When Onyx was spotted, he was walking down the street, barely able to move. This sweet, 8-year-old Pit Bull had been beaten and was starving, his face covered in dog bites. Weeks before, he had been adopted out for free by Kern County Animal Services (KCAS) in Bakersfield, CA. He was taken home by a man described by a long-time volunteer as a “shady character.” In violation of state law, the shelter did not neuter Onyx before releasing him to this man, whom we believe used him for fighting. Now, Onyx found himself back in the shelter, awaiting probable euthanasia.
But with the help of CAPS, Onyx’s life was about to change.
Little did we know when we relocated to California in the fall of 2020 that CAPS would soon be developing a plan to help save the animals at KCAS, which has more than 400 stray dogs and puppies (and a small number of cats) housed in two, large, overcrowded metal warehouses, which have small kennels with no outdoor runs. Onyx was now back in those cages with time running out.
Luckily, when CAPS posted its first Instagram video featuring at-risk dogs at KCAS, Onyx was part of it. Very quickly, we heard from an animal lover named Caitlyn. She already had a female Pit Bull at home, whom she had previously adopted from KCAS, and now she wanted Onyx, too.
The shelter had been insisting that Onyx did not like other dogs because he’d joined in dog fights in the tiny play yard. But Caitlyn took a chance. Onyx immediately hit it off with her other dog and started playing like a puppy. Later, Caitlyn would also save the life of another KCAS Pit Bull that had been featured by CAPS by fostering her and then finding her a forever home.
CAPS has saved 212 dogs from Kern County Animal Services since mid-February 2022 by using social media, including regular advertising of Instagram posts, a Petfinder page, Nextdoor posts, shelter to shelter transfers, and shelter to rescue transfers. Your generous donation today will help to save even more lives.
Saving dogs from KCAS is just part of the equation. CAPS has developed an integrated program to address California’s homeless animal crisis, as well as the problems at the state’s numerous municipal shelters, most of which have been underfunded for years. Next week, CAPS will be launching the trailer for our upcoming documentary “The Crisis at California’s Municipal Animal Shelters,” which we will use to expose the problems and bring about change through legislation.