A Portland animal rescue is accused of animal neglect, inappropriate and unsanitary housing, and confinement of more than 100 dogs and cats. On Tuesday, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt filed charges against Woofin Palooza animal rescue for more than 150 counts of animal neglect.
Tori Head and Samantha Miller are both charged with 157 counts of second degree animal neglect, 13 counts of identity theft and 15 counts of second degree forgery. According to court documents, Woofin Palooza in Northeast Portland, is a training, boarding, rescue and day care for pets.
In August 2020, Multnomah County Animal Services, with the help of the Portland Police Bureau, executed a search warrant at Woofin Palooza after receiving complaints about conditions at the rescue. During the search, officers seized 117 animals.
Many of the animals in the custody of Woofin Palooza had contracted illnesses, which in some cases resulted in health complications leading to death, according to court documents.
A veterinarian who accompanied the search warrant team reported:
- Cats were “housed in kennels or spaces that [were] not appropriate in size or number to provide adequate space.”
- While the dog kennels “allowed for dogs to stand, turn around and lay down,” several “contained too many dogs for the space allotted and no kennels were double sided to allow dogs to eliminate away from their bedding or food.”
- Both kittens and puppies were inappropriately kept in “close or direct contact with adult animals of varying ages/sizes.” This risks the spread of multiple infectious diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
- Cats and dogs were “inappropriately housed in the same location leading to stress, increasing the chances of immune system suppression which will contribute to the spread of infectious disease.”
- The facility was “unkempt with feces and urine on the floors of animal enclosures ... and storage of dirty kennels on top of currently occupied kennels.” Occupied and soiled kennels stacked on top of other kennels “allows for urine and feces to run from one kennel into another, which can lead to the spread of pathogens.”
This case is being prosecuted by Multnomah County deputy district attorney Nicole Harris, who is responsible for nearly all of the animal neglect and abuse cases in the county. Benton County animal cruelty deputy district attorney Jacob Kamins, who specializes in the prosecution of animal cruelty cases throughout Oregon, is assisting.