Portland and Pets

Animal-Protection Laws put Oregon Among Top 5 States

A number of new animal laws that took effect in 2010 in Oregon resulted in the Animal Legal Defense Fund ranking it among the nation’s top five states for going after animal abusers. The 2010 legislative session debated 16 bills concerning animals, an unprecedented number. Six of the bills the governor signed are of direct concern to animal owners.

The most controversial of the bills debated last spring was dubbed the puppy-mill bill. Hotly contested in public hearings, the final legislation didn’t contain all the measures its proponents wanted to keep irresponsible breeders from churning out sick, unsocialized dogs. But it put a number of restrictions on Oregon breeders, all designed to combat the conditions found in puppy mills. Most controversially, the law limits the number of sexually intact dogs anyone can own. Breeders cannot have more than 50 of such dogs older than two.

In early 2015 the Humane Society of the United States named Oregon as the second most animal-friendly state in the country.  The report gave Oregon a rating of 65 percent — behind only California, which received 71 percent — for enacting stringent animal protections laws. They include felony penalties for cock and dog fighting, as well as protections many other states lack, such as banning pet crocodiles and shark fin trading.

Moving With Pets: Understanding Your Pet

Moving Tips To Help Dogs And Cats Adjust To A New House
When it’s time to move into your new house, whether it’s across town or across the country, your moving day checklist includes packing up your four-legged family members. And while moving with pets is a stressful time for you…it’s undoubtedly just as stressful for your pets. Here are some tips to make moving into your new home as stress-free as possible for everyone in your family — especially your pets!

This should be helpful for people who are looking into renting but want to take measures to avoid any complications with their pets. There are surprisingly many spaces-for-rent that require something like a pet resume before accepting an animal. Sometimes they don’t even ask for this sort of thing and blindly accept or deny you (sometimes based on your breed of dog, sadly). Anyway, when landlords want to know if your dog/cat is spayed, declawed, vaccinated, etc. this is really handy.
 might be helpful for your Pet Moving section of the page. It covers pretty much every angle – preparation, travel, adjustment to a new house, and veterinarian advice on how to make the transition smooth. To be honest, I was pretty clueless there was even a method to pet travel so I was excited to find this.

County and Portland Animal Regs

Some animals, known as specified animals, have special requirements if you plan on owning them. These animals include: chickens, pigeons, turkeys, geese, cows, horses, mules, burros, donkeys, cattle sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, llamas and bees. Here are the regulations:

In Multnomah County (i.e., Portland) it is unlawful to harbor and/or own an exotic or dangerous animal as a “pet.” Exotic or dangerous animal is any animal which is of a wild or predatory nature, and which because of its size, vicious nature, or other characteristics would constitute an unreasonable danger to human life or property. Exotic or dangerous animal includes any of the following animals: any large felid; any monkey, ape, gorilla; any wolf; any bear; any venomous or poisonous reptile; any reptile of the order Crocodilia, or any snake of the family Pythonidae or Boinae capable of obtaining 8 feet or more in length.

Forget the Treadmill, Get a Dog

Researchers from Michigan State University reported that among dog owners who took their pets for regular walks, 60 percent met federal criteria for regular moderate or vigorous exercise. Nearly half of dog walkers exercised an average of 30 minutes a day at least five days a week. By comparison, only about a third of those without dogs got that much regular exercise.

The researchers tracked the exercise habits of 5,900 people in Michigan, including 2,170 who owned dogs. They found that about two-thirds of dog owners took their pets for regular walks, defined as lasting at least 10 minutes. The dog walkers had higher overall levels of both moderate and vigorous physical activity than the other subjects, and they were more likely to take part in other leisure-time physical activities like sports and gardening. On average, they exercised about 30 minutes a week more than people who didn’t have dogs.

Portland Park Rules

Portland law requires dogs to be on a leash at all times while in the park, unless in a designated off-leash area during designated off-leash hours. Dogs must be leashed prior to entering, and upon leaving, the off-leash area, and must stay within the boundaries. Owners must carry a leash and always be in control of their dogs, on-leash or off-leash. Owners must control their dog’s aggressive behavior or excessive barking; owners are liable for damage or injury inflicted by their dog.

