NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodKern River Valley


Whether they bark, moo, cluck or oink, Leo's Animal Rescue will take them

Leo's Animal Rescue in Onyx specializes in taking in farm animals and elderly dogs
Posted at 4:32 PM, Feb 22, 2024
  • Video shows a mini cow named Star, pigs chomping down carrots, chickens clucking, and elderly dogs.
  • Leo's Animal Rescue is a rescue in Onyx California, a rural are in the Kern River Valley, and they primarily takes in farm animals such as pigs, chickens and cows.

The mission of Leo’s Animal Rescue isn’t just to feed the animals it rescues, it’s to nurture them.
“For me, it's not just about making sure that they have shelter or food but that they have the time to connect, whether it’s with myself or other animals,” said Marlene Blanco, Founder and President of Leo’s Animal Rescue.

“My journey started about five years ago when I started doing animal rights activism.”

Two years ago Blanco then decided to take the next step and open up their own rescue which focuses on farm animals.

Right now they have pigs –

“Pigs are just like dogs in terms of, they want routines, they all have different personalities. Three of our pigs are rescued from the shelter, one was rescued from hoarding, neglect and abuse. He was emaciated, starved.”

One pig they are fostering.

Pig at Leo's Animal Rescue. It's just one of the many animals at the sanctuary
Pig at Leo's Animal Rescue. It's just one of the many animals at the sanctuary

“He’s on a diet, he came overweight,” Blanco said, “Pigs initially fight to make sure who’s the boss. Sadly, they don’t get along yet.”

And chickens –

“There is a lot of need for roosters. People try to get backyard chickens for eggs. They get them as babies and then they grow up and turn out to be roosters.”

And a mini cow named Star –

“He was born with his front legs inward. He’s able to walk, he's just like slower. We’re hoping to find another mini cow for him to have friends because cows are animals.

In addition to farm animals, the rescue focuses on elderly dogs.

“People obviously want puppies or younger dogs and a lot of seniors usually get overlooked.”

One of the dogs, Leo, is the namesake of the rescue.

“It’s rewarding for them to pass away in a loving place rather than being euthanized at the shelter for lack of space or health issues.”

Blanco cares for all the animals, giving them health checks, spending one on one time with them and staying sensitive to their needs.

Blanco does it all out of passion and supports themselves by working a day job as a counselor.

“It’s just my small way of giving back to the earth, the world, making a difference.”

Stay in Touch with Us Anytime, Anywhere: