By Lauren Kearney


“You don’t understand. I’m not saving the animals; they’re saving me.”

Nobody really understood Ellie Laks. She was the crazy girl who spent too much time with animals. At least, that’s what those around her thought. She also happened to be the girl who grew up to create one of the most recognized animal sanctuaries in the United States – The Gentle Barn.

My Gentle Barn  is an honest account of how the non-judgmental and accepting nature of animals healed not just her, but countless at-risk kids.

Since childhood, Ellie possessed a strong love and understanding of animals. She grew up feeling like she had no voice and animals were her greatest comfort. They would not judge or mock her. Instead, they would heal her. Aware of this, it was Ellie’s dream to create a place where animals and children could heal each other. A place of hope and love and kindness.

With passion, dedication and thorough, hard work, Ellie’s dream came true.

My Gentle Barn is an inspiring memoir that brings joy to your heart. Ellie and her husband’s tireless work in rescuing and rehabilitating abused animals is indeed, humbling.

Whether or not you’re an animal lover, you can’t help but fall in love with this story.

For more information about My Gentle Barn, visit

About the author:

Lauren Kearney has written for a variety of publications. As an animal lover, she often writes articles that focus on animal rescue and issues surrounding animal rights, care, and current trends. You can follow her on Twitter at @lkearney14