How to report animal neglect: If you are worried, call us!

How to report animal neglect: If you are worried, call us!



The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter and Washington County Animal Services are here to help if you are worried about how an animal is being treated. But if you’ve never contacted us before, you may wonder what to expect.

If you call us because you are concerned about how pets or livestock are being treated, we will start by asking for some basic information, including:

  • Your full name, address and phone number so an Animal Services officer can reach out if necessary.
  • Specific information that will help the officer prepare for the situation. This might include asking how many and what kind of animals are involved, the exact address where the animals are located, and what you witnessed that concerns you.

We screen calls for possible violations to county codes or laws. For example, lack of shelter or access to food and water would qualify as not providing minimum care but wishing an owner would walk their dog more would not. If your concern could be a violation, we open a case.

When we open a case regarding alleged neglect or abuse, our officers make decisions regarding priority level and initial response. They may contact the caller first for more information or a witness statement. In other cases, an officer will go to the location provided and try to talk with the owner and see the animals before deciding on the next step.

Depending on what the officer learns, the case can go in several directions. The officer may close the case if they determine minimum care standards are being met, allow the owner a certain amount of time to resolve a problem, issue a citation for a violation, or contact other people who may have information related to the situation. If the case is serious and there is enough evidence to support it, animals are sometimes seized and cared for at the shelter, pending the outcome of a complete investigation.

If you are worried about an animal, call us at 503-846-7041. We are here for the people and pets of Washington County!


For more information, please visit

The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located at 1901 SE 24th Ave, Hillsboro. If you have a question for the animal shelter, email