Ellen DeGeneres has been a long-time supporter of The Gentle Barn. She and wife Portia have adopted two cows, Holy and Madonna, that were rescued by the organization.
The nonprofit organization rescues and rehabilitates animals saved from “severe abuse, neglect or slaughter,” while also working with at-risk children and children with disabilities. The Gentle Barn recently rescued over 20 animals from a “backyard butcher,” and Ellen is asking for help. She tweeted yesterday, “There are 20 new animals that could use our help. Donate here. http://say.ly/FDc1HNn.”
The Gentle Barn writes on their blog, “There are over 20 goats and sheep that were brought to us yesterday. They are sick, infested with parasites, malnourished, emaciated and terrified. They have such bad eye infections they are going blind! We are working hard to save them but cannot do it without your help, please support us, we need you now more than ever!” The first of the animals in the group to be rescued was a horse who is also in bad condition. “She is hundreds of pounds underweight and every bone protruding, covered with mud, she has hair falling off in clumps, sores on her face and body, a huge wound on her leg that is infected down to the bone, both eye[s] are infected, her knees are swollen and we are fighting hard to save her life.”
The “backyard butcher,” located in Santa Clarita Valley, has been arrested and according to NBC, the founders of The Gentle Barn Jay Weiner and Ellie Laks have been following the situation for four years. They and other staff call it “one of the worst cases of animal abuse and cruelty they’ve ever seen.” They had been buying animals from the butcher, picking ones that were in the worst conditions and bringing them to the sanctuary.