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Santa Clarita sanctuary needs help to protect its animals from climate change

Gentle Barn in need of help to keep animals cool
Gentle Barn in need of help to keep animals cool 01:16

Just like people, wild animals and livestock needed help to stay cool in last week's heat wave — so a local animal shelter is seeking help to fund things like shade tarps and fans.

(credit: CBS)

The Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita, which cares for 200 farm animals — like horses, pigs, and cows — is looking for donations to help keep its charges cool as the climate changes. Temperatures reached 112 degrees where the Gentle Barn is located during the heat wave, and the barn's owner had to resort to drastic actions to help some of the older, more vulnerable animals.

"We were hosing down the pigs and the emus, and we had several animals that were older that we had in the house, " Ellie Laks, founder of the Gentle Barn, said. "I had a rooster sleeping in my kitchen, I had a turkey and another chicken indoors for the air conditioning."

The Gentle Barn is working to raise $150,000 to buy shade tarps, fans, sprinkler systems and to pay for increased insulation for the barns to help the animals stay cool when temperatures heat up again, or to keep them warm when things are colder than normal.

"Animals handle the heat just like we do. They kind of are uncomfortable," Laks said.

To donate, visit

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