Krista Miranda

By Krista Miranda

LifeBuzz Staff

Panicked Pig Snorts At Staff And What They Find Is A HUGE Surprise.

Back to Nature

Back to Nature

The Gentle Barn / Facebook

We live in a world that is highly dependent on machines and technology, often distracting us from the beauty of nature and animals that surround us on a daily basis. While we might acknowledge the fact that they exist, most of the time it's a passing glance and nothing more. But this indifference also means that many people are ignorant to the fact that unfortunately, we're losing our rainforests and farmland and the ozone layer is diminishing each and every day. But thankfully there are people out there who are taking action.

The Gentle Barn

The Gentle Barn

The Gentle Barn / Facebook

Ellie Laks had a dream at just seven years old to help animals, and that dream came true when she founded The Gentle Barn in 1999. Animals were always very healing and nurturing to her as she faced the challenges of growing up, finding herself, fitting in, and feeling understood. She knew that she wanted to dedicate her life to their care, but majored in special education and psychology. So what about those animals?

Two For One

Two For One

The Gentle Barn / Facebook

She knew that with her special love of animals and children, The Gentle Barn would be a perfect way of putting all her talents and passions into one. It started on a half-acre property in the middle of the San Fernando Valley, California. In 2003 Ellie and Jay — a dedicated volunteer — moved The Gentle Barn to six acres in Santa Clarita, California. This eden has large horse and cow pastures, a red and white barnyard for the smaller animals, an organic vegetable garden, lots of shade trees, and a panoramic view of gorgeous mountains. How many animals take up residence there?

Expanding Their Horizons

Expanding Their Horizons

Piedmont Animal Rescue / Facebook

There are over 170 rescued animals safe and happy at The Gentle Barn, and there is plenty of room to welcome their visitors and the children they host. Because of their deep love of what they do, they also opened a second location in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 2015. They have dozens of volunteers, a dedicated staff, and thousands of visitors every year to visit the rescued animals — like pigs Henry and Horton.

This Little Piggy

This Little Piggy

The Gentle Barn / Facebook

Horton and Henry were only a few months old when rescuers found them, and they were in horrible shape. Starving and terrified, the two brothers were being raised at a pig farm and had gone without food so long that their bones were visible. They were covered in ticks, riddled with parasites, and anemic from the lack of care. It's also no surprise that they had a deep fear of people. Can you blame them?

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