23ABC Bakersfield: Dead Dogs in Food Bags


Animal Cruelty,  which is Pervasive in Kern County, California, is not Investigated or Prosecuted

Tess Gruwell and Angelina Harrington were geocaching off a dirt road in Mojave, California on March 11, 2024 when they came across two dog food bags. To their horror, they found the bodies of three dead dogs stuffed in the bags. Tess contacted Kern County Animal Control, but they didn’t come out to pick up the bodies. Tess then reached out to CAPS.

CAPS told 23ABC in Bakersfield about the Mojave dogs and shared more images of dead dogs in dog and rooster feed bags and cats in a large commercial barrel, most of them younger animals. Some of them were definitely the victims of animal cruelty., which does not get investigated or prosecuted by Kern County.

On April 11, 2024, Steve Virgen, a reporter with 23ABC, located the bags with badly decomposing bodies in the same spot. He interviewed Tess and Angelina about their discovery of the bags, and Dr. Nicole Eller, the veterinarian for Bakersfield Animal Care, who was formerly with Kern County Animal Services (KCAS). Tess told CAPS that the bags and bodies disappeared about week before the story aired on May 1, 2024.

“I’ve never seen the level of animal neglect and cruelty in one area that I have since I moved out here,” Dr. Eller said in her 23ABC interview. She stressed that law enforcement and county officials need to address animal cruelty.

Dr. Eller, who moved to Kern County, a little over two years ago, studied forensics after obtaining her veterinary degree. She is certified in six states as an expert witness for animal cruelty cases, was a field investigator for ASPCA, and is a member of the National Link Coalition, which studies the link between animal and human crimes.

Dr. Eller will be appearing in the CAPS documentary The Crisis at California’s Municipal Shelters and in our upcoming short documentary about animal cruelty in Kern County.


Stand With Us.

Donate monthly - Become a regular supporter