Gentle Barn

Ellie Laks and Jay Weiner stand with Worthy the horse at The Gentle Barn’s farm in Christiana. The rescue organization, which was founded in California, is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Sunday, Aug. 25.

The Gentle Barn will hold a 20th anniversary celebration at its Christiana location on Sunday, Aug. 25.

The farm animal rescue organization was founded 20 years ago by Ellie Laks in the Los Angeles area. The non-profit operates rescue farms in Los Angeles, Missouri and Christiana, according to the organization’s website. The Tennessee operation was moved from Knoxville to Christiana last summer.

The 20th anniversary celebration starting at 11 a.m. will feature Laks and co-founder and husband Jay Weiner. They will honor Dudley, a cow that was rescued several years ago from Middle Tennessee and received medical care including a prosthetic, and died about two years ago. They also will honor Lolli, a goat from Rutherford County they rescued last year and for which they provided a prosthetic.

“I am so excited to be reaching our 20th anniversary,” Laks said. “It’s really an amazing milestone in the animal rescue movement. So much has happened, and yet it has gone by in a blink of an eye. Rescuing Dudley and starting a Gentle Barn in Tennessee has been a dream come true, and I will revel in those memories forever.”

The Gentle Barn provides sanctuary to 200-plus animals nationwide such as horses, cows, pigs, goats, sheep, turkeys and chickens, according to a press release. They host visits by youth groups, at-risk teens, people in drug rehab programs and from the general public.

For information on the celebration or to reserve tickets, go to

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