MEDIA RELEASE: Cougar Coexistence Dream Comes True!

MEDIA RELEASE: Cougar Coexistence Dream Comes True!

CHATSWORTH, Calif. (March 2, 2022) — In Defense of Animals and Kindred Spirits Care Farm have unveiled the Compassion Barn which serves as a model for how to foster coexistence between domestic animals and native wild predators, including mountain lions. This conservation milestone was celebrated and the Compassion Barn was blessed at a dedication ceremony on February 25, at Kindred Spirits Care Farm Ranch and was reported by KCBS-LA on CBS 2 News Saturday.

Watch this video to see the Compassion Barn blessing and dedication.

“The new Compassion Barn defends LA cougars, protects rescued animals, and serves as a beacon for peaceful coexistence with native predators for anyone who houses domestic animals in cougar habitat,” said Lisa Levinson, Campaigns Director for In Defense of Animals. “We are very grateful to our generous supporters who allowed us to celebrate this conservation milestone.”

Celebratory speeches were given by Karen Snook, Founder of Kindred Spirits Care Farm, an animal sanctuary in Chatsworth Hills, and Marilyn Kroplick M.D., President of In Defense of Animals

A barn blessing ceremony was officiated by Lisa Levinson, Campaigns Director for In Defense of Animals and Co-founder of the Interfaith Vegan Coalition. The ceremony included a land acknowledgement, a prayer for coexistence, a guided meditation for harmony, and a ritual for compassion. Participants offered a personal blessing by placing stones to form a heart on an altar in front of the Compassion Barn. All joined in a moment of silence for animals and humans suffering due to the recent outbreak of war in the Ukraine.

The building and installation of Compassion Barn at Kindred Spirits Care Farm Ranch was made possible by generous contributions from In Defense of Animals and Kindred Spirits Care Farm supporters, some of whom joined the ceremony.

Cougars in the Santa Monica Mountains are threatened with extinction. Over the past 20 years, almost 100 cougars on average were legally killed per year on depredation permits across California. This landmark project now serves as a model for coexistence in the region.

In Defense of Animals arranged a “pre-conflict” visit between Kindred Spirits Care Farm and the Cougar Conservancy, which specializes in reducing human-wildlife conflicts through science-based management and conservation. The Compassion Barn was envisioned from this collaboration as a barn to house Kindred Spirits’ animal residents at night securely. 

The Compassion Barn at Kindred Spirits Care Farm showcases a humane alternative to depredation permits and saves more animal lives. Now the Compassion Barn is operational, it serves as a model to educate and inspire micro-sanctuaries, hobby farms, and residences that house domestic animals in the region.



Images (available free for use with credit per filename):





  • In Defense of Animals, Lisa Levinson,, 215-620-2130
  • Kindred Spirits Care Farm, Karen Snook,, 818-585-4770


In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin, California, with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi.

The Interfaith Vegan Coalition helps animal activists and spiritual leaders bring vegan values to spiritual, ethical, and religious communities. The coalition provides tools to help all faith and secular wisdom traditions practice the ideals of nonviolence, lovingkindness, and harmlessness toward all animals.

At Kindred Spirits Care Farm, our mission is to promote compassion, cooperation and connection with the earth, animals and each other through sustainable care farming.

The Cougar Conservancy is a non-profit organization based out of Los Angeles, California that provides expert recommendations and direct support to state residents seeking to prevent or resolve conflicts that may arise between our communities and cougars in the landscapes we share. Our Conflict Task Force collaborates with communities and individuals to implement reliable cougar conflict prevention techniques that serve people while conserving cougars. We aim to empower people with training and education that promotes coexistence with cougars and other wildlife essential to our ecosystems.


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