The Gentle Barn is a farm and animal rehabilitation center in California and Tennessee.

They take care of injured and weak animals or animals displaced because of natural disasters and other catastrophic events. Additionally, they welcome children from all over to have a chance to practice their empathy and compassion by caring for recovering horses, pigs, chickens, and a bunch of other animals.

The Gentle Barn crew recently had a chance to save a cow. They didn't realize when they first rescued her that she was postnatal with a calf nearby, so the two were separated.


This is how the calf and mother cow were reunited by the loving folks at the barn once they realized what had happened.

You have to see the part when the calf collapses from stress and weakness just before returning to his mother's care. Just in the nick of time, The Gentle Barn saved the day.

Aside from this beautiful moment, The Gentle Barn seems to be a place where beautiful moments are happening all the time.

Portia de Rossi took a tour with owner-operator Ellie Laks in July 2012.

All GIFs via "Ellen."

And yes, the animals really do co-mingle and get along harmoniously like this.

Ellie talks about the horses they bring in:

"The other horse rescuers do the wonderful work of taking in the horses that are ride-able and placeable. ... We take in the ones that are so destroyed that no one else wants them."

PORTIA: "Is he a race horse?"

ELLIE: "That's an ex-race horse. That's Mamma Dear. She was raced until she couldn't walk anymore. That's usually when they put them down, but through some miracle they knew of us and brought her here. And now we've rehabilitated her with our deep tissue massage therapy, and now she's totally sound, totally happy."

After experiencing the resilience and warmth from these animals that survived against the odds, Portia has some sage life advice for us all.

"Oh, I highly recommend hugging a cow..."

Bravo to The Gentle Barn for reuniting mommies and their babies, and for the important work they do to remind creatures of all kinds of their worth and compassion.

"We provide a place — for people and animals — to be reminded that they matter."
— Ellie Laks of The Gentle Barn


NOTE TO READERS: We doubled back with the Gentle Barn, and they confirmed the mommy cow is indeed the calf's biological mother. "The father was dominant and so the calf looks more like the father than the mother. That is definitely her baby.” — Jackie, from The Gentle Barn

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