Dogs must be licensed yearly, as mandated by state law and local ordinances. A dog license may be purchased at the Animal Rescue Center; the cost per dog per year is $25.00. A license may be purchased for multiple years (up to 3), again at a cost of $25.00/year (so a 3-year license would cost $75.00). These licensing fees are maintained by the Animal Rescue Center to aid in its day-to-day operations. You must provide proof of current rabies vaccination at the time of licensing. We cannot by Oregon state law provide a license that extends past a rabies vaccination expiration date, so keep that in mind as you plan licensing your dogs.
If you are looking for a lost pet, it may have been brought to the Animal Rescue by an Animal Control Officer. It may also have been brought to us by a concerned citizen or by our Director, who doubles as an on-call animal control worker (for free, by the way, but we're hoping that will soon change). Please contact us if you are looking for a lost pet. If we have your animal, you can get that animal back. However, we are required by the County, and by Oregon state law, to charge a redemption fee of $27.00/day or portion thereof for boarding your animal. Moreover, if your animal is a dog and is not licensed, you will be required to purchase a license as mandated by state law and local ordinance, and this will require that you demonstrate proof of current rabies vaccination. In some cases, we will work out a payment contract with you if paying the fee all at once is a hardship financially, but do realize this is a legally binding contract, and failure to pay will result in turning the account over to a collections agency.
Bite holds are a different story. If your dog has been seized on a bite hold, and it is not injured, animal control will bring it to the Animal Rescue for a mandatory 10-day hold as required by state law to monitor the animal for signs of rabies as well as to assess potentially aggressive behavior. If the owner can prove current rabies vaccination, the 10-day hold can be waived. If an animal is returned at some point to the original owner, the $27.00/day holding fee is still enforced.
If you can no longer care for your animal(s), we want to help. We DON'T want to see animals taken up in the hills to be abandoned or shot. And believe us, we've seen both happen, too many times to count. Bring your animals to us (but call ahead first. We take in animals based on available space, and we can't always take every animal. But we will try to find solutions for you). Please be aware that we charge a surrender fee, in many cases because the County refuses to provide us any compensation for this service to the community. Again, in some cases we will work out a payment contract with you if paying the fee all at once is a hardship financially.
Oregon Revised Statutes provide for precise penalties for crimes against animals, such as animal cruelty and neglect. The statutes are very clear about what is considered an animal. In both ORS 167.310 and in ORS 609.415 (which defines what animal shelters are and what their responsibilities are), "animal" is precisely defined as "...any nonhuman mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish." In other words, all vertebrates are considered animals under the law.
The Oregon Humane Society has put together two books detailing ORS regarding animal abuse and crimes against animals. The first can be found here, and their guide to Oregon statute regarding animals can be found here.
Animal Control in Union County falls under the jurisdiction of the Union County Sheriff's Office. If you see an animal running loose, call the dispatch at their non-emergency number (541-963-1017). You should also call them if you see or suspect any criminal act against an animal. Their animal control officers are here to assist with animal law enforcement, and they do a fantastic job. If they are unavailable and you see a loose animal, you can still call them, and they will most likely call our Director, who functions on-call when Animal Control is unavailable. Many municipalities allow concerned citizens to bring in stray animals to the local Animal Rescue. We welcome that as well, although Union County will not provide us any additional assistance for such intakes. If you can make a donation when bringing in a stray to help defray the cost of care, it would be very welcome and appreciated.