When Onyx arrived at Rescue Ranch, we didn’t know if he would survive. His condition was so bad that his “owners” are now the subjects of a felony animal cruelty case. I am happy to report that he pulled through and is doing very well. But he’s been with us for over a year now, and he’s ready to step into a bright new future. Maybe this Saturday’s “Dog Days for Summer” pet adoption event will bring him the new, loving family he deserves.
Onyx was so weak he could barely stand, let alone walk. Because of the court case, Yreka Animal Control didn’t officially transfer him to Rescue Ranch for quite a while. But officials knew that, given his condition, he had a better chance with us, so they left him in our care.
I remember opening the veterinary crate and petting his head, hoping he would still be with us the next day. I found myself weeping at the sight of his emaciated frame, dull coat and sad face. They told an awful story of neglect and pain. When the vet at Ashland Animal Medical Hospital (AMH) saw him, she said he wouldn’t have lasted out the week on his own.
Left outside to die, dog winds up on Rescue Ranch volunteer’s porch
As bad as his story is, Onyx got lucky. Somehow, locked out of his home and left at the mercy of the elements, he found his way to the nearby house of a Rescue Ranch volunteer. That early March morning, she found him freezing and obviously starving on her porch. All she had to give him was a ham sandwich. He gobbled it up, then drank several bowls of water. He couldn’t get enough water. In fact, later that day, ranch staff had to control how much he drank to avoid a shock to his weakened system.
He was in such bad shape, our volunteer didn’t initially recognize him as Onyx, a dog she had known since he was a pup. After giving him the sandwich and water, she left him briefly on the porch to go call for help. But when she returned, he had disappeared.
She set out to look for him and soon came across an enforcement officer who was responding to her call. The officer was standing there, looking down at poor Onyx. As it turns out, he hadn’t gone far. He had returned to his home down the road. It was heartbreaking. He was waiting outside the only home he had ever known, even though the door wouldn’t open to let him in. That’s when our volunteer realized who he was. It was Onyx! She couldn’t believe it! Animal Control took him into custody and brought him to Rescue Ranch, refusing to leave him in the hands of his cruel so-called “masters.”
Neglected dog recovers at Rescue Ranch
It was touch-and-go for a while. Onyx was riddled with Giardia, and he was terribly thin. Now, at 60 pounds, he looks healthy, but he isn’t fat. Back then, he weighed only 42 pounds! Thank goodness, he made it through with flying colors. He’ll have to take B12 supplements for the rest of his life, but he’s otherwise healthy and doing great!
Despite the neglect and abandonment, Onyx was gentle from the start. As his health improved, he became more energetic and responsive. He eventually blossomed into the friendly, playful, people-oriented dog he is today. Understandably, he can be a bit cautious at first but warms quickly to new friends.
He loves people and his Kong, which you’ll often find clamped in his mouth. At eight years old, he’s at the low end of what is considered a senior dog. It is a wonderful age for someone who is looking for a good-sized companion whose energy is not over-the-top, but who still enjoys plenty of physical activity, going on walks, hanging out in the yard, and playing with his Kong!
Onyx is somewhat selective with other dogs. He was recently neutered, which might lessen his reactivity over time, but he wouldn’t mind being the only dog in the house. Interestingly, we recently learned that he grew up in a house with cats and might do alright with them in the future. Of course, with such a big size and power difference, there are no guarantees and extreme caution is warranted. Introductions would have to be supervised and progressive.
Meet Onyx on May 21 at the “Dog Days for Summer” pet adoption event.
We’re hoping that prospective adopters will visit Onyx this Saturday, May 21, during the Rescue Ranch “Dog Days for Summer”. It will be Siskiyou County’s first collaborative pet adoption event involving multiple rescues. Organizers are planning a fun day for the community with activities the whole family can enjoy. And, if you’re looking for a wonderful, mature, pit bull mix who will return your love in spades, then ask for Onyx! Click here to visit his profile page.
- Meet dogs and cats from multiple organizations.
- Enjoy watching dogs from Jefferson Working Dogs and Intermountain Mannered Mutts show off their skills!
- Get low-cost microchips and vaccines (Bordetella and parvo/distemper) for the family dogs you bring to meet prospective housemates.
- Learn about fire safety, emergency preparedness.
- Obtain information about RRAAP, our community spay/neuter program.
- Purchase great Mexican food and soft drinks on-site from Tacos Tao who have kindly agreed to bring their food truck to the adoption center.
We hope you’ll join us!