Grass Valley, Calif. May 15, 2019 – Renegade, a 27-year old mustang, became homeless after his guardian of decades passed away. Renegade’s guardian’s dying wish was for someone to give his horse a home. Since last August, Renegade has been in the care of the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter (SCCAS). Two decades ago he was part of a round up in the Nevada desert conducted by the US Bureau of Land Management. This Friday, May 17, Renegade will arrive at the non-profit Center for Animal Protection & Education (CAPE) in Grass Valley, where he will live on their sanctuary for the rest of his life.

Renegade had lived in Santa Cruz County for most of his life. His guardian spent his entire life helping others in need. He was a volunteer firefighter and worked answering phones at a suicide prevention hotline. People in the Santa Cruz community learned that he was gravely ill and that he was desperately worried about his horse. They rallied together to help.

Renegade came to the SCCAS underweight, limping with an arthritic knee and overgrown teeth.  While at the Shelter, an equine veterinarian was hired to float his teeth so he could properly digest his food, his feet were trimmed so that he could walk normally and with less pain, and blood work was sent to a lab which identified he had Cushing’s disease – a chronic condition involving an overactive pituitary gland resulting in a myriad of symptoms that require medication, regular blood work, and ongoing veterinary management..  Renegade was started on a drug to address the Cushing’s disease, he has put on weight, and enjoyed running in the Shelter’s barnyard.

Melanie Sobel, SCCAS’s General Manager: “We are so thankful that our placement partner CAPE has stepped up to take Renegade on the next step of his journey. He will be in great hands with more room to roam and spend time with other farm animals.”

During the time when his guardian was in ill health, Renegade’s temperament and health also went downhill. When he first arrived at the Shelter, he immediately bonded with animals housed nearby. But as those animals were adopted out, Renegade became upset, sometimes kicking the stall wall and ramming his head into the door.  Staff and volunteers worried that his chances of finding a permanent home were slim.

The staff at SCCAS along with several Santa Cruz residents reached out to sanctuaries across the country. When the CAPE, located in Grass Valley, learned of Renegade’s plight, they sent a staff person to the shelter to evaluate him.

JP Novic, CAPE Executive Director: “At first Renegade was resistant to interactions with people. Fortunately there were dedicated people at the shelter who worked with him enough to get him to a place where he is more trusting with humans. Horses and burros are herd animals and form strong bonds with people and other animals.  We are looking forward to welcoming him to the sanctuary where he can live out his life with a family of equines, room to graze, and lots of people showering him with attention.”

Preparations at the CAPE Animal Sanctuary are now being made for Renegade’s arrival which is scheduled for Friday, May 17th. Renegade has shown his need to have a family of animals nearby – the equine herd at CAPE is sure to give him the companionship he longs for.

To cover the medical costs that will be consistent for the rest of Renegade’s life, CAPE is asking for people to sponsor him on a monthly basis. These funds will cover the costs of his medications and veterinary visits. For more information about Renegade and how you can become a sponsor, thereby becoming a part of his rescue, visit

About CAPE

The Center for Animal Protection and Education (CAPE) ( works to save the lives of individual animals who are at risk, or have special needs and to educate people about ways to alleviate animal suffering. Founded in 1992, CAPE has helped thousands of animals. Those who are older, injured or recovering from an illness are placed into new, loving homes through CAPE’s foster and adoption programs. In 2012 CAPE established the CAPE Animal Sanctuary in Grass Valley, California, a permanent home for dozens of animals with special needs and burros removed from their native habitats on public lands by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. CAPE also offers educational opportunities to inform people about issues animals face in society. CAPE programs emphasize that all animals have the right to a long, full life, free from pain and suffering. To learn more or donate please visit