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December 11, 2012 — Sadie & Bella Say

Volunteer Day at The Gentle Barn

Mom & Dad went to Southern California a couple of weeks ago.  They said it was for meetings but we think they just wanted to get away from the cold.  Luckily they left us here in Minneapolis so we could enjoy playing in the snow!  They said their favorite part of the trip was on Thursday when they got to volunteer at The Gentle Barn.  Dad recently did an Ironman and raised over $2,000 for TGB which allowed us to sponsor seven of their animals for a year.  They were so excited to visit again and see some of those animals in person.  They came back and told us all about it and it sounded pretty cool so we thought we’d share the story with you.

The Gentle Barn is located in Santa Clarita, CA just north of Los Angeles.  They have almost any animal you can imagine from cows, to llamas and even a peacock.  All of the animals were rescued from some sort of less than optimal situation.  Some were severely abused, some neglected and some dumped, left to survive on their own.  But once they come to live at The Gentle Barn, their lives will forever be one filled with love and care.  

They met the staff that work hard every day to make sure the animals’ living area is clean and that they have food & water and they got to talk with several of the volunteers that come every week to give the animals love and attention.  To see how many dedicated people TGB has helping them to do the incredible work they do was inspiring.  Mom & Dad couldn’t wait to help out too.  They gave water to all the cows and horses, they swept and shoveled out horse stalls, scooped up old hay and shoveled poop, lots of it.  They even got to feed the horses carrots when their grooming was done.  It’s not glamorous work but they said it was one of the most rewarding things they’ve done in a long time.  The animals seemed so grateful and appreciative of everyone who is there to keep them healthy and safe. 


       Voluneering at The Gentle Barn            Giving horses water at The Gentle Barn                Shoveling horse pasture at The Gentle Barn               Feeding horses carrots at The Gentle Barn


All of the animals have a special story, have their own personality, have their own way of showing gratitude.  It’s impossible not realize theBiscuit the pig at The Gentle Barn depth of emotions and social connection all animals inherently have after spending a day there.  For instance, did you know that cows are incredibly social, familial and a mother will cry for days if her calf is taken from her?  When TGB rescued Karma, they realized later that she was a new mother so they went back the next day to rescue her calf.  Check out this video to watch Karma reunited with her calf.  Did you know pigs are very intelligent and learn quickly, even learning tricks faster than dogs?  Pigs rank #4 in animal intelligence behind chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants. Piglets learn their names by two to three weeks of age and respond when called.  Here’s a video of Biscuit’s first day at TGB, saved the day before he would have gone off to slaughter.  Wow has he grown!

 Faith the cow at The Gentle Barn

Donating money is necessary to keep them up and running but the feeling of rolling up the sleeves and doing work to help them can’t be replaced.  Looking into Faith’s eyes when she comes to you for some love while cleaning her pasture is magical. When Cinnamon walks over asking for rubs while you’re filling her water bucket, it’s hard not to create a bond.  All of these animals suffered at the hands of humans, yet they continue to open their hearts and learn to love and trust again.  There's something we can all learn from that.  Meeting these animals is a life changing experience and we’re hopeful that everyone will have the chance to see it for themselves one day.



Woof, Woof! 

Sadie & Bella


The Gentle Barn is located at 15825 Sierra Highway in Santa Clarita, CA.  They are open to the public on Sundays and you can visit their animals.  Can’t get to California?  You can check out their website at to learn more about all of their animals or donate to them directly.   


Kevin Rutherford:

Doing physical labor just feels great as you can see the positive change – litterally. I loved being part of this day to help give these animals a good life.

December 19 2012 at 02:12 PM

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