Pet Rescues

Looking to adopt?  RESCUE!

There are a number of organizations in Kern County and Southern California with pets that need homes. Following are few of our favorites.  If you know of a shelter in our area with a website that should be listed, please let us know.

If none of the above have the rescue pet you're looking to adopt, visit and do a search by animal type and location.  There are lots of homeless pets in our area to choose from!

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

(By Susie Atherton, Owner of Canine Creek - May 31, 2008)

Earlier this week I was on my way to a meeting at a local coffee house. As I approached the door, a girl about 8 years old came up to me and (literally) shoved a tiny kitten in my face. She said, "You have to take this! My mom told me to get rid of it!" I replied, "I'm very sorry, but I have several large dogs and cannot take your kitten. Please ask your mom to call the Tehachapi Humane Society. Perhaps they can help you find it a home." She looked at me with horror and said "Oh no, I can't take it there.... they'll KILL IT!" Not having time to debate the inaccuracy of her statement, I repeated the information about the THS and went inside, assuming she would do as I suggested.

The next day, I ran into a nice couple who are members of STOP, Save Tehachapi's Orphaned Pets, and we were talking about rescue. They relayed a similar story about meeting the young girl with the kitten except, apparently, her marketing technique had changed drastically as she became more desperate later in the day. The girl told the couple they HAD to take the kitten. When they said they couldn't she replied, "Well if you don't, I'm going to THROW IT IN THE STREET!" Horrified, and feeling they had no choice, they took the kitten home with them. Fortunately, they quickly found a neighbor who was willing to adopt it.

It saddens me that a parent would send a child out in public, alone, to handle a situation such as this. And, that the young girl felt so desperate that she would risk the life of a tiny creature to solve her problem. There are ALWAYS options to neglect, abuse and abandonment! A number of private, non-profit rescues exist in Tehachapi who would have tried to help this family. If no foster or adoptive homes were available, they could have run a classified ad in the Tehachapi News to find the kitten a new family. Or, they could have made flyers to post on local pet business and veterinarian bulletin boards. As a last resort, they could have taken the kitten to the Mojave animal shelter. Although this shelter has an extremely high euthanasia rate, at least the kitten would stand a good chance of being adopted. That's a much better option than it slowly starving to death, being eaten by a coyote or getting run over by a car.

Rescued & Returned, Thanks to a Microchip - Muňeco

(Submitted by Shellie Lowetz - May 19, 2008)

The Quintores family bought a beautiful Lhasa Apso puppy from a breeder in Redondo Beach in early 2007, who responsibly microchipped her puppies prior to selling them. When their pup was only 5 or 6 months old, it was stolen from their yard at their home in Palmdale, California.

On May 19, 2008 a lady named Becky, traveling on Willow Springs Road, came upon a little dog running down the center of the road... scared, filthy and with long hair matted to the bone. After 20 minutes of trying to catch the dog, a truck driver stopped and, together, they were able to lure the dog into the safety of Becky's car.  As she was on her way to Tehachapi to visit relatives, Becky decided to take the dog with her to have it checked for a microchip at Canine Creek, since the dog was not wearing a collar or have ID tags. 

When Becky arrived at Canine Creek, the little dog was scanned for a microchip and, low and behold, he had one.  Within 5 minutes, the owners of the dog were identified.  By early evening, the Quintores family arrived in Tehachapi (over an hour drive from their home) to retrieve their dog, who had disappeared from their yard... ONE YEAR before!   They gave "Muňeco" a much-needed bath and took him home to his family. 

Without a microchip, Muňeco would have likely never have seen his rightful owners again.  Having ID tags on your pets is very important but, in a case like this, it would not have helped.  Tags can be lost or removed, but a microchip is permanent ID, since it is implanted by a needle, and can only be removed surgically.  The cost is relatively low, and it is a one-time expense.  If you love your pets, please consider having them microchipped.  Canine Creek offers this service for $50, including lifetime registration with Avid, and clinics are held monthly.  For more information on microchipping, visit this page.  To find out when the next shot, nail and microchip clinic will be held at Canine Creek, see the calendar page.