Dog waste must be collected and disposed of every time. Dog waste left in the park is a leading complaint about dogs in Portland parks. Dog waste is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria (Campylobacter and Salmonella) and other forms of infection. The most damaging of these is caused by the roundworm Toxocara Canis. The eggs of this parasite are present in much dog waste; although initially not infectious, once the eggs hatch they pose serious health risks to human beings, particularly children.

Unleashed dogs are never allowed in playgrounds, natural areas, and gardens or on trails and pathways.

No dogs, leashed or unleashed, are allowed in:

  • Sports courts, running tracks or sports fields (artificial and manicured turf)
  • Fountains, lakes, ponds or streams
  • Fenced sports facilities, including the Williams V. Owens complex at Delta Park

Dogs must never be allowed to chase or harm wildlife. This includes squirrels, ducks, rabbits, birds, and other animals. No digging is allowed. Holes create dangerous trip hazards.

Multnomah County also has rules for dogs.  Click here to view the rules.

Portland’s 33 Off-Leash Dog Parks

In 2013, the Rose City had 5.5 dog off-leash areas for every 100,000 residents and 33 dog parks — the most in the nation after New York and the most per capita by a wide margin. Those facts contributed to Portland’s ranking by Forbes as the nation’s second-most pet-friendly city in the country. Five are fenced all-day areas. The remaining parks are unfenced, with seasonal hours compatible with traditional park use patterns and adjacent uses. Boundary markers are in place at the unfenced sites. There are signs in each off-leash area with maps, rules, and a place to post notices. Users are asked to bring their own scoop bags.

Visit the off-leash dog parks and hours page at the Portland Parks website for more information.

Best Swimming Park  The Sellwood Riverfront Park is not only a good place to run your dog off-leash and your canine friend can go for a swim in the Willamette River after the run.

Sandy River Delta   The 1,400-acre “dispersed recreation site” at Sandy River Delta (Exit 18 off Interstate 84), where the Sandy and Columbia rivers meet, is Portland’s unofficial, unleashed playground for dogs. The delta is a wide-open, largely unspoiled mess of channels and backwaters.  Plants include grasses, reeds, cottonwoods, and blackberries. There are paths and a small dam on the Sandy so obscure it has bushes and trees growing on it. Of course, these days anything remotely untended must have its own monument to remaining so: Here it’s a bird blind built by Maya Lin, the artist who designed the Vietnam War Memorial, inscribed with the names of 134 bird species.

Off-Leash Area for Small Dogs  Northeast Portland’s Normandale Park (NE 57th Street and Halsey Avenue) includes a play area only for small (under 25 pounds), shy or elderly dogs.

Suburban Off-Leash Parks

  • Hillsboro  – The Hondo dog park is located across from Hillsboro Stadium—near the intersection of Evergreen and 229th avenue.
  • Lake Oswego – Luscher Farm on Stafford Road  Open dawn to dusk.  Fenced, benches, handicap access, and parking.
  • Milwaukie – North Clackamas Park located at 5440 SE Kellog Creek Drive  Open 1/2 hour after sunrise to 1/2 hour before sunset; fenced, benches, handicap access, tables, bags, water, shelter.
  • Washington County Dog Parks  Washington County Dog Parks is a volunteer community organization for planning, establishment, construction and maintenance of fun and safe dog parks in Washington County.
  • West Linn – Mary S. Young State Park on Highway 43  Benches, tables, handicap access, and shelter.
  • Wilsonville – Memorial Park  Located two blocks from the city library and two minutes from I-5 Fenced, tables, bags, restrooms, and water.

Canine Companions Boost Readers’ Confidence

Teachers and school officials say that a canine visitor can help the children’s learning. The Multnomah County Library’s reading-to-dogs program is a hit; kids often sign up weeks ahead of time. Several other schools have brought in dogs over the years, too. At Gilbert Heights Elementary School in Southeast Portland, Jasper, a yellow Labrador retriever, has visited the library every other Tuesday for the past six years. Librarian John Wolfgang lets teachers choose which kids can read to Jasper.

Kids who struggle with reading have experienced a lot of failure by middle school. The lack of confidence can cause, or at least exacerbate, behavior issues and turn kids away from wanting to learn.  Some schools use a national program called Read Naturally to get them back on track.

The French-American School in Cedar Hills started bringing in a new teaching tool: Olive, a young retriever mix, patiently sits while the kids read to her. Having the dog there motivates the students, their teacher says.

If you think your dog might make a good reading partner for schoolchildren, contact one of these groups:

Taking Your Dog Out to Dinner

Many of the restaurants that have outside seating allow dogs to accompany their owners at the table.  Some of the eating establishments along 23rd Northwest Avenue (an area of shops and restaurants) cater to dogs.  And they even will bring a bowl of water.  On a summer evening, stroll along 23rd and stopped for dinner with your canine friend.

While the Lucky Labrador Brewing Co.’s three Portland-area locations welcome dogs at outdoor tables and the Pied Cow Coffee luckylabHouse on nearby Southeast Belmont and 34th offers a meat and fruit “puppy platter” for $2.50 or $5, Hobnob is the first Portland establishment to offer a full dog menu. “Froze Noses,” a little cup full of chilled yogurt, bananas, peanut butter and honey is one of the bargains at Hobnob’s $1 dogs-only puppy menu at outdoor tables.  The canine menu was introduced when Jason Heller bought the bar and restaurant on Southeast Morrison and 34th Avenue and notice all the dogs in the Sunnyside neighborhood.

Lucky Labrador Brew Pub produces some of the tastiest brews in the northwest and serves up some simple, yet excellent, pub fare.  Lucky Lab allows dog on their outside covered patio — it’s a great place to relax and converse with friends or hang out with your canine. 

Dogs as Good Citizens

pearl_hannah2Hannah is a yellow Lab, a citizen of the city.  She rides the elevator with her owner.  She commutes between her 4th-floor condo in the Pearl and the street-level merchants who greet her sweet demeanor with fellowship and a biscuit.  Hannah is an emerging generation of condo dogs who, in order to live indoors, must be tested and certified as good citizens in terms of qualities.  This good-citizen mandate stands in bylaws for condominiums built by Hoyt Street Properties, the Pearl’s largest developer and the nation’s first condo builder to require the pledge.

Pet Health Care

The Portland metro area has excellent pet health care specialists to include an oncology center and 24-hour emergency hospital among others.  The closest locations to similar facilities are in Pullman, Washington and at UC Davis in California.

  • Portland Veterinary Oncology Center  Offers both radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Dr. Cyman is a board-certified veterinary radiation oncologist – one of about 50 in the USA.
  • VDIC  Provides veterinary MRI, CT (Cat Scan), ultrasound, cytology and telemedicine consultation.
  • Dove Lewis  A 24-hour emergency and ICU hospital.

Small Animal Rehab

The Small Animal Rehabilitation Unit at Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine offers advanced rehab methods such as underwater treadmill (see photo to the left). Rehab can help animals build up strength after surgery or after recovery from a widespread infection. It can prevent injuries to canine athletes  dogs participating in flyball, jumping or agility contests. And it can be a low-cost alternative to some surgeries.

Today, four veterinary clinics in Oregon offer similar treatments, hopefully making this cost-effective treatment easier to come by. Here are Oregon clinics that offer advanced rehabilitation treatments for pets:

Animal Adoption and Emergency Information

The Animal Rescue and Care Fund does more than just adoptions. Their mission is to rescue, shelter, and care for homeless animals and place them in permanent responsible homes, and to promote and support spay/neuter for companion animals. The organization is supported by donations.  Their newsletter called Animal Talk can be download from their website and it is full of interesting stories and information.

