additional suggestions or experience with Emu’s. We kept getting the same answer; there was nothing more we could do. We did get one vet that said that he could use a scope to look inside but not until the next day. We would have to wake Yoda up, keep him at the vets overnight, and transport him to another hospital the next morning to sedate him again for a scope exam and perhaps exploratory surgery. The bleeding wouldn’t stop though, and the doctors said that there was no way he was going to make it through the night, so they suggested that the kindest thing to do was to let him go. They urged us not to put him through more steps, that if he was to be woken up, that he could suffer a very horrible death. As I sat in the hallway and cried huge sobs of grief they let Yoda go. Yoda left in about five seconds flat; there was no hesitation on his part. It was almost impossible to get my body, heavy with grief off the ground to get to the car to drive home. There was a hole in my heart that could not be mended.
Arriving home was hard because I didn’t want to see the barnyard without him, I didn’t want a Gentle Barn without Yoda. I wanted to look inside the white fence and see Yoda’s funny ballerina walk and see him run, his neck and head going one direction and his fluffy body going another. I wanted to kiss his fluffy head and hold his neck up while he fell asleep in my hands. I wanted to whisper in his ear how much I love him. I want to tell visitors on Sundays how he is a distant relative to the dinosaur and he has dinosaur feet and have the visitors gasp in excitement to meet him! How can I host a group of at risk kids without him? I will forever expect him to be standing behind me to grab my hair band and let my hair loose, exposing me for being a woman.
Yoda was not just an amazing bird, not just an ambassador, not just a teacher, not just our partner healing at risk kids, but Yoda was our friend! Jay and I are heavy with grief, devastated and inconsolable. We are trying to find our way to the gratitude of having met him and the miracle of knowing him and loving him, but it will take time, because for now we just feel a big gaping hole in our barnyard and in our hearts.
June 26th, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
BACKYARD BUTCHER TURNS HIMSELF IN
Animal abuser begins jail time today for felony animal cruelty and
selling of illegal meat to the public
Santa Clarita, CA, (June 26, 2012) – Over the past four years, The Gentle Barn has been monitoring and rescuing animals from an abusive and filthy Southern California backyard butcher. To date, The Gentle Barn has rescued from this location, a horse in horrific and malnourished condition, as well as 14 cows, 32 goats and sheep and 4 turkeys.
After many months working with Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control and the District Attorney, the backyard butcher Roberto Celedon, has pleaded no contest to felony animal cruelty charges, and a misdemeanor for selling illegal meat to the public. Celedon has been sentenced to ninety days in jail and five years probation. He was also ordered to pay $4,000 restitution, to complete 48 animal cruelty classes, not to own, possess, maintain or harbor any animals, not to own, operate or work at any meat-producing facility, not to attend auctions where animals are sold and not to sell any meat products. Celedon’s property can be searched at any time by three different agencies to ensure there will no longer be animals suffering on his property.
All of the animals have been removed from his property and are now being rehabilitated at The Gentle Barn. The way the animals were being slaughtered for human consumption was ruthless and the public was being sold potentially contaminated meat.
During a raid on Celedon’s illegal slaughter facility in Santa Clarita, CA in April of this year, over 23 goats and sheep, 5 cows, and an injured and emaciated horse were confiscated and brought to The Gentle Barn for rehabilitation.
Jay Weiner, President of The Gentle Barn says, “This is yet another example of the kind of inhumane and illegal mistreatment that farm animals are subjected to as a result of backyard butchers across the country. We need to put a stop to this practice and appreciate all the hard work of our volunteers, staff, LA District Attorney, LA County Animal Control Major Case Unit and our loyal donors who have given us the funds we desperately need to care and make these animals well.”
Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn says, “This is exactly the kind of work that The Gentle Barn does; we speak up for those who have no voice and take a stand for those who are being mistreated. You can make a difference for animals, your health and the environment in your own life by adopting a plant-based diet. Your support enabled us to do this work and achieve this huge victory for animals and the public and your support in the future will allow us to do it again. Please continue to support us, when you do you are saving lives!”
The rescued animals now safe at The Gentle Barn still need medical treatment, top quality nutrition, and round the clock loving care to heal. They will now live the rest of their lives with people who will give them the best care possible.
To make a donation to help these animals recover and heal, please go to https://www.gentlebarn.org/donate.php
To see a video about the rescue, please go to
This is a tremendous victory, not only for the animals, but for public safety as well. Backyard butchers are not licensed or controlled and are typically abusive and filthy places, selling meat from animals riddled with diseases, some of which are potentially transferable to people.
About The Gentle Barn
The Gentle Barn Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1999 as a rescue, safe haven and place of recovery for abused farm animals and children. Its unique philosophy rehabilitates animals and connects their stories of survival and healing to the personal experiences of inner city, at-risk and special needs children and adults who have suffered physical, mental or emotional trauma. Unlike most therapy animals who are selected for their docile temperaments and raised for service from a young age, each of The Gentle Barn’s 160 farm animals has a history of neglect, abandonment and other abuses that are personally relevant to at-risk children. By interacting with the animals and taking a hands-on role in their welfare, those who participate in programs at The Gentle Barn learn empathy, kindness, strength, trust, forgiveness and leadership. The variety of programs offered promotes lifelong healing for both the people and the animals. The Gentle Barn is run by founders Ellie Laks and Jay Weiner, both of whom were healed and supported by animals as children. They live on the six-acre property with their three children. The Gentle Barn is open to the public Sundays from 10:00am until 2:00pm. More information is available at www.gentlebarn.org.
Cindy Guagenti / BWR Public Relations
Jay Weiner / The Gentle Barn