Dog Control Transition FAQs

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GENERAL INFORMATION

The Yamhill County Dog Control program, self-funded through the collection of licensing fees, fines, and assessments, is not fiscally viable. For over a decade, costs for the program continue to rise while revenue (i.e., licensing compliance) declines. The Sheriff’s Office worked to mitigate the falling revenue by closing the aging facility at the Fairgrounds in August 2015 and laying off one of two Dog Control Officers, responsible for enforcement and compliance, in July 2016. With the loss of our sole Dog Control Officer due to resignation in April 2017, the opportunity to restructure the program is now.

  • In reviewing how other counties handle dog control, we found that Yamhill County is unique in its approach.
  • After discussion and research, we have worked to develop a program that will shift from enforcement-focused to more citizen- and dog-focused compliance and public health safety.
  • Engagement with and support of non-profits provides a more collaborative approach to keeping animals healthy, while making it easier for citizens to maintain compliance.

LICENSING

Will I still need to license my dog(s)?
Yes. Licensing of all dogs in Oregon is required under ORS 609.100 in order to ensure a current rabies vaccination. This state law requires that “every person keeping a dog that has a set of permanent canine teeth or is six months old, whichever comes first, shall procure a license for the dog.”

Where do I need to go to license my dog(s)?
For now, licensing will continue to be a function of the Yamhill County Dog Control unit of the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office. Licenses may be renewed in person (535 NE 5th Street, Rm 143, McMinnville, Oregon 97128), through USPS mail, or at several local vet clinics. You may also be eligible to renew your license over the phone; call 503/434-7538 to determine if you are eligible.

In addition, the County is working to finalize an online licensing option, which will allow individuals to renew licenses via the internet.

How much does a license cost?
Current licensing fees are available online. With the transition, the County will be moving to annual licenses only, with a change in fees. More information about the new fee structure will be provided.

Why are you eliminating the two- and three-year licensing options? Isn’t the license tied to the rabies vaccination?
Licenses may not exceed the validity of the rabies vaccination. The County is moving to annual licensing to allow us to ensure more current/accurate information for owners, which allows dogs to be redeemed to their owner more quickly.

I thought I heard that my city will do its own dog licensing? Will I need to license in both places?
Jurisdictions have the option to create their own licensing program and keep all revenue from such program or they may continue to license through the county and receive a percentage of each license fee to cover increased costs. At this time, all jurisdictions have decided to continue through the county licensing program. If your city options to do its own licensing, you will only need one license (the city’s) as long as you remain a resident of the city.

ENFORCEMENT

Who will be responsible for enforcing the dog ordinance and state statute?
Effective July 1, 2017, municipalities with their own police agency (i.e., Amity, Carlton, McMinnville, Newberg-Dundee, and Yamhill) will provide enforcement within their city limits under their city code or state statute.

The Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office will continue to be responsible for the rural county and contract cities (i.e., Dayton, Lafayette, Sheridan, and Willamina) under county ordinance or state statute.

HOUSING AND CARE OF DOGS

Who will be responsible for caring for dogs that are picked up?
Law enforcement agencies in each jurisdiction will be required to establish a process for sheltering dogs that complies with Section 10 of Senate Bill 6. Owners will be provided information from the law enforcement agency, or their designee, on how to redeem dogs who were picked up.

Will just anyone be able to care for dogs that are picked up?
Shelters will be required to comply with Section 10 of Senate Bill 6 which outlines the need for “animal rescue entities” to maintain records of animals, including, but not limited to, date of birth (or approximate age), the number of offspring produced by the animal while in possession, the disposition of the animal, the source, date of acquisition, age, sex, breed type, and weight at intake and a photograph of the animal.

WHAT DO I DO FOR…?
 
How do I report a dog who is out and not on a leash or barking non-stop?
You may contact the non-emergency number for the Yamhill Communications Agency (YCOM) at 503/434-6500 or the Newberg-Dundee dispatch center for Newberg/East Yamhill County at 503/538-8321. They will forward the report to the appropriate agency for response.

What if a dog is attacking someone/another animal?
If the situation requires immediate assistance from law enforcement or ambulance, please call 911. Otherwise, please contact the non-emergency number above.

I was bitten by a dog. What do I do?
Attempt to get the owners name/address and the dog’s license number. Seek medical care if necessary/appropriate. In all cases, report the dog bite to Yamhill County Public Health (503/434-7525 x4715).

My dog got out and I can’t find her. How do I report her missing?
You may contact the appropriate non-emergency number listed above to report your dog missing.

My dog got out and I can’t find her. How do I know if she’s been picked up?
Shelters contracted for boarding services for the county or municipalities will have an electronic database or social media outlet (e.g., Facebook, Pet Finder, etc.) to alert owners of dogs that have come into their possession. All attempts will be made to keep the database up-to-date.

I found a dog out roaming around. Whom do I report it to?
Depending on whether or not you were able to contain the dog, you may report a found dog by:

  • contacting the appropriate non-emergency number listed above to report the location and description of the dog if you are not able to contain the dog or if the dog has no identification available;
  • contacting the dog owner if you are able to contain the dog and there is identification/contact information available on the dog’s collar; or
  • contacting the appropriate non-emergency number listed above to provide the license information if you are able to contain the dog but there is only license information, not owner contact information.

In addition, the County is working to finalize a searchable online database that will allow individuals who find lost dogs to search online for information on the dog’s owner. This information will be limited to the dog license number or microchip number and will provide for secure contact of the dog’s owner by the finder.

KENNELS

I have a kennel; will I be allowed to continue to operate one?
Yes, kennels will continue to be allowed under the revised County ordinance for rural County locations and contract cities. For all other municipalities, city code will outline the conditions under which kennels may be operated, if permissible.

I have a kennel; will it require inspection? If so, what’s the process?
For County inspections, the county will appoint an inspector or contract with an inspector to perform annual kennel inspections within rural Yamhill County and contract cities. All other municipalities will be responsible for kennel inspections in their jurisdiction pursuant to their city code.

For County inspections, kennel fees will be paid through the Sheriff’s Office until further notice. Once the application for inspection and money are received, commercial kennels will be inspected.

I suspect someone in my area is operating an unlicensed kennel. I believe someone in my area is not treating the animals in their kennel well.
Please contact the non-emergency number for the Yamhill Communications Agency (YCOM) at 503/434-6500 or the Newberg-Dundee dispatch center for Newberg/East Yamhill County at 503/538-8321. They will forward the report to the appropriate agency for response.

NON-PROFIT AND VOLUNTEER GROUPS

There are a number of non-profit agencies and volunteer groups in the county. How are law enforcement agencies partnering with them?
The partnership between non-profit agencies, volunteer groups, and law enforcement agencies is the purview of each law enforcement agency. The Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office encourages the collaboration between the non-profit agencies and volunteer groups to safely and swiftly return lost dogs to their owners in compliance with the county ordinance and state statute. Owners whose dogs have gone missing are encouraged to utilize the various social media outlets of the non-profit and volunteer groups, in addition to reporting the lost dog to law enforcement/Dog Control, to let people know their dog is lost.

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