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Animal Services - Laws to know

This is a summary of the most important laws that you should know as a pet owner. These laws also apply if you are keeping an animal for someone else. For more detail, you may also wish to read the Washington County ordinances and the Oregon State statutes concerning domestic animals. Please call Animal Services at 503-846-7041 if you have any specific questions that are not covered here .

Dogs must be licensed within 30 days of obtaining permanent canine teeth or six months of age OR within 30 days of acquisition by the owner/keeper OR within 30 days after new residents move into the county. A license is required even if the dog is always kept indoors or on a farm. Before it can be licensed, the dog needs to be vaccinated against rabies. The license tag should be securely fastened to the dog's collar or harness, which must be worn at all times when the dog is not on the premises of the licensee. Cats and other types of pets do not need to be licensed.

You can be cited for failure to obtain a license, and door-to-door license compliance checking is done regularly in the county. For more information about licensing, please visit the licensing section.

Dogs running at large
It is unlawful for any dog to run at large in this county. This includes any dog that is off the owner's/keeper's premises, not restrained, or under the immediate command and control of the owner/keeper. Any dog found running at large may be impounded and the owner cited. Redemption and boarding fees will then be charged.

Vicious and public nuisance dogs
It is unlawful to own or keep a dangerous or vicious dog or a dog that is a public nuisance. A vicious dog is one that bites people or other domestic animals or demonstrates a propensity to act harmfully to people and/or animals. Dogs that destroy property of others, disturb the peace (barking), scatter garbage, chase people or vehicles, and any female in heat and running at large are examples of dogs that are public nuisances.

Cruelty, neglect and abandonment
It is unlawful to commit acts of cruelty and neglect to animals. This includes abuse; neglect; abandonment; deprivation of food, drink, or adequate and humane shelter; or confinement in a motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of the animal. We actively investigate reports of these conditions.

Dog bites
If your dog bites a person, you must immediately notify the county Health and Human Services department (503-846-8722). You must give the name and address of the person who was bitten (if known), and you must abide by any quarantine instructions given to you by the department.

If you have questions about animal control laws that aren't answered here,
please call 503-846-7041.

Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter
1901 SE 24th Avenue
Hillsboro, OR 97123 Phone: (503) 846-7041
Administration Fax: (503) 846-7074
E-Mail to: animal_services@co.washington.or.us