Originally published March 24, 2014 at The Los Angeles Beat
Ever have one of those days (or months) where clouds of grey seem to follow overhead and nothing seems to be going right? Or maybe some real life drama has got you singing the blues and you need a little soul boost. We are truly lucky in Los Angeles to be surrounded by many opportunities for healthy escapism. In fact, a short drive north to The Gentle Barn located in dusty Santa Clarita just may give you a band aid for your heart and a much needed perspective adjustment. There is nothing like spending time under open skies in the company of sweet and honest animals who want absolutely nothing from you, except for a little bit of love and perhaps a carrot.
The Gentle Barn is a truly special and magical place. It is a refuge and a sanctuary to over 160 farm animals who have suffered extreme abuse or neglect, many of whom had lost trust with the world before arriving here. All of these animals have tearful stories that are laced with the joy of being rescued, rehabilitated and the hope of learning to believe in a safe world again. Visitors are encouraged to open their hearts to these animals and give them love and attention. Many of the animals have gained the trust to accept affection and hugs, while others are still recovering from their pain and need a little space and distance.
Located on a 6-acre parcel of land in Santa Clarita, The Gentle Barn was started in Tarzana in 1999 by animal lover Ellie Laks. It moved to its present location in 2003. A loving home to cows, sheep, horses, chickens, goats, llamas, turkeys and more, its mission is to bring animals and people together spiritually, providing healing for all. It is heart warming to connect with these animals and look into their eyes knowing specific stories of the pain they have experienced. The Gentle Barn is open every Sunday from 10am-2pm. Admission is a $10 donation, or more if you’ve got it to spare. This is definitely a place to get your sense of hope back in alignment.
The Gentle Barn: 15825 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita, CA 91390.