Oregon Humane Society

All adoptions at the Oregon Humane Society require a completed application and an interview with an adoption counselor.  Applicants are carefully screened to ensure their new pets will receive proper care. We match pets with people based on their general lifestyle and the type of care they can provide. We take these precautions because too many owners don’t understand the importance of this long-term commitment.  You can download the adoption application from the site.

To view a list of cats up for adoption visit Oregon Humane Society Cats and Kittens. View the cam camera where you can observe some of the kittens that are up for adoption at play.

The Society also provides a variety of behavior and training resources for the public. They have basic training classes for dogs, Reactive Rover Classes, Just for Fun Agility, a Problem Cat behavior class, and more.

Family Dogs New Life

Family Dogs New Life is an alternative shelter that specializes in canine adoptions. There are no dog runs or kennels.  FDNL offers a warm, home type environment for both canine residents and potential adopters. All of their adoptions include the following: spay/neuter, free veterinary exam, one-month pet care insurance, five-week obedience class, leash and collar, toy/treat packet, and food sample.

Pet-Friendly Rentals

Oregon Humane Society   The OHS website has a link to “Pet-friendly rental properties in the Portland area.”  The listings include the name of the rental, address, telephone number, map, and the type of pets allows.

Pet Supplies

  • B-Naturals  An online source for holistic products for dogs and cats.  There is good information on this site about pet nutrition.  The monthly newsletter is packed full of information.  The site is a good place to learn about feeding raw.
  • Bark Market  Holistic, natural pet foods, and supplies.   Located in Portland.
  • Castor & Pollux  Makes certified organic pet foods as well as a line of pet- and Earth-friendly products, including herbal flea collars, shampoos, and stain removers.  Located in Clackamas, Oregon.
  • Furever Pets  Quality products and excellent service – one of my favorite places to purchase pet food, etc.  Located at 1902 NE Broadway Street, Portland.  Telephone (503) 282-4225.
  • Meat for Cats and Dogs  Pet food focusing on raw meats.  2205 E. Burnside, Portland, OR 97214.  Telephone:  (503) 236-6971.
  • Rad Cat  Rad Cat makes food for cats with allergies.  Their cat food is made from free-range chicken, free-range turkey or pasture-raised lamb, along with other natural ingredients.  Rad Cat is located in Portland.
  • Ruff Wear  The Bend, Oregon company offers many items for dogs on the go. They make an excellent dog life jacket.

Dogs That Need Special Care

gingerGinger is a pioneer in pet care with over 20 years of experience.  She has been involved in rescuing dogs all these years. The photo at the left is Ginger (left) and pet owner Elizabeth Pollock (plus 5-year old daughter Magnolia) on a walk with Rosa Marie, a lab that Elizabeth rescued on a trip to Mexico.  Rosa Marie came with numerous behavioral problems.  Thanks to Ginger’s work with Rose Marie, she has blossomed into a wonderful companion for Elizabeth and Magnolia.

The photo at the left is Ginger (left) and pet owner Elizabeth Pollock (plus 5-year old daughter Magnolia) on a walk with Rosa Marie, a lab that Elizabeth rescued on a trip to Mexico.  Rosa Marie came with numerous behavioral problems.  Thanks to Ginger’s work with Rose Marie, she has blossomed into a wonderful companion for Elizabeth and Magnolia.

Contact Information:  Ginger Matyas, Katcandu Home Visit Pet Care at 503-227-5188.

dogmaDogMa specializes in caring for disabled animal care and overnight pet sitting. Owner Grayson White has a disabled dog by the name of Raga and added special needs pet sitting to her services when she saw a need for these services.

Grayson is a certified dog trainer through Animal Behavior College and practices positive reinforcement training techniques.

Doggy Duty for Condominium and Loft Owners

doggie_dutyDoggy Duty offers convenient potty relief for your urban pup and provides a solution to midnight trips down the elevator, indoor accidents and drenching walks in the rain.

