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animal rights | government


Multnomah County Animal Control threatens people with charges of pet theft for aiding lost animals.
Just got off the phone with a friend of mine. Seems she took in a lost dog this morning. He was running through traffic and my friend's neighbor rescued him. Knowing that said friend is the neighborhood animal activist, she was asked to hold the dog and locate his guardian. She agreed and set aside her plans for the day. Because MCAC does not answer the phone until noon, she was unable to call them to check for lost dog reports. She called every lost animal hotline and took the dog into her vet to check for a microchip. Good news--the dog was microchipped. Unfortunately, the vet was unable or unwilling to provide the information but called the microchip company and provided them with my friend's information to be passed onto the guardian. She returned home and since it was after noon, she decided to call MCAC to check for lost reports. Not finding anything, the operator at MCAC told my friend to bring the dog into the shelter. Friend explained that it was unnecessary, as the dog was safely sheltered at her home and the dog's guardian was in the process of being notified. The MCAC employee then demanded that the dog be taken to the shelter and not doing so made my friend guilty of "pet theft." My friend does not take kindly to threats from MCAC. She refused to take the dog to MCAC and subject him to the stress and the potential for catching disease when he was safe with her. The MCAC employee threatened pet theft again.
Later, friend received a phone call from her veterinarian. Apparently, MCAC told them they were calling all the veterinarians in the area trying to locate my friend and the lost dog.

I can only assume that MCAC is so desperate for income that they would rather risk the wellbeing of a dog whose guardian has been located and demand the animal be taken to the shelter so they can charge all sorts of fees. Do they threaten every good citizen who calls with "pet theft" if they don't bring the animal in?

The irony in this story--my friend was one of the people who helped pass Oregon's pet theft law.