The Real Animal Farm
In 1999, Ellie Laks had an idea. She would seek out animals that had been neglected or mistreated, take them home to her spacious backyard, and provide them with a regular diet of love, affection, and tenderness. This bright idea eventually became The Gentle Barn, an organization dedicated to the rehabilitation and well-being of previously abused animals. With more than 100,000 visitors since its opening, this six-acre stretch in Santa Clarita, California, has become quite a success, allowing children and adults to enjoy the sheer wonder of a variety of animals (including horses, cows, and chickens) roaming freely in a safe environment. Go to www.gentlebarn.org to plan a visit or donate to the organization.