What Are the Animal Ownership Laws in Oregon?

When you are moving to another location, you want to make sure all members of your family are welcome, including your pets. In the state of Oregon, there are certain animal ownership laws that you need to be aware of so that your pet doesn't violate local law enforcement regulations. Here are some basic laws regarding pet ownership in this state.

Domestic Pet Requirements

If you move to Oregon with your bird, cat, or dog, you will need to obtain a health certificate from a veterinarian within 30 days. Your domestic cat or dog will need to be vaccinated for rabies if they are older than 4 months. However, if the pet has obtained a 3-year vaccine previously, that will be accepted. If your pet has come from a state that has issued a quarantine to pets due to rabies, the rabies vaccination must have been given within the previous 12 months.

The only exception to these rules is if your bird has lived with the same family for the entire time when traveling or moving to the region. Then no health certificate is required.

If you are importing a domestic animal into the area, no import permit is required for cats or dogs, unless you are importing them from somewhere outside of the United States. Then you will have to follow all state of destination and national requirements under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For birds, an import permit may be required as you will have to call the Oregon Department of Agriculture office for more information.

Additionally, in any county in Oregon that has a dog control program, every dog owner who is keeping a dog with a set of permanent canine teeth or is six months old (whichever comes first), must obtain a dog license. The fee for the license is determined by the county code, but the fee can be waived for assistance animals kept by someone who uses the dog as a guide or who is blind. Upon issuing a license, the county will supply the dog owner with an identification tag which must be secured to a collar kept on the dog. Check out additional online resources regarding this topic to view a more extensive list of the regulations.

Exotic Pet Requirements

Exotic animals are prohibited as pets in the state of Oregon unless you have previously obtained an exotic pet permit from the state of Oregon prior to 2010. You cannot get this special permit after that year. Exotic pets that are allowed in Oregon include non-human primates, crocodilians, bears (except for the American black bear), and non-indigenous canines or felines which are not domestic or domestic crosses.

Oregon Animal Statutes

When providing care, shelter, and tethering of your pets, there are also certain Oregon statutes to be aware of so your pet is properly taken care of on your private property. The basic care statutes stipulate that all pets should get at least minimal care as they should have enough quality food in the right quantity to allow for normal growth or to maintain their body weight. They should also have access to potable drinking water, a suitable air temperature, and veterinary care if they are injured, ill, or have a disease. Your pet should also be in a location free from contaminants and waste that could impact their health.

If you plan to tether your pet, the pet should never have the tether on longer than 10 hours a day if the tether is a chain. The pet should not be on a tether longer than 15 hours a day if the tether is on a runner or a trolley.

If your pet will spend time outside, they will need to have adequate shelters such as a barn, enclosed structure, or doghouse on the owner's property. The shelter can be commercially made, such as a dog igloo, or constructed by the pet owner. Make sure that the structure provides the animal shelter from the rain, snow, wind, and sun as the bedding should not get damp or cold.

Inadequate shelters include:

  • Crawlspaces
  • Shelters made out of degradable materials like cardboard
  • Inside or under vehicles
  • Travel crates made out of wire or plastic
  • Shelters with chain-link or a wire floor unless the pet is a bird
  • Shelters surrounded by waste or debris that can impact their health

Keep your pet healthy and safe while obeying all Oregon laws and administrative rules. Then you can create a happy home for everyone.

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