Ellie Laks is the Founder of The Gentle Barn Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that rescues and rehabilitates unwanted animals and heals people with the same stories of abuse and neglect. She is a celebrated animal welfare advocate, humane educator, and the author of My Gentle Barn: Creating a Sanctuary Where Animals Heal, and Children Learn to Hope.
Ellie founded The Gentle Barn in 1999. She invented her own “gentle healing method” that allows old, sick, injured and terrified animals to fully recover using a combination of Western medicine, holistic modalities, holding therapy and lots of love.
Ellie is an expert in rehabilitating orphaned and sick animals, like puppies withParvo and calves from veal crates. In her work at The Gentle Barn, she has hosted hundreds of thousands of visitors and developed programs for at-risk, underprivileged, and intellectually or developmentally disabled children. The rescued animals at The Gentle Barn also act as ambassadors of kindness and compassion for groups of war veterans, senior citizens, domestic abuse survivors, and those in recovery from addiction and gang affiliation.
Ellie has appeared in influential media outlets including The Ellen Show, People Magazine, Life Magazine, Animal Planet, The Huffington Post, Turning Point, Women’s World, NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, The New York Times, and many more.
She is a highly effective and charismatic public speaker who has presented at animal rights conferences, environmental conventions, eco feminism summits, veg festivals, pet expos, universities, high schools, and corporate functions.
Her message motivates audiences towards higher awareness, profound compassion, realizing dreams, and developing an enhanced sense of purpose.
To date, Ellie has saved hundreds of animals and hosted over 500,000 guests. The Gentle Barn is currently home to approximately 200 animals and has grown to include three locations; outside Los Angeles, California, Nashville Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri. Ellie’s goal is to open Gentle Barns in every state, so that everyone in America can have the opportunity to hug a cow, cuddle a turkey or give a pig a tummy rub.