Portland animal rescue charged with neglect, greater than 100 canine and cats seized

An animal rescue in Portland is accused of neglect, inadequate and unsanitary housing and the detention of more than 100 dogs and cats. On Tuesday, Multnomah District Attorney Mike Schmidt charged Woofin Palooza with more than 150 cases of animal neglect.

Tori Head and Samantha Miller are both charged with 157 cases of second degree animal neglect, 13 cases of identity theft and 15 cases of second degree forgery. According to court records, Woofin Palooza is a pet training, catering, rescue and day care facility in northeast Portland.

In August 2020, Multnomah County Animal Services, with the help of the Portland Police Bureau, executed a search warrant in Woofin Palooza after complaints about conditions were received at the rescue. During the search, officials confiscated 117 animals.

Many of the animals in Woofin Palooza’s care had contracted diseases which, according to court documents, in some cases resulted in health complications leading to death.

A veterinarian accompanying the search warrant team reported:

  • Cats were “housed in kennels or rooms that [were] not adequate in size or number to accommodate sufficient space. “
  • While dog kennels “allowed dogs to stand, turn and lie down,” some contained “too many dogs for the allotted space and none of the kennels were double-sided for dogs to be removed from their bedding or food.”
  • Both kittens and puppies were inappropriately kept in “close or direct contact with adult animals of various ages / sizes”. This jeopardizes the spread of several infectious diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
  • Cats and dogs have been “inappropriately housed in the same location, creating stress and increasing the likelihood of immune suppression, which will contribute to the spread of infectious diseases.”
  • The facility was “neglected with feces and urine on the floors of animal enclosures … and storage of dirty kennels in currently occupied kennels”. Occupied and soiled kennels stacked on top of other kennels “allow urine and feces to pass from one kennel to another, which can lead to the spread of pathogens.”

This case is being prosecuted by Multnomah County’s Assistant District Attorney Nicole Harris, who is responsible for nearly all animal neglect and abuse cases in the county. Benton County’s assistant district attorney for animal cruelty, Jacob Kamins, who specializes in prosecuting animal cruelty cases across Oregon, is helping.

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