Doggy Duty’s hardwood constructed Doggy Duty box is designed for use as a dog litter box. The box furnishes your dog with a “personal” plot of grass* accessed on your balcony or indoors. Our weekly or every other week fresh grass replacement service ensures a hygienic area for your dog’s relief needs.


The Portland metro area has numerous companies that offer cremation for pets.

With the vast majority of the animals brought in for cremation came after long, happy lives. However, at times death comes by accident. Some of the companies will retrieve an animal in those situations. They not only pick up an animal but also offer to clean the accident site to spare the owner.

Dignified Pet Services is the only place in the Pacific Northwest that cremates horses in one piece. Its employees will drive to Seattle, Bend, and Northern California to pick up the bodies.

Pet Cremation Services
Cremation and Burial Services

Pet and House Sitting Services

Many pet owners find it easier to have someone responsible stay in their home with the pets when they are traveling.  Below is a list of people that offer this kind of service:

  • Oregon Pet Sitters Association  Just enter your ZIP code at this site to find a pet sitter.
  • Bark PDX  Pet walking and sitting service.
  • Hearts & Hands Animal Care  Heart & Hands Animal Care provides care overnight and day care for your friends.
  •  Melinda does petting sitting and house sitting for cats and/or dogs.  Telephone:  503-880-5836.
  • Pet Friendly Hotels  The site has a list of over 27,000 pet-friendly hotels from around the world.
  • Pets in the City  Pet sitting and dog walking.  Serving NW Portland, downtown, Pearl District, West Hills, and inner eastside.
  • Town & Country  They cover Portland for pet sitting and the west side for dog walks. Town & Country also does hotel dog sitting visits.
  • West Hills Cat Sitting

Dog Running Services

A tired dog is a good dog.  If you have a dog that needs to run and you can’t fit it into your schedule, use one of these services:

Boarding, Day Care, and Training

  • Arnold Creek Cat Retreat  A cat-only facility with no cages – each cat has a large private room.  2020 SW Arnold Street, Portland 97219. Telephone: (503) 892-2889.
  • Dogs Dig It  Daycare, boarding, massage, swimming, play structures, and a shuttle bus.
  • Double Dog Ranch  At Double Dog Ranch your dog will discover freedom, adventure, and new friends in a secure, natural country playground.
  • Fidos Indoor Dog Park  Fido’s Indoor Dog Park is Portland’s first and only dry, climate controlled indoor community park and pool for dogs and dog lovers.  Wide open spaces where members and visitors can roam, swim, exercise, socialize and have fun.
  • Howllday Inn  Overnight and daycare facility with 14-year experience. The Howliday Inn is located on the eastside of Portland 10-12 blocks from the Hawthorne Bridge.
  • Whispering Hills Labradors  Training and boarding services along with a doggie day care serving south Portland communities and the Salem area.

Hotels for Overnight Stays and Day Care

  • Mitten’s Motel is a pet-boarding facility exclusively for cats. Mitten’s Hotel is located in Clackamas. Call 503-719-5636 for hours and rates.
  • Sniff Dog Hotel  Located in the Pearl, the hotel has a 2,500-square-foot indoor play area covered with a specially designed artificial turf called K9Grass. The turf sits on interlocking plastic mesh trays with piping running underneath them. The system allows dog urine to drain through the turf and flush into two trench trains.  Sniff Dog handles overnight stays, training, daycare, and grooming.

Pet Moving

  • Doggone Pet Transport  Doggone offers pet transport to/from the groomer, vet, daycare, and boarding.
  • VIP Pet Transport  Take the worry about shipping your pet gives new homeowners involved in a relocation time to deal with the many other complexities involved in a long-distance move. VIP Pet Transport have been in the business of shipping pets and animals of all kinds for over 35 years.

Hotel Pet Walking

Town & Country Pet Services  If you’re staying at a downtown Portland hotel and need your dog walked, Town & Country Pet Services is your answer.  Most of the hotel concierges have T&C on file as one of their resources.

