Support Rescues in Oregon

Shelters and rescues in Oregon need your help! They may be asked to pay significant license and inspection fees by the state, which could impact animal welfare. Contact your state representatives or learn more.

At Multnomah County Animal Services in 2023, 25% of animals were transferred to other animal shelters or rescue groups to find new homes. We work with many other shelters and small rescues for different types of animals or breeds. These partnerships save lives and are essential to our work.

Under Oregon law, all animal shelters and rescues are inspected and licensed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture to make sure animal welfare standards are met. It’s an important program that can help prevent large cases of animal neglect before they begin, and to ensure the system isn’t misused. It was first established by the Oregon State Legislature after nearly 150 dogs were rescued from a warehouse in Brooks, OR, in 2013. Inspections became the responsibility of the Oregon Department of Agriculture in 2019.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture was asked to fund the program with license fees from rescues instead of the state budget, and proposed higher license fees to meet the need within those constraints. Without increased funding, they can’t conduct regular inspections.

Serving the Animals and People of Their Communities

Animal shelters and rescues are serving the animals and people of their communities. They support animal services provided by local government, and often fill gaps in those services. They’re not profiting from the work they do, and the proposed increased fees for a business license model isn’t the right fit for the work they do, or what our state needs.

State budget funds are the logical funding source for Oregon’s Animal Rescue Entity inspection and licensing program- because it serves the interests of the state to fund the program. This program safeguards the welfare of animals throughout Oregon, and supports shelters and rescues to do their work. Funding this program with state dollars further empowers shelters and rescues to put all of their resources towards serving the greatest number of animals, which is key at a time when more animals are coming to shelters, and rescues are in extremely high demand!

If rescues and shelters have to pay hundreds or thousands more for licenses and inspections, it could harm animal welfare work across the state. It would make it harder for shelters and rescues to work together, or to work at all.

About the Animal Rescue Entity Program

Read the Proposed ARE Rulemaking

Learn more with FAQs from Cat Adoption Team

How You Can Help

Contact Your State Legislators

Please contact your State representative about this important issue, and urge them to fund the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Animal Rescue Entity Program from the state budget.

Contact Your Legislators

  • Click Here (Find Your Legislator/
  • At the top left, where it says “Find Address or Place,” enter in your physical address.
  • The first lawmaker is your state senator, and the second is your state representative. Please call or email both

Provide Written Comment to the Oregon Department of Agriculture


You can submit written comments until March 15, 2024, 5 pm.

Shelter Care
Daisy, a dog transferred to Jack Russell Rescue - Oregon Washington & Idaho in January 2024
Daisy, a dog transferred to Jack Russell Rescue - Oregon Washington & Idaho in January 2024
Peep, a quail transferred to Harmony New Beginnings Animal Rescue in January 2024.
Peep, a quail transferred to Harmony New Beginnings Animal Rescue in January 2024.