Meet Onyx: Young dog begins recovery from crude amputation

Meet Onyx: Young dog begins recovery from crude amputation
A 1-year-old male black lab mix, named Onyx, suffers from a severed back leg in this photo provided by Kern County Animal Control on Friday, Sept. 2, 2011. Two people face felony charges for crimes against animals, the agency said.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — His name is now Onyx, because he's just as strong as his namesake gemstone, Kern County Animal Control officials said Friday.

Onyx, a 1-year-old male black lab mix, was found Wednesday night at a home in the 3000 block of Weedpatch Highway. His owners allegedly cut off one of his back legs.

Animal Control officials said the owners likely tried an at-home amputation after the dog was hit by a car or injured in some other way. His severed leg was infested with maggots and he suffered from apparent pelvic injuries. He was also dehydrated, with only muddy water to drink.

Alberto Castaneda, 51, and Maria Banuelos, 59, were arrested on suspicion of felony crimes against animals.

Animal Control announced its new name for the dog Friday and said he was in stable but critical condition. Onyx will need a higher leg amputation and care by an orthopedic specialist.

Onyx left Bakersfield Friday to receive care, presumably in the Los Angeles area. A Kern County animal care supervisor and a county-registered vet technician accompanied Onyx on his trip. They reported he was responsive and resting comfortably.

A fund established for abused animals through the Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation will pay for Onyx's ongoing medical care. Click here if you want to donate >>