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Home » Santa Clarita News » Animal Rescue Efforts Halted

Animal Rescue Efforts Halted

Gentle Barn evicted from Lancaster rescue site.


The ongoing rescue efforts of abandoned and abused dogs in Lancaster was halted Wednesday when a dispute over who would perform the rescue forced the caretaker of the property to call the sheriff's department.



Gentle Barn manager Jay Weiner and 30 volunteers were on the property where several hundred dogs and other animals were found last week without food or water, some of them dead or dying. Deputies escorted the rescue workers from the property late Wednesday night, leaving the animals in the care of a volunteer from another group, A Wish for Animals.  


According to Gentle Barn founder Ellie Laks, Weiner was handcuffed and put in a patrol car, but was released when he produced a letter from Toni Eakes, founder of A Wish for Animals, asking for the Gentle Barn's help in rescuing the animals. Eakes told deputies she was revoking the request. 


Michelle Roache of Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control said that shelter administrators were aware of the situation at the compound and were involved in reducing the canine population, working with several rescue groups to obtain shelter and vet care for the animals, which were gathered by alleged hoarder Ivan Callias.


"There are currently 85 dogs left to be rescued," Roache said. "We're open to whatever situation works out best for the animals," adding that dogs could be sent to shelters throughout the county until homes could be found for them.


Laks said they have reported the abuse to county animal control officials and are still awaiting resolution. She added that they have obtained enough equipment, supplies and volunteers to house as well as spay and neuter all the dogs prior to their adoption. For the complete story, visit

Animal Rescue Efforts Halted

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