OHS Investigation Leads to Conviction and Fine
In a major neglect case involving 140 animals, the owner of a commercial breeding operation in Rainier was fined $172,000 and banned from owning domestic animals and horses for five years.
The Oct. 22 sentencing hearing came nearly two years after OHS mounted a rescue operation to help animals in a breeding facility owned by Rainier resident Catherine Setere. Working in cooperation with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the Rainier Police Department, OHS rescued 118 dogs, 21 horses and one cat from Setere’s property on November 13, 2013. Setere was convicted earlier on 43 counts of felony animal neglect (complete story and photos here).
“This sentence sends a strong message that animal neglect will not be tolerated in Oregon. The neglect in this case involved so many animals that it rose to the level of a felony offense. I think today’s sentencing reflects how serious these crimes were,” said Sharon Harmon, OHS Executive Director.
Rescued Animals Find New Homes
Ownership of nearly all the rescued animals was transferred to OHS last year so they could find adoptive homes. To date, all of the forfeited animals, with the exception of one horse in the care of Gresham nonprofit Sound Equine Options and two dogs in the care of OHS, have been adopted or transferred to other humane organizations committed to finding them homes. All of of the rescued animals will remain available for adoption with no time limits, a policy that applies to every pet at OHS.
OHS gained ownership on Oct. 22 of the final 11 dogs who had not been previously forfeited to OHS. Other aspects of the sentencing: Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Ted Grove imposed a three year prohibition on Setere owning animals of any kind, including livestock, and he set a restitution hearing for January 16, 2016.
“We are very grateful that after 23 months, the foster parents caring for this final group of 11 dogs can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the future of these pets is no longer in doubt,” said Harmon. “Our thanks to go Jacob Kamins, Animal Cruelty Deputy District Attorney, for the time and energy he devoted to successfully prosecuting this case over the last two years.”
OHS Humane Special Agents are commissioned by the Oregon State Police and have full police power to enforce animal cruelty laws throughout the state. They receive no tax dollars and are supported through donations to OHS. Donate online today.