Discounts Program for Pet Owners

Paws 4 Perks is a program that provides pet owners with discounts that are not available to the public.  They focus on ‘Local’ businesses and non-profit organizations who could use our help.  By becoming a member, you can save on visits to the veterinarian, pet store, grooming, indoor dog parks, doggie daycare,  dog walking, online custom apparel, therapy, training and other items.




Portland Pet Community
This is the place to connect with local pet-owners, blog about your pets and their adventures, get tips and advice, keep updated on pet news and community events, support animal welfare groups, and to find pet products and services.




Dog Adventures Northwest
DAN makes it easier for people to meet the needs of their four-legged family members via an exercise program.




Adopt a homeless pet (dog or cat) or pets from animal shelters. Petfinder has helped with more than 13 million pet adoptions since 1995.



American Veterinary Medical Association
Information about veterinary medicine and animal care.




Safety Reporting Portal
The Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health  website that allows pet owners to report issues related to pet food, among other features.






Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital
The only not-for-profit hospital in Portland devoted exclusively to emergency and critical care for animals 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Don’t miss their dogtoberfest where you can can get your dog washed, enjoy live music, and socialize.



Dog Friendly
Go Places With Your Dog! Travel, sightsee, shop and work with your pooch. Listings of dog-friendly hotels, attractions, stores and employers that allow dogs of all sizes.



Oregon Humane Society
Voice (503) 285-7722 – Fax (503) 285-0838. View a list of cats and dogs up for adoption, also gives you opportunities to volunteer, and more.



Columbia Agility Team
The Columbia Agility Team (CAT) is a nonprofit club that was formed in 1993 to promote the fast-growing sport of dog agility in the Portland area.



X-Fidos Flyball
Flyball is a dog sport involving two 4-dog teams in side-by-side lanes. Click here to view a video that explains the sport.



Portland Rental Service
They have pet friendly rentals to include houses, townhouses, and apartments.



Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.
Harry S. Truman
1884 – 1972




Oregon Pet Sitters Association 
A professional membership group. You can find a pet sitters on their site by just entering your zip code.



Bobbie the Wonder Dog
“Bobbie the Wonder Dog” of Silverton, Oregon, was the canine hero in a story that became a national sensation. On a February day in 1924, the 2-year-old scotch collie-mix dog appeared on the door step of his owners, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Brazier. What amazed them was that they had not seen their dog since he disappeared six months earlier from a car trip in Indiana.




Former Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski and his Shepherd mix HerShe.  The Governor and his wife Mary adopted HerShe from the Humane Society of the Willamette Valley in Salem.




View the cam camera at the Oregon Humane Society Cats and Kittens
where you can observe some of the kittens that are up for adoption at play.




The Book, Best Hikes with Dogs: Oregon, gives detailed information on 75 hikes in Oregon that you can take with your dog.  It is available at Powell’s Books in Portland.




The wild Kigers horses in Southeastern Oregon (Steens Mountains) are true to Spanish mustang origins. According to the 2002 Census of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Clackamas County in the Portland metro area is number nine in horse population (9,223).



The Dog
The truth I do not stretch or shove When I state that the dog is full of love. I’ve also found, by actual test, A wet dog is the lovingest.
Ogden Nash



Spot Magazine is published in Portland.  It is the one-step resource for information, ideas, and events of interest to animals and their people.



Top Dog in Portland


The Labrador retriever continues to be the most popular breed of dog nationally and in Portland, according to figures from the American Kennel Club.
The next four dogs: German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Chihuahua, and Poodle.




Our city is packed with pet-centric businesses, from raw-cat-food entrepreneurs to dog social clubs and a holistic veterinary scene. And, in a telling example of art imitating life, there’s Wendy and Lucy, a movie about a woman who’s thrown in jail and nearly undone by her desire to care for and protect her dog. Local writer Jon Raymond penned the screenplay. The film, which stars Michelle Williams, was filmed in Portland.



All Dog Names
Naming your dog used to be simple. Dalmatians were called Spot, black dogs were Sooty and we can’t forget Fido. Dogs knew their place. That’s all changing. This site has thousands of names for dogs.