Animals great and small need gentle, loving care when they are sick, abused, neglected or abandoned. Rescuing ailing dogs and cats is not new in Middle Tennessee, but The Gentle Barn's mission is. The new animal sanctuary for horses, donkeys, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, llamas, peacocks and emus opens Aug. 26 in Christiana.     

“The Gentle Barn is home to animals rescued from abuse and neglect,” says Ellie Laks, founder. And that's not all.  "We partner with the animals to host groups of at-risk and special needs children, school groups and private tours," Laks says.    

The Gentle Barn is part of a growing trend for providing ailing animals the care they deserve. Other Gentle Barns are located in California and Missouri.        

Through teaching kindness and compassion to the community, The Gentle Barn will inspire hope for children who share stories similar to the rescued animals.

The Gentle Barn

The Gentle Barn will be open to the public on Sundays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. so people can hug cows, feed horses, give pigs tummy rubs, cuddle with turkeys and hear the animals’ stories of resilience.    

Public admission is $20 adults, $10 children. Find more details about coming programs and more online at as it gets closer to opening date.