Rescued horses find love at unique Santa Clarita animal sanctuary

An animal sanctuary in Santa Clarita is treating abused and abandoned animals with a unique range of therapies from acupuncture to music therapy. 

"We take in animals that have nowhere else to go that are too old, sick, scared or lame. We give them sanctuary for the rest of their lives," said Ellie Lak, who co-founded The Gentle Barn Sanctuary. 

Founded in 1999, it was a dream of Ellie’s since she was 7-years-old.  

Animals were always very healing to her as she faced the challenges of growing up and feeling understood. In return, she made it her goal to provide a safe haven for as many neglected animals as she could. 

"These animals are so damaged physically and emotionally, so we have a wide array of therapies used to heal them," she said. 

"Regular therapy is used of course. We also use acupuncture, acupressure, ultrasound, massage, ice water therapy, energetic healing, CBD, music therapy, and of course lots and lots of love," she added.

Ellie and her husband Jay have been running the animal sanctuary in Santa Clarita rehabilitating abused and forgotten animals for over 20 years.

The owners say one of their recent horse rescues helped heal a broken heart. Magic, the leader of the herd of horses, was affected deeply when another female horse named Whisper recently passed. His head hung in sadness while all the other horses frolicked. 

"When Danara came in, all of a sudden he had this purpose again. He became the leader of the herd and had to make sure no one bullied Danara and make sure she felt welcomed. It was literally love at first sight," she said.

Magic is taking care of Danara, and she in turn is helping him heal.

The Santa Clarita sanctuary offers guided tours, animal sponsorships and cow-hugging therapy.

Since its inception, The Gentle Barn has rescued thousands of animals with additional locations in Tennessee and Missouri. 

The owners have a goal of opening a sanctuary for abused and neglected animals in every state. 

You can learn more about the sanctuary and volunteer opportunities by tapping or clicking here.