The Law Against Animal Abandonment

Every day, a significant number of people from within the Portland metro area, move away from their residences and leave their pet behind. They are domestic animals who are not equipped to survive on their own. Many are fertile, and continue to breed and create more homeless animals. On their own, they starve or freeze to death, spread infectious disease, are killed by wild animals, and are used by some people as “target practice.” The average lifespan of an abandoned cat living on it’s own, is less than two years.

Many Oregonians are still not aware that Animal Abandonment is ILLEGALin the state of Oregon (ORS167.340). It is a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 6 months in jail (ORS 161.615) and/or a $2500 fine (ORS 161.635) if convicted. It also remains on a police record for a minimum of two years. The crime description includes leaving any domestic animal to fend for itself when you move away, and trapping stray cats (or dogs) and driving them to another neighborhood or out to the country and leaving them to fend for themselves.

So if you know someone who has committed this crime, or is considering committing this crime, PLEASE ask them to reconsider. Help them learn what their options are. Encourage them to take responsibility for their pet’s life. Don’t allow this tragic cycle to continue.

ORS 167.340 Animal abandonment. (1) A person commits the crime of animal abandonment if the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence leaves a domestic animal at a location without providing for the animal’s continued care. (2) It is no defense to the crime defined in subsection (1) of this section that the defendant abandoned the animal at or near an animal shelter, veterinary clinic or other place of shelter if the defendant did not make reasonable arrangements for the care of the animal. (3) Animal abandonment is a Class B misdemeanor. [1985 c.662 §8; 2001 c.926 §11]

Click An Argument for Indoor Cats to read a reminder of the tragedy of abandoned pets.

Click here to download an English or Spanish version of our Anti-Abandonment Poster. Hanging the flyer at rental properties such as apartments and mobile home parks will help deter people from abandoning their pets.

Property Managers:

Please consider including a clause in your rental agreements that assure your tenants understand the law against animal abandonment. Contact us if you would like to use our a sample contract ( The paragraphs below are suggested language in English and Spanish.

Rental Agreement Sample (English)

I understand that it is a crime in the state of Oregon to abandon a domesticated animal. It is a Class B Misdemeanor, Oregon Criminal Code ors.167.340. “Animal abandonment”, as that term is used in the criminal statutes, means leaving an animal at any location without first ensuring that someone remains responsible for caring for that animal. This requirement includes making sure the animal is provided food, shelter and other basic necessities. Simply leaving an animal near an animal shelter, veterinary clinic or other type of shelter is not a defense to the crime of animal abandonment. This crime is punishable by imprisonment and/or fines.

Contrato de Renta (en Espanol)

Entiendo que es un crimen en el estado de Oregon de abandonar animales domesticos. Es una ofensa de clase B en el CODIGO CRIMINAL DE OREGON #167.340 “Abandonamiento de Animales” es un termino usado en los estatutos criminales y significa dejar a un animal en cualquier lugar sin hacer arreglos para que alguna otra persona tome cuidado de dicho animal, esto incluye que el animal tenga comida y otra nesecidades basicas. Simplemente dejando a un animal cerca de una clinica veterinaria o refugio de animales no es una excusa o defensa en el crimen de “Abandonamiento de Animales”. Este crimen es penado con carcel o multa.

Picture of Pirate


Pirate was rescued wandering down the middle of Sandy Blvd in Portland, Oregon, completely blind! ‘Lost and Found’ ads produced no clues as to how a blind cat could have ended up at a major intersection.

End Animal Abandonment

Be Sociable, Share!

Add A Comment