______________________________Clackamas County Puppy Mill Case
Many of you may have read Steve Mayes disturbing article in the Oregonian last Tuesday, (Nov. 12) "County raids site, seizes 3 puppies, finds six carcasses."
Around 50 feral dogs, four of them whelping females and many showing signs of disease or neglect, are being kept in squalor conditions on this rural property Southeast of Damascus. Twin sisters are responsible, Cheryl Ann Engelson owns the land and Sandra Engelson "owns" the dogs. The dogs are being held in a makeshift compound with only lean-to hovels made of plywood; completely inadequate protection from the oncoming winter cold and rain. After a complaint from an IDA supporter to animal control about a starving feral dog from that property, roaming near her house, the county live-trapped "Mocha" and she is in the process of rehab and adoption. One happy ending... 49 to go. The county officials raided the property with a warrant and found 6 dead dogs and confiscated three sickly puppies who were diagnosed with parasites and are being held. Three of the dead dogs were sent in for necropsy.
County not likely to press charges
Thus far, County officials seem uninterested in pressing for criminal charges even though there appears to be evidence that would support a case. Instead, Walter Cate, the interim dog control manager for Clackamas County, told me that they had a meeting with the Engelson sisters and their attorney and are working out an agreement to "bring them into compliance." Cate would not discuss all the details of the agreement but it appears that the sisters will be given time to build a residence on the property, will be given time to trap and find homes for excess dogs until they have no more than 20. The dogs they keep would be spayed and neutered on some undisclosed schedule. In the mean time, the sisters will NOT be required to live on the property as stated in their land use agreement. He said that all the dogs under six months of age would be removed last Saturday by Clackamas Co. Animal Control. Walter Cate maintains that the agreement that he is making is in the dogs' best interest.
History of non-compliance
The sisters have at least a fifteen year history of non-compliance including every provision of their conditional use permit; broken promises to reside on the property (they live in Multnomah Co.), contain the noise of barking dogs, keep the dogs contained, keep the dogs only as pets- not for profit or sale, and keep no more than 20 dogs. Evidence shows that they have been selling dogs through the Oregonian and one puppy buyer filed a complaint because the puppy had parvovirus and was riddled with fleas.
IDA has filed a complaint with the Clackamas Co. Department of Transportation and Development which should start an investigation into the Engelson's land use agreement. If their agreement was revoked, the Engelson's could have no more than three dogs on the property. Walter Cate has put a hold on this investigation.
THESE DOGS NEED YOUR HELP NOW!
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
We need you to pick up the phone and call right now!
There is no time to wait because the Engelson's attorney will be presenting a draft of the agreement as early as Wed or Thurs of this week! Then, please, follow up your calls with POLITE letters and emails to the same county officials.
In your comments you may want to include:
- Finding 6 dead dogs is a serious matter and the county should prosecute; not make deals.
- The Engelsons have had many chances to comply with their conditional use permit and you want to see an investigation started immediately to have their permit revoked.
- The results of the dog necropsies should not be hidden from the public.
Clackamas County Animal Control
Walter Cate interim dog control manager
2104 Kaen Road
Oregon City, OR 97045
Clackamas County Transportation and Development
Cam Gilmour- Director
(oversees land-use planning and dog control)
9101 SE Sunnybrook Blvd??
Clackamas, OR 97015
Clackamas County Board of Commissioners
906 Main St.
Oregon City, OR 97045
Larry Sowa (chair)
Michael J. Jordan
or for a group email
(stands for Board of County Commissioners)
A special thanks
I want to thank the many dedicated activists who have been working diligently to help these dogs in need. IDA was only a part of a team of committed individuals who have come together on this grassroots investigation. I am impressed beyond words from all of your efforts and you know who you are.
Also, please thank Steve Mayes for writing the article at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-294-5916
Please submit letters to the editor at: email@example.com
In Defense of Animals,
IDA Northwest Outreach Coordinator
503 249 9996
Portland IDA Office
5428 NE 30th St.
Portland, OR 97211