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Grocery Outlet dumped dogs headed into foster care in Thousand Oaks

Melissa Hutton, a member of the Friends of Abandoned Dogs Facebook group, facilitated the dogs' move to the foster home, and she says the dogs are doing well.
Posted: 6:35 PM, Jun 26, 2023
Updated: 2023-06-26 21:58:40-04
grocery outlet dog

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Security cameras at the Grocery Outlet in Oildale caught a man throwing three puppies out of his car and leaving, abandoning them behind the store.

Five days later, a Grocery Outlet employee, Kristina Jacober, found the dogs, hot and covered in foxtails. She says watching the video of their abandonment left her emotional.

"I honestly don't know why people think that's okay. That's like taking one of your kids and just saying, 'Ah, you know, I'm done taking care of you today. I've been doing it long enough. I'm just gonna take you and drop you somewhere,'" said Jacober.

The animals were pushed out of the vehicle and left behind to fend for themselves until Jacober found them wandering behind a brick wall in the alley. She believes the puppies were 4 to 5 months old, and said she took breaks during her shift at work to give them food and water.

Now that dog food is the only evidence of the 3 dogs left behind. They've been taken to a shelter.

"One of them was so scared to get into the car, honestly, because of the experience it had the last time it got thrown into a car, so I can understand why it was so closed off," said Jacober.

Jacober says that because all the local shelters are full, the puppies, who were originally supposed to be transported to the Because We Care Rescue in Washington State, have instead gone temporarily into a foster home in Thousand Oaks.

The 3 pups will eventually move to Shelter Hope Pet Shop in Thousand Oaks to start their search for their furever home.

Jacober adds that she works with rescue groups across Bakersfield to choose shelters that have the resources and connections to find these animals homes.

Melissa Hutton, a member of the Friends of Abandoned Dogs Facebook group, facilitated the dogs' move to the foster home, and she says the dogs are doing well.

"The puppies were actually spayed this morning. Spayed and neutered this morning, so they're on their way. They got their baths yesterday, and they're on their way to a good life," said Hutton. "Thank God."

This is not the first case of dog abandonment in Kern County. Nick Cullen with Kern County Animal Services says in the last ten years, he's seen a spike in this behavior.

"There are a lot more animals coming into the shelters that don't have somebody looking for them, so when we see that, we just know that people are struggling to provide care for their own animals," said Cullen.

Cullen suggests that people only adopt an animal if they have the resources to properly care for them, adding that spaying and neutering pets is the best way to prevent overpopulation in shelters.

Jacober agrees that it's going to take a proactive, community-wide effort to properly address the issue of animal overpopulation in Bakersfield.

"It's going to take a village to get this under control. It's not just this location. It's everywhere in Bakersfield," said Jacober.

If you are struggling to take care of an animal in your home, do not abandon your pet. Kern County Animal Services offers resources for pet owners to help them provide adequate care and keep their animals. To see what resources are available, please visit the Kern County Animal Services website.


Dumping your pets, aside from being cruel and illegal, also reduces the animal's chances for successful rehoming, damages the environment, creates a public safety risk, and consumes municipal resources.

According to researchers with the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, abandoned animals are at risk of starvation, untreated disease, and face challenges being adopted into a new home once they're rescued.

Abandoned animals are also considered an invasive species, depending on where they are dumped, and they can become health and safety risks for humans and other animals, either through attacks, spreading disease, or by wandering onto roadways.

The more animals abandoned by their owners, the higher the cost for both private and government organizations who remain dedicated to providing shelters and rehoming.