Dogtown: Onyx walks in beauty, like the night

DogtownWe hope you were able to come join us at Mad River Brewery last week for our fundraiser. What a good time we had! Rescue dog Boscoe, featured here last week, was able to attend and had so much fun meeting people and dogs and just getting a chance to see the world after five months in the shelter. He is still available at the time of this writing, though we hope that one of his new friends will call us back and take him home!

The shelter is a busy place that seems to be somewhat chronically understaffed. There is so much to do with keeping all the cats and dogs (and occasionally roosters, turtles and Guinea pigs) clean and fed that there isn’t a lot of time left for just getting to know the animals.

That is one place where shelter volunteers and Redwood Pals can make a whole lot of difference. Volunteers walk and play with the Adoptable animals, which increases their chances of adoption considerably, just by virtue of being handled more.



Redwood Pals tries to bridge the gap for dogs that need to show improvement in some area before moving over to the Adoptable side. The shelter does not have a behavioral trainer on staff, so we try to learn what we can about the dogs and consult outside for ideas to help the dogs.

We have had many successes and are very proud when one of the Hold dogs graduates to the Adoptable side of the shelter. Time is a limiting factor here though. When the shelter gets slammed with incoming dogs, there isn’t always time to get a dog’s behavior up to the required standard before the shelter wants that dog gone for the space it is occupying. This is when we, and other rescue groups, put out pleas for help fostering dogs.

Fostering really does save lives. We do understand that not every dog arriving off the street can be saved and we take it very seriously to make sure our foster dogs are safe to be around people and other animals. That said, we are always looking for foster parents for our canine friends. Please contact us at [email protected] for more information about helping dogs by fostering, transporting to our partner shelters, donating food or cash or meeting our adoptable dogs. You can also reach us at (707) 839-9692 or by mail at P.O. Box 2913, McKinleyville, CA, 95519.

One of the dogs that we were able to help in the shelter was this lovely boy, Onyx. Onyx had been adopted from the shelter several years ago, but his owners couldn’t be found when he was picked up back in June. There was some question about something when he came in, but it wasn’t anyone’s first priority. Pretty soon we noticed that this poor dog had just been sitting patiently in a kennel for over a month without either being tested for Adoptable or having Redwood Pals notified that he was available to us.

We spent some time with him and brought his situation to the staff’s attention. After walking him, alone and with other dogs, we were able to show that he was a very nice dog that would quickly be adopted if anyone knew that he was available. Onyx passed with flying colors and moved to the Adoptable side of the shelter, where he is awaiting adoption now.

Onyx is a beautiful lab and border collie mix. He is tall and slender and has a lovely shiny black coat of a medium length. He is friendly with other dogs and very gentle with humans. Onyx would probably do just fine in a home with children or cats. He is about 3 years old and has some obedience skills on board already. Onyx walks very nicely on a leash, making him instantly popular with the volunteers.

Onyx is neutered, microchipped and current on vaccinations. He is at the Humboldt County Animal Shelter, located in McKinleyville, near the Airport, at 980 Lycoming Ave. More info is available at (707) 840-9132.

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