2023 Legislative Session
A Big Win for Animals in Oregon
Updated: July 5, 2023
The Oregon legislature approved funding for an Animal Cruelty Resource Prosecutor. This grant-funded position has been in place since 2013, and the recently passed legislation will continue to fund the position through June 30, 2025. After that, Oregon’s Attorney General will have discretion whether to include the funding for the position through their agency’s budget.
Funding for the Animal Cruelty Resource Prosecutor was originally introduced in Senate Bill 696, which the Oregon Humane Society, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and Humane Society of the United States all publicly supported and provided testimony advocating for passage of the bill. Although SB696 ultimately did not pass, funds for the position was added to the state’s budget through other means.
OHS would like to thank all who emailed and called in support of this bill. Special thanks to OHS’ lobbyist, George Okulitch, for his hard to work to secure funding for this critically important position.
Other Animal-Related Bills
HCR8 – Designates rescued shelter dogs and cats as Oregon’s official state pet.
HB 2915 – Imposes a civil penalty if a pet store begins selling cats or dogs.
HB 3213 – Prohibits manufacturer from selling or offering to sell cosmetic developed through use of cosmetic animal test. Note – the final bill that was passed is a modified version of the original bill.
SB 85 – Makes certain changes concerning water quality permits for confined animal feeding operations.
All three of these bills made it to the Joint Ways and Means Committee but were voted down as the budget was being finalized.
SB 496 – Oregon Humane Society’s Veterinary Social Worker, Kelly Bremken, testified in support of this bill that would have allocated money to assist companion animals of individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
HB 3384 – Veronica Broadley from Oregon Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement team and Sharon Harmon, President and CEO of OHS, testified in support of this bill which would make it a crime to interfere with an investigation into an offense against an animal.
SB 696 ** – This bill would have appropriated money to the Department of Justice out of the General Fund to fund an animal cruelty-focused attorney within the department’s Criminal Justice Division. **An important note on SB 696. Note: Although this bill did not pass, the money to fund the position of an animal-cruelty focused prosecutor was added to the state budget through other means.
Ways You Can Help
There are many ways to get involved. Here are some of Oregon Humane Society’s suggestions for those who want to do more to help animals at risk.
Contact Your Legislators
Make your voice heard: tell your legislators to introduce or support animal welfare legislation that you feel strongly about.
Report Animal Neglect & Cruelty
Find a full guide to Oregon’s existing animal laws, along with other details about reporting animal neglect and cruelty.