Rescue & Adoption Success Story - Gentle Ben
(Submitted by Leslie at Canyon Canyon Ranch - Jan 4, 2008)

Hi there. My name is Ben and this is the story of how I went from being a vagabond wandering the streets of Tehachapi to having a new home with a loving couple. What a difference two weeks makes!

There I was wandering along Valley Blvd., minding my own business and looking for my next meal, when someone stopped. It was Mike who worked at Canine Creek Dog Wash. He picked me up and took me to work where I was whisked inside (it sure smells great in there) and treated like a king. Needless to say, I was the guest, so I behaved impeccably. Susie called her friend Leslie at Canine Canyon Ranch Rescue and asked “Is there was room at the inn?” There was, and the rest is history.

I stayed there for almost two weeks while they waited to see if someone would claim me. If they’d just asked me, I could have told them I’d been out wandering for quite some time. I got my dreadlocks cut off and every day the lady brushed me. The Collie Rescue didn’t have room for me so she started looking for a new home. Some people LIKE older gentlemanly dogs, you know. 

People answered an email and helped to raise money for my surgery-I have a large cyst on my tail, several smaller cysts, I’m getting neutered (whatever that is), will have all required shots, and if there’s enough money I’ll get a microchip. Dr. Billingsley will be doing my surgery on Monday, January 7th, thanks to everyone who contributed. My foster mom tells me that it will be a lot more comfortable sitting down from now on (I’m not sure what’s up with that?).

My new home will be with a couple who just lost their older male Shepherd a few months ago. Here’s a photo of me with my new Mom, Louise, taken right after Susie at Canine Creek spent almost two hours giving me a bath and brushing me out. Even though they live in a small trailer that moves around, they will be wonderful guardians for the rest of my life, and I will guard them right back. We are going to leave Tehachapi to be campground hosts very soon! That will be fun and I’ll get to make lots of new friends and help them have a great time on their vacations.

Well, that’s about it for now. This next week should be really exciting for me, so I wanted to tell you my story now before things get crazy. Thank you to everyone that helped out with my vet bill and I’ll try and send a postcard soon. And if you’re looking for a dog, don’t forget to check out the rescues first-they changed my life forever!

Love and slobbery kisses,

Gentle Ben the collie

Gaby's Story - Rescue of a Stray

(Submitted by Krista Levy, coordinator of Gaby's rescue, Dec 2007)

A community of pet lovers comes together to make a difference...

Dear friends, 

Thank you all so much for your help and kind wishes this week! As you know, Gaby has been living for weeks under a fallen billboard at the corner of Woodford and Tehachapi. My husband Brian and I have been feeding it every day, but we were unable to get it out of its den, so I sent out an email blitz to all of you. Because of the incredible response we got, we got our Christmas miracle and Gaby was rescued today. Here's what happened, in a nutshell: 

First-- Cathy Horvath and Farmer Paul from Happy Trails were a godsend! In case you aren't familiar with Paul and Cathy, Happy Trails provides cage-free boarding, training and rehabilitation for dogs from Tehachapi to Los Angeles.

When he reached Gaby's den, Paul turned into McGyver and made a dog pole out of scrap metal and twine. Then he actually crawled right into Gaby's den (not something I would generally recommend) and managed to gently catch her. He maneuvered her out of the den and into the crate generously loaned to us by Linda from the THS. Maurice Gubler (from Maurice Gubler Advertising & Bear Tracks) was part of our dedicated rescue posse as well—among other things, he was most helpful in getting Gaby's crate lifted up into our truck. 

We drove Gaby right to the vet, where several facts became immediately apparent. First, Gaby is an absolute cream puff!!! She isn't aggressive at all, is quiet, likes attention, and was clearly someone's pet. Second- my bad- Gaby isn't a Queensland Heeler at all, but a lovely, 55 lb. Chow. (So what do I know? I was just quoting!!!) 

As we left the vet, we also discovered that Gaby needed no encouragement to jump into Paul's truck, and she clearly enjoys riding shotgun in the passenger seat. She actually shared the ride with two rabbits, and I'm happy to report that she was very polite toward them. All of her behavior thus far suggests that she will make a wonderful pet. 

She will be getting the rest of her shots within the next couple of days. For the next week or two, Farmer Paul will be her foster father, doing what he does best- assessing her condition and demeanor, rehabilitating her, caring for her and generally providing her with love. (I will, of course, be sneaking up to Happy Trails to give her love, too.) 

A resounding thank you to the following folks for their efforts and their compassion: 
Sharon Cornelison from the THS, Susie Atherton from Canine Creek, Sheryl, Jean at the Loop, David Hiner, Carin L. Enovijas from the Tehachapi News, Vicky Thrasher, Mesonika Piecuch & her husband, Tammy Engel and Jodi Friedlander .

And of course, you all know what is coming next. While Gaby is currently safe and warm, we can't leave her with Farmer Paul for more than two weeks. She has been through so much – I can't believe that God brought us this far without intending that she end up as a permanent member of a lovely family. As I said, so far, it appears that she is an excellent candidate for adoption, and I hope that we can get the word out to as many folks as possible.

Thank you all – so much. If I have forgotten to name any of you, please forgive me and know that it is simply because I am dog-tired (no pun intended) and not because your contributions and good wishes were not appreciated!!!

Krista Levy, Tehachapi

Animal refuge in trouble

Death of a benefactor leaves farm in a bind

By J. Harry Jones
San Diego Union-Tribune
(Reprint requested by Purple Cow)

August 25, 2007

VALLEY CENTER – For nearly 15 years Tiffany St. Ives has given a home to animals that otherwise were facing sure death.

Tiffany St. Ives, owner of Purple Cow, said she is "in a state of shock" about the farm's financial situation.  At her 10-acre ranch in remote Valley Center, Ives' nonprofit Purple Cow & Friends hosts the farm animals and pets that nobody wants.

“There's the pot-bellied pig pet that was so cute when it was little, then became a 300-pound monster,” St. Ives said, citing one example.
“This is a place for animals to live happily ever after, a place of everlasting peace.”
But the 51-year-old animal-rights activist fears her life's mission may soon come to an end.

For most of its existence the ranch has been financially supported mostly by “a New York socialite” who wished to remain anonymous. She heard about St. Ives years ago and donated about $100,000 annually to keep the ranch operating.
The money paid for feed, repairs, truck rentals and hay.

Two goats chowed down on some donated lettuce yesterday at Purple Cow farm in Valley Center. The animal-rescue center is facing an uncertain future after the death of its main financial supporter.  But the socialite recently died.  And although the benefactor had said she would take care of the Purple Cow in her will, a legal battle between her heirs put a stop to that, St. Ives said.  “She's been a total financial backbone of the operation,” St. Ives said. “I'm in a state of shock here.”

While roaming the hilly ranch yesterday amid a myriad of goats, dogs, roosters and geese, St. Ives wrung her hands and worried.  “This place is unique in several ways. There is no other sanctuary like us.”  Some of the animals that are brought to the ranch live out their long lives right there. Others are adopted out to families that have to promise in writing never to harm the animals. One animal that has lived at the ranch for years is a pig that briefly encountered swine celebrity in 1997.

Carlito, half pot-bellied pig, half regular hog, made headlines when he bit a San Diego Gas & Electric Co. meter reader who got too close to his pen in a Pacific Beach backyard.  Authorities said the pig was too big to live in the neighborhood, and it looked like Carlito's days were numbered. Radio talk show hosts took up Carlito's cause, and finally, shortly before Carlito was to be put down, he was taken to Purple Cow.
Yesterday the massive Carlito slept soundly in a pen next to two other pigs. Two geese honked noisily a few feet away.

“We need some sort of emergency funding until I can get something more permanent lined up,” St. Ives said.  Anyone interested in helping the Purple Cow is encouraged to call St. Ives at (760) 749-4790 or to go to the operation's Web site at Checks can be sent to The Purple Cow & Friends, P.O. Box 301175, Escondido, CA 92030. All donations are tax deductible.

Writer:  J. Harry Jones: (760) 737